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Old 07-23-2014, 03:56 PM   #1
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What filter media should I use in my canister filter?

TLDR; What filter media should I use in Tetra EX 800 plus filter?

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OK, so I just purchased a Tetra EX 800 plus canister filter. I'm getting a new aquarium next month, but will start seeding this filter with bacteria now on one of my established aquariums.

This filter has 4 compartments for filter media. But there is enough space in them to squeeze in 2-3 more sponges or other filter media.

One compartment came half filled with solid ceramic rings which I think are useless. So I bought porous biomax rings instead and twice the quantity as there was more than enough room for them.

I think I will throw out bio balls and put in more filter foam and fill top compartment fully with filter floss.

So, from bottom up I would fill the compartments like this: biomax, foam, foam, floss.

What would you suggest?

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Old 07-23-2014, 04:10 PM   #2
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The way my Fluval 306 came set up (which is how I run all my canisters now) is, from bottom to top coarse sponge, fine sponge, bio media, polishing pad, Purigen. That set up has been treating me great for a few years now.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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Understanding the 3 types of filtration will help you determine what types of media you need.

Mechanical: describes the removal of solid particles in the water column; fish waste, leftover food, plant matter, etc. Ceramic rings, pads, floss, etc., can be used.

Biological: houses beneficial bacteria necessary for the conversion of ammonia and nitrite to nitrate. Ceramic rings, sponges, bio balls, etc.

Chemical: removes other toxins and medications chemically. Charcoal and resins.

Mechanical should be first so the bio media will last longer and perform better. Bio next and Chemical last. Chemical is only necessary if you need to target a specific problem, them you can determine the right product as there are many.

My canisters only contain pads, foam, and rings. They're also on a cleaning schedule, which is very important.


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Old 07-24-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for replies. I will put filter foam in the bottom two compartments, fine filter floss middle and bio rings on top then. Water in this filter travels from bottom up and in instructions it says rings and bio balls on bottom for some reason.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:41 AM   #5
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It's a general rule to go Mechanical, Biological then Chemical.

Also keep in mind that the finer the foams you use, the less waterflow will be generated.

Also, Chemical filtration is not necessary, yes things like Carbon or Ammo Chips might help out on a short basis but they are depleted very quickly.
I would much rather recommend SeaChem Purigen for your chemical.
It is basically an all-round media which lasts about 6 months before it's done, at which point it can be regenerated!
A 100g bag of it can treat upto a 100G tank. Yes it might be a tad costly but it's much better value than forking out 10 for carbon every month.


My canister set ups are;

Fluval 306:
Outside - 4 Foam Filter Blocks
1st stage - 2 Coarse Sponges
2nd stage - 550g BioMax Rings
3rd stage - 2 Fine Polishing Pads + 2 100g Carbon Bags (Soon to be replaced with BioMax)

Fluval FX6:
Outside - 6 Foam Filter Blocks
1st stage - 2 Coarse Sponges
2nd stage - Fine Sponge + 550g BioMax
3rd stage - 100g Purigen + 1100g BioMax


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Old 07-24-2014, 04:25 PM   #6
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The fluval canisters call for dense foam to light foam then bio max then charcoal then out


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