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Lori M
Junior Member
Username: bubby

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 11:12 am:       

I have a Fluval 404 in my established 60 gallon tank. When I first got the tank, there were 2 parts carbon, and 2 parts ammonia chips in it. Now,that my tank levels are all good and my babies are doing well, I was wondering if I should be changing up the media a bit. I do rinse the foam out of it about once a month, and so far I have only replaced one part of the carbon. I did notice the other day that the water is starting to stink a little bit. Maybe another rinse will help this? I do 50% water changes on this tank EVERY week, my fish are very happy, just thinking I may need to change their filter needs?
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Lori M
Junior Member
Username: bubby

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 11:23 am:       

I should probably add that I don't have live plants in this tank. It has been going since December, and I have the following fish in it:

2 African Butterfly Fish
1 Pleco
1 Golden Dojo Loach
3 Clown Loaches
2 Kuhli Loaches
3 Red Glass Barbs
5 Giant Danios
1 Peacock Eel
1 Glass Catfish
2 Mickey Mouse Platys
1 Swordtail
1 Blue Gourami

Hope this helps! Any info you can give me is appreciated, I'm still new at this hobby!
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g3H2O
Regular Member
Username: g3h2o

Post Number: 295
Registered: 08-2005


Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 12:16 pm:       

A lot of people, including myself, don't put much stock in carbon.

I flat out don't use it, unless I had to medicate something, and then I put carbon in the filter for a few days coupled with water changes to remove the residual meds.

Granted, it does seem to remove the tanic acid leeched out by driftwood or peat moss, and does help with water clarity, but there are other ways of doing that too. I prefer water changes, and my fish don't seem to mind :-)

If your filter has an established bacteria colony in it, I don't see a need for the ammonia chips either. The bacteria would break the ammonia down to nitrites, and a 2nd set of bacteria breaks those nitrites down to nitrates (which you remove via water changes or with live plant in addition to the weekly water change).

That sponge you are rinsing out monthly is where your bacteria colony would probably be, so when you rinse it off, either rinse it off briefly in a bucket of tank water or dechlorinated water just to remove silt. You don't want to ring it out or give it a good cleaning (or rinse it with tap water which usually has chlorine in it)because you can destroy the bacteria in it.

With all that said, I would not remove all of the ammonia chips at once. You'd want that as a safety net while transitioning to the biological filtration (bacteria in the sponge) setup.

***Hold off on changing anything about your system though, wait for more folks to chime in, ESPECIALLY the ones with canister filters (I know Shari and a lot of the others use them). I don't have any experience with that type of filter.***

Personally I only have used the hang on back (HOB) filters that use a sponge and a bag of some sort of bio media. The sponge acts mainly as mechanical filtration to catch all the plant debris / food / waste debris. The bio media houses the bacteria that breaks down the fish wastes into less harmful matter.
- Mike in Arizona
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 262
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 12:36 pm:       

Hi Lori,
Welcome to Babmans.
I use a Cannister filter similar to yours.

I removed the carbon that came with it ( remember activated carbon is only good for a short time, say a month or 2) and use that tray for additional boi-media.

I leave the Ammonia chips in as I consider them more use full and longer lasting 6-12 months.

If your water is starting to smell. I recommend you try feeding less, a good gravel vacuum and maybe a 10-20% water change mid-week.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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John D
Regular Member
Username: john_d

Post Number: 429
Registered: 02-2005


Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 12:43 pm:       

Hi Lori. I have the same filter as you on my 60 gallon tank. Currently, I have the following media in there:
bottom tray: fluval prefilter
next tray up: fluval carbon
next up: half bio max, half other bio media (i took it from my 29 to seed this filter)
top tray: bio max

I only have the carbon in there because the tank was brand new and I wanted to get all the gunk out of there. I don't plan to use the carbon all the time. For a more permanent configuration I'm planning on using some polyesther batting in the bottom basket, prefilter rings in the next one up, and then using the top 2 baskets for the bio max (since the bio max needs to be changed every 3 or so months I'm thinking having 2 full trays of it will enable me to change a little at a time without harming my bacteria colony).
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larry
Regular Member
Username: gomezaddams

Post Number: 878
Registered: 05-2005


Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 03:29 pm:       

I dont use the carbon either I put ceramic rings in the media chamber.
Waiting will fill
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Lori M
Junior Member
Username: bubby

Post Number: 13
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 04:32 pm:       

OK, I will check at the store and see what options I have. I know I can't change it all out at once, gradual change, right? What should I remove first? Any suggestions at to what I should have running in there? Do you know where I can find a website maybe that describes the different media for the Fluval filters? I can't seem to find one.

Thanks for the help!
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 477
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 09:36 pm:       

Use the little ceramic cylinders for biomedia in replacement of activated carbon. I use the ones from hydor. Porous or rough surface is what you want. The hydor look just like coral. Rinse the bag or tray out every 30 days or so in tank water from a water change.

Remove the carbon first.

I would just use this for information about fluvals http://www.hagen.com/usa/search.cfm?searchstring=fluval&CAT=

I would buy media here with a purchase of a heater or spare filter. www.bigalsonline.com
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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