3 Questions

Fisherman15

Okay so I have 3 questions I would like to run past this smart community:

1) I bought a sun sun 304b and I am wondering what media should go in it. My setup is bottom tray-coarse, medium, fine foam. Second tray is filled with pot scrubbers. Third tray is ceramic rings and bio balls (the stuff that came with it. Top tray is PolyFil. Is there anything I should add to improve the bio media (or subtract).

2) Would it be beneficial to run a sponge filter in the corner to add BB. How could I paint the pvc black to blend into the background?

3) I bought the LED light strip off of amazon (the supernight 300 light, 16 foot, RGB) would there be any live plant I could get to "spice up" or add "life" to my tank? (other than marino moss ball) I would like ones that wouldn't need to add CO2 or additives if possible.

Thanks y'all in advance.x
 

aliray

HI ,I can't help with questions one and two, Question 3, I know nothing about that light however some good low light plants that don't need anything extra are Java ferns of various kinds, My personal favorites anubias also various kinds, java moss, marino moss balls, and I have some water sprite floating on top. My lights are just the ones that came with the 10 gal start up kits, led types. Alison
 

Fisherman15

HI ,I can't help with questions one and two, Question 3, I know nothing about that light however some good low light plants that don't need anything extra are Java ferns of various kinds, My personal favorites anubias also various kinds, java moss, marino moss balls, and I have some water sprite floating on top. My lights are just the ones that came with the 10 gal start up kits, led types. Alison

How much light is considered "low light?" I haven't found any specs on the LEDs to judge watts/gallon.
 

oOBlueOo

I bet Dolfan can help. I'm pretty sure you go by par and tank depth instead of watts.
 

Bluestreakfl

Some easy plants that should do fine for you are Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, Water sprite to name a few. Water sprite has grown like a weed for me in my 10 gallon with just a cheap fluorescent tube light, no added ferts or CO2 etc. It gets its nutrients from what little waste is left by the colony of shrimp I have in the tank. You can grow it planted in the substrate (with about 1/2 of the roots above the substrate) or floating. I personally prefer it planted as I can trim it easier, and control how much coverage I get as far as not blocking too much light coming down into the water. For Java Ferns and Anubias, you can tie them or superglue them to rocks, driftwood, or decor for a neat look. Plain Superglue (cyanoacrylate) is fish/invert safe, and rapidly cures once it contacts water. I use the bottle with the brush applicator and it makes life easy, ive attached moss, anubias, and java ferns onto various pieces of driftwood. Eventually they root themselves to it, but the superglue helps hold them on until the plants can grab on well enough themselves.
 

aliray

I just consider my lights to be a very lowlight setup. Alison
 

Fisherman15

Thank you for the reply!! I like the look of Anubis or java fern and I like that I can tie them off. Would it be better to wait til I cycled fully to add plants? (I'm just about done). So you guys think they will thrive in my low light? Can anyone help with the other questions?
 

amydeb

I have that same filter. I have from bottom to top - course, med, fine pads, another fine pad and Purigen, then ceramic rings (came with filter) I removed the bioballs that came with it and used Seachem Matrix in the top tray.

Also, I know there is spray paint that can be used specifically on PVC pipe but I don't know if it would be safe for the fish. Sorry I can't help more with that.
 

aliray

You can plant anytime whether your are cycling the tank or not . I love the anubias It grows slowly byt the leaves are really pretty and I like the texture of the leaves, They are also a really nice shade of green and a very easy plant. Alison
 

Fisherman15

You can't plant anytime whether your are cycling the tank or not . I love the anubias It grows slowly byt the leaves are really pretty and I like the texture of the leaves, They are also a really nice shade of green and a very easy plant. Alison

I'm assuming you mean can?

I have that same filter. I have from bottom to top - course, med, fine pads, another fine pad and Purigen, then ceramic rings (came with filter) I removed the bioballs that came with it and used Seachem Matrix in the top tray.

Also, I know there is spray paint that can be used specifically on PVC pipe but I don't know if it would be safe for the fish. Sorry I can't help more with that.

Is matrix a good host for aerobic BB? Do you like the stuff? I've only seen good things as it hosts anaerobic BB.
 

Bluestreakfl

I run Matrix in the Canister for my 55g, one whole tray full of it. It seemed to really speed my cycle up, when I cycled the 55g, I had 2 filters running, once I added the canister with Matrix, it rapidly accelerated the cycling process. It has more surface area for bacteria than any other biological media out there, and also never needs to be replaced.
 

amydeb

^^ What Bluestreakfl said.

A 1 liter container covered one tray in the Sunsun
I also have an old HOB with cartridges running. I consider that pretty much mechanical only... though I am sure some BB stay on it. I rely on the canister for the BB.
 

Fisherman15

I run Matrix in the Canister for my 55g, one whole tray full of it. It seemed to really speed my cycle up, when I cycled the 55g, I had 2 filters running, once I added the canister with Matrix, it rapidly accelerated the cycling process. It has more surface area for bacteria than any other biological media out there, and also never needs to be replaced.

^^ What Bluestreakfl said.

A 1 liter container covered one tray in the Sunsun
I also have an old HOB with cartridges running. I consider that pretty much mechanical only... though I am sure some BB stay on it. I rely on the canister for the BB.

Would you recommend Matrix over fluval BioMax? I would want it for aerobic BB. I mean if Matrix supports a lot of it then I will get it but I've seen how porous the biomax is and it's like biohome.
 

Kwig

Just chiming in to say that they make black pvc, so if you could find some you won't have to worry about paint toxicity.
 

Bluestreakfl

I highly recommend the Matrix over Biomax. Biomax will break down over time, and eventually need replacing, whereas matrix wont. Matrix is easily 10 times more porous than Biomax, its in my opinion, and I'm sure most others will agree, the best biological media that exists. Ive also heard that it creates an ideal environment in a canister for bacteria that will even consume Nitrates.
 

amydeb

This thread just had me doing some more reading... I found that Fluval recommend replacing biomax every 6 months! (Not all at once of course) and only rinsing in tank water.
Matrix says "Matrix is completely inert and will not break down. It need not be replaced" and somewhere in their support page it answered a question that it "could" be rinsed in plain (treated) water if need be.
Interesting.
 

Littlebudda

I glued Anubis and Java fern to the outside of my pvc pipes and leave it at that you hardly notice them


 

aliray

I'm assuming you mean can?



I'm sorry, yes I did mean CAN . Someday I will learn to read again before I post. I'm glad you figured it out. Alison
 

Fisherman15

I highly recommend the Matrix over Biomax. Biomax will break down over time, and eventually need replacing, whereas matrix wont. Matrix is easily 10 times more porous than Biomax, its in my opinion, and I'm sure most others will agree, the best biological media that exists. Ive also heard that it creates an ideal environment in a canister for bacteria that will even consume Nitrates.

This thread just had me doing some more reading... I found that Fluval recommend replacing biomax every 6 months! (Not all at once of course) and only rinsing in tank water.
Matrix says "Matrix is completely inert and will not break down. It need not be replaced" and somewhere in their support page it answered a question that it "could" be rinsed in plain (treated) water if need be.
Interesting.

I went out and bought biomax for cheap yesterday before I checked back on the posts. That's my stupid move. Would it be good if I did matrix and biomax? I'd run matrix in the top tray while the biomax is in the middle trays.
 

amydeb

I went out and bought biomax for cheap yesterday before I checked back on the posts. That's my stupid move. Would it be good if I did matrix and biomax? I'd run matrix in the top tray while the biomax is in the middle trays.

That would work. I have matrix in one tray and the [not so great] generic ceramic noodles that came with it in the other. Eventually I'm going to get around to replacing them but for right now, it's working just fine. Also, since the biomax needs to be replaced, you could add Matrix as you remove the biomax.
 

Bluestreakfl

Same thing happened to me, bought biomax before reading about matrix. My Sunsun Hw505A has 4 trays, luckily I only bought enough biomax for one tray. Mine from the bottom up is 1 tray of corase pads, 1 tray of fine, 1 tray of biomax (which will be replaced gradually with matrix a little at a time as I clean it) and then lastly 1 tray of matrix topped with 1 fine pad.
 

Fisherman15

Same thing happened to me, bought biomax before reading about matrix. My Sunsun Hw505A has 4 trays, luckily I only bought enough biomax for one tray. Mine from the bottom up is 1 tray of corase pads, 1 tray of fine, 1 tray of biomax (which will be replaced gradually with matrix a little at a time as I clean it) and then lastly 1 tray of matrix topped with 1 fine pad.

I'm pretty sure that that is the route that I'm going to take! Thanks!
 

Dolfan

A few things...

first off just return the biomax. Matrix is very good bio-filtration media, and cheaper. Buy everything online, you will save a ton of money. For my SunSun HW-302, here is what I do with the 3 trays, following the path of the water...

Water enters and goes down the bottom..
Bottom tray - 2 coarse blue sponges

Middle tray - 1 white fine pad, tons of matrix with mixed up chunks of old filter media mixed in to help seed it (just left them there), 1 more fine filter pad to sandwich the matrix

Top tray - more matrix, then finished with 1 more fine filter pad to keep anything out of impellor.

This works great for me. Blue sponges never need to be replaced and I replace 1 of the white filter pads every month or 2.

I also use a sponge custom made sponge prefilter cut from a large AQ70 sponge, to fit around intake strainer. Helps to keep larger stuff out, and keep everything a bit cleaner inside the filter housing.

As for an air driven sponge filter, they are highly recommended for all setups in my opinion. It gives you a backup filtration system incase anything were to happen to your main filter, like needing a part, power outage, etc. You can get a battery air pump to run the sponge filter in case of a long power outage. They provide extra aeration as well as good supplemental filtration. No point in making one, when you can get them for around $5 already made, with black plastic and sponges to hide them well. The dual sponge filters sold on ebay for $5 work great. I run one in all of my tanks, in additional to a larger filter like a canister or HOB.

Hope this helps.
 

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