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Old 04-21-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
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Fluval 304

I'm expecting to recieve a fluval 304 today and wanted to hear any and all opinions about the filter.

First: I got it for $55 shipped on craigslist, he said it comes with everythign but the manual and is a year old. Good price?

The man I am buying it from changed the output head to a spraybar, so I may spend $2-3 to get the original output nozzle back on it.

I planned on hooking up my CO2 reactor into the downflow, but it had occurred to me:

Can't I just make a hole and silicone the checkvalve right into the Fluval's downflow, and use the filter itself as the reactor? Is the PVC reactor even necessary? Or even better: run the CO2 tubing into the tank, and just have the bubbles release right into the intake filter. THis way they'll have the entire length of the hose to fight the current and dissolve mostley(completely?) before they even get to the cannister??

Generally, please tell me about this filter, its pros/cons, what to look out for or beware of, and how I should inject my CO2 into it, or hook my reactor into it.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:37 PM   #2
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Before I got my Fluval FX5, I did research on that series of filters too. That is a good price for that filter, as long as it's not too old and is still in good condition. New, that thing runs about $150.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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I have one on my SW tank. I took out the foam to keep my nitrAtes down, but for planted I think you folks like nitrAtes. The only issue I have with mine, is it's hard to open. The 05 series seems to have improved on the design. Other than that, is is a great filter. I just wanted to chime in, sorry I couldn't help with your specific application.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
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I have a 404 that has been running flawlessly for 3.5 years. It is quiet and effective.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info everyone. I've heard that some ceramic center piece can break easily, so to be careful with that. Anyone have any experience with this?

Any info on injecting CO2 into it?
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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Well it arrived yesteday and I'm fairly disappointed b/c I got what I paid for. I was hoping to get way more than I paid for but no luck.

First of all the listing said it was a year old, and it appears MUCH older than that (constructed in 2004) and it has some scuffs on the outside.

THe seller didn't clean it, at all, so it stunk fairly bad when it arrived. I got it all cleaned out and it's looking and working okay.

The seller told me it came with everything except the original output nozzle which is MOSTLY true. It was missing the 90 degree elbow clamps, all the suction cups for holding the tubes in place, and some of the tubing but that is about it.

I noticed when I turn it on it is kind of noisy, like a soft rattleing. Does this happen with your FLUVAL's too?

Is there anythign special I should do to the media besides thoroughly rinsing it, since it was previously used for a SW tank and I'm using it for a FW tank?

I'm still waiting on info about injectign the CO2 directly into the intake tube, is this okay to do?
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
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I can't speak to the fluvals, as I use renas, but don't reuse the old media. Get new media and start clean.

As for injecting, you can inject directly into the intake, but it'll be noisy, as you'll hear the impeller chewing up the bubbles. I recommend a reactor. DIY, pretty simple with basic PVC knowledge, and less than $20 to build.

Sparky has built several and did an awesome write-up on a how-to. Check it out here
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:47 AM   #8
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I would buy new media, but that's just me. The idea of using someone else's old slimy stuff, especially when it's from a SW tank, kinda scares me. If it was me, I would just get new media, and seed it from what you have now.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:17 PM   #9
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Exactly the answers I was looking for, thank you!
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:22 PM   #10
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I would also check the impeller for wear, that may be where your noise is coming from.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:31 PM   #11
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Well one of the little plastic clips from the clear plastic circular cover busted as I was taking it off (my fault b/c I thought it was undone already and lifted, but it was not).

That could be it, the impeller (white piece of plastic, shaped like a star) looks fine).

Everything about it though seems like it can break easily, the handles that lock on the sides, the paper thin plastic, the fragile ceramic shaft the width of a toothpick: all too fragile.

The flow is also not what I was expecting, though it is probably what it should be, I was just expecting/hoping for a little more.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:34 PM   #12
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If possible I would run a long flexible brush through the tubing. I just did that on my fluval 304 and it made a world of difference.

A bit of a pain to clean but the only filter I have ever used. I did break the blue outside clip on mine and had to buy a replacement. My fault, I pressed way too hard and it wasn't seated properly. I find mine can be noisy after a big water change if air gets trapped in it. Sometimes I turn it off for about 20 minutes to let air gather then it comes rushing out when I turn it back on. Mostly I give it a few gental shakes and out the trapped air comes.

The price was good though. And it gets the job done for sure.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkos View Post
I find mine can be noisy after a big water change if air gets trapped in it. Sometimes I turn it off for about 20 minutes to let air gather then it comes rushing out when I turn it back on. Mostly I give it a few gental shakes and out the trapped air comes.
That's one thing I love about the Fluval FX5. I love the fact that it does that all by itself, every 24 hours. It shuts off for 2 minutes and allows air to escape, then turns back on. It also does that 2 minutes after each time it is plugged back in.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:06 PM   #14
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Yep, the FX5 rocks!
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitt420dude View Post
Well one of the little plastic clips from the clear plastic circular cover busted as I was taking it off (my fault b/c I thought it was undone already and lifted, but it was not).

That could be it, the impeller (white piece of plastic, shaped like a star) looks fine).

Everything about it though seems like it can break easily, the handles that lock on the sides, the paper thin plastic, the fragile ceramic shaft the width of a toothpick: all too fragile.

The flow is also not what I was expecting, though it is probably what it should be, I was just expecting/hoping for a little more.
More than one of my fluvals has one broken plastic clip on the impellor cover. If you make sure to push it all the way down, it should eliminate the noise issue. I occasionally have the small rattling noise you have, I take the top off and reseat the plastic impellor cover, solves the problem. Other than that I've never broken anything else on the darn things. I like them quite a lot. You can use plastic pot scrubbers if you want as media, as long as they don't have any antibacterial stuff added.
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