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TOPIC: Filter Media and Set Up

Filter Media and Set Up 7 months 2 days ago #70288

  • Kurt Loder
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I have 2 albino tiger Oscars about 6" or so and a chocolate leopard pleco about 8" in a 55 gallon tank. Don't worry, within the next month i'll be buying either a 100 or 125 gallon. I just purchased a Fluval FX4 and was wondering about set up and media. What type of media should i use and which baskets should each be in? Thanks in advance!
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Filter Media and Set Up 7 months 2 days ago #70289

  • Tarheel96
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I prefer Filstar and Eheim to Fluval canisters so I can't help with the trays. The Fluval FX4 is an excellent canister though.

As far as biological media goes, one brand stands alone: Biohome sintered glass biomedia. It has an incrediblely large surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize on. You can actually blow air through it much like a tightly folded t-shirt but you cannot see the pores .. they're far too small. The downside is the cost .. about $35-$45 per liter.

The second best biomedia is Eheim Substrate Pro. It too is sintered glass so it won't erode like some ceramic media. It's small and round and you might need to use a media bag so the smallest pea sized pieces don't fall through your media basket.

Seachem Matrix is also considered a good media but keep in mind that it and Seachem De*nitrate (a much better media IMO) are simply select pieces of pumice stone. You can buy 3.5 gallons of 3/8" to 1/4" of pumice stone for $31.75 on eBay which is equivalent in size to seachem De*nitrate. Seachem De*nitrate sells for $39.38 on eBay for 1 gallon which means it's 4.4x cheaper to simply buy the pumice stone. It's important to get pumice that's been screened so there are no small pieces mixed in. Seachem Matrix is $36.98 for 1 gallon. It's larger and difficult to find a pure pumice alternative.

3.5 gallons pumice stone 3/8" to 1/4" $31.75 free shipping
eBay item number: 322357029940

Petsmart sells 1 Liter of Eheim substrate Pro for $19.99 which is a pretty good price. I've seen 2 liters for $25 on eBay but there are few items listed at the moment.

I think Eheim Substrate Pro is the best biological media for the price. Regular pumice stone is the most cost-effective.

EDIT: Here's a comparison I made a few weeks ago between Seachem De*nitrate and regular pumice stone of similar shape and size. The Seachem De*nitrate has been bleached white with something stronger than regular 8.25% sodium hypochlorite Chlorox Bleach because this did little to whiten my pumice rock. As a result, the de*nitrate looks like it has a rougher surface because of the contrast in brightness.

The de*nitrate pieces are on the left with similar-sized pieces of pumice rock on the right. It repeats like that everywhere except for the two pieces at the top which are reversed. At the top, the regular pumice rock is on the left and the de*nitrate is on the right.

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Filter Media and Set Up 7 months 2 days ago #70291

  • Rob167
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i use Matrix top two, lav in 3 and two pads on bottom in all 4 canisters
180 oscar/JD/pleco
75 peacock and eB
125 Malawi
29 Serpae / danios/ angel
10g dwarf gaurami / Neon tetras

98 lb Irish cream Labrador retriever
200 year old miserable jack Russell rat thing ( came with wife)- RIP 6/11/17
2 english bulldogs
9 year old- for sale- doesn't do chores-
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Filter Media and Set Up 7 months 2 days ago #70292

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BIg Al's has on sale often
i boil every quarter and store extra for future use and track tray changes
180 oscar/JD/pleco
75 peacock and eB
125 Malawi
29 Serpae / danios/ angel
10g dwarf gaurami / Neon tetras

98 lb Irish cream Labrador retriever
200 year old miserable jack Russell rat thing ( came with wife)- RIP 6/11/17
2 english bulldogs
9 year old- for sale- doesn't do chores-
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Filter Media and Set Up 7 months 2 days ago #70298

  • beretta96
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Tarheel96 wrote:
...The second best biomedia is Eheim Substrate Pro. It too is sintered glass so it won't erode like some ceramic media. It's small and round and you might need to use a media bag so the smallest pea sized pieces don't fall through your media basket...

I found putting the EHEIM Substrate Pro in a media bag as Tarheel suggested also makes it a lot quicker/easier to clean the filter.
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Filter Media and Set Up 7 months 1 day ago #70305

  • Northstar5
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I find Fluval Biomax to be an excellent bio media. I have upwards of 75lbs running in an assortment of canister filters, Fluval FX 5 and 6 among them. Some is well over 10yrs old. Limited, basically no erosion or decay on any of it. Clean it when necessary, dont manhandle it and it will last many years. Per your original question, all FX baskets full of bio media. Another side note.. I wouldnt rely on an FX4 to cover a 2 Oscar 1 pleco tank. Think about a couple of Aquaclear 110 hobs to take some mechanical strain from the FX. I would also suggest, if possible, to go bigger than 125g. Thats a bit tight for your current fish as adults. The 6x2x2 180g is a vast improvement over the 18in wide 125
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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Filter Media and Set Up 7 months 1 day ago #70313

  • Rob167
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Going to get tha exact 180 today
I have two marineland 360 and a ac110
Bu think I may swap them both out for a FX5 with ac110 and save some electricity
They are not cheap
180 oscar/JD/pleco
75 peacock and eB
125 Malawi
29 Serpae / danios/ angel
10g dwarf gaurami / Neon tetras

98 lb Irish cream Labrador retriever
200 year old miserable jack Russell rat thing ( came with wife)- RIP 6/11/17
2 english bulldogs
9 year old- for sale- doesn't do chores-
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Filter Media and Set Up 6 months 2 weeks ago #70414

  • Kurt Loder
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I got a great deal on a 125 gallon complete set up. Have 2 oscars size of my hand, 8" pleco, and 2" red tail. Running a fx4 for mechanical with some fluval bio and 900 gph sump with ton of seachem biomatrix. Switched fish today and I'm super pleased.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Filter Media and Set Up 6 months 2 weeks ago #70415

  • kmuda
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Rob167 wrote:
i use Matrix top two, lav in 3 and two pads on bottom in all 4 canisters

Ditto...... I don't think this setup can be improved upon.
120g - Tiger Oscar, Parrot Cichlid, SDs | 55g - 24 Year Old Kissing Gourami
55g - Angelfish/Bolivan Rams | 40g GBRs - 20g Apistos
65g Blackwater Planted Discus Tank
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 Rat Terrier, 1 wife, 1 old lady, 1 sub-adult, 1 rug rat.
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Filter Media and Set Up 6 months 1 week ago #70425

  • Rob167
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Good becuse I just packed a aquatop that has an extra tray and gave it more matrix, but same set up
180 oscar/JD/pleco
75 peacock and eB
125 Malawi
29 Serpae / danios/ angel
10g dwarf gaurami / Neon tetras

98 lb Irish cream Labrador retriever
200 year old miserable jack Russell rat thing ( came with wife)- RIP 6/11/17
2 english bulldogs
9 year old- for sale- doesn't do chores-
The administrator has disabled public write access.
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