Best Filtration Setup for Fx4

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Teemingjoker

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Hello,
I have a Fx4 for a 75 gallon planted tank and right now I only have the mechanical and bio media in the filter that came with it. I've heard different things about Activated carbon vs polishing pads for a lot of other options.

My question is if I want to keep using what came with the Fx4 what else can I add to build on what I have now.
 
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richiep

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Thares no need to use carbon unless you need to clear out meds and tnnings, use polishing pads as the last pad before the biomedia then the water goes back into the tank any spare space is best used by rearranging the sponges and put more biomedia in, take a look at this video its easier than me explaining the best setup, this is for fx6 but the fx4 is setup the same with one less tray, you don't have to use the biomedia as in the video but the setup is important
 
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kattiq

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I would not use carbon in a planted tank because then any fertilizer you put in there will be taken out. I have the 307 and I put in some regular aquarium sponges and filter floss at the top. Filter floss does a great job at keeping the water pretty clear too.
 
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Teemingjoker

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kattiq said:
I would not use carbon in a planted tank because then any fertilizer you put in there will be taken out. I have the 307 and I put in some regular aquarium sponges and filter floss at the top. Filter floss does a great job at keeping the water pretty clear too.
Based on that video richiep sent would you two have any other recommendations for a cheaper biomedia? And any links to good quality filter floss? I mainly try to buy this stuff from amazon for ease of shipping.
 
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kattiq

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Of course, I usually only by off Amazon as well. I also seeded my Fluval with old SeaChem Tidal media- which was bioballs and sponge.
This is the extra stuff I use in all my tanks:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002AT7GQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081QY4P24/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I use the sponge for all types of stuff though, I cut off a chunk and put it in the intake so my fry wouldn't get sucked up as well.
 
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Teemingjoker

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kattiq said:
Of course, I usually only by off Amazon as well. I also seeded my Fluval with old SeaChem Tidal media- which was bioballs and sponge.
This is the extra stuff I use in all my tanks:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002AT7GQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081QY4P24/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I use the sponge for all types of stuff though, I cut off a chunk and put it in the intake so my fry wouldn't get sucked up as well.
So the filter fiber I assume you use on the top tray so that first thing the water hits after going through mechanical is the filter fiber.

I like the idea of the filter foam sponge in the intake but do you use that also to replace the mechanical sponges it comes with? The seachem tidal media is that what you fill your trays with and is it the https://www.amazon.com/Seachem-Labo...rds=seachem+tidal+media&qid=1600969246&sr=8-1
or the actual sponges?
 
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kattiq

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Yes, my Fluval is arranged differently than yours because it's smaller. But the top tray was originally the carbon so I took that out and put the tidal media you posted above, and some used filter floss I had in there and part of the black sponge I also posted.
 
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Islandvic

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I have an FX4 on my heavily stocked CA/SA tank.

I found the included "Bio-Max" ceramic media had a hard surface and didn't appear very porous.

I ended up breaking each piece in half, so instead of them being in the shape of a short tube they were half circles.

I placed these broken pieces at the very bottom of the canister body around the outer ring. This is where water flows into the caniater from the intake pipe and starts to flow back upward through the outer rings of foams.

The broken up pieces of Bio-Max in this area act to break up the flow of entering water and settles out a lot of the larger muck.

I don't use the red divider baskets that go into the main baskets. They take up room in my opinion.

I then bought a sheet of 20ppi and 30ppi foam from Amazon. "Aqua eat was the brand. The large 2" thick x 11"x 23" sheets are about $12-$13.

Going from the top and downward, I filled the first large inner basket with layers of 20ppi foam.

The bottom basket has the included black colored Fluval "Bio-Foam" then a layer of 30ppi foam cut in a circle.

Below that is my layer of 30ppi foam from Aquaneat.

In the past when I only had community fish in the tank, I would use the Polyfil batting in my FX4 and I didn't have any issues with clogging.
CA/SA cichlids on the other hand are too messy and I don't use full layers Polyfil or filter floss in the baskets.

I do cut 2" wide strips of a single layer of batting to wrap around the circumference of the foam pads to act as a sort of gasket to reduce bypass. Cutting the foams by hand doesn't get you a perfectly fitting circle, so wrapping the foam pad around the outside will fill in any gaps.

I've found that the 30ppi layer of foam catches a TON of muck. It's ridiculous how much nasty stuff keeps coming out of it when I clean it, and even the BioFoam and 20ppi foams as well.

All of these layers of foams will provide tons of both mechanical amd biological filtration. Don't underestimate all the usuable inner surface area of foam sponges.

The FX canisters have another spot to put media, though it's not advertised.

Directly in the center at the bottom of the canister body is a large void space the bottom basket sits on top of. This is where the pump sucks in water to flow back out of the filter.

I used a replacement foam blcok from an Aquaclear 70 and cut it to form a "dam" in front of the pump assembly's intake orifice.

Behind it i place already cycled Pond Matrix. I've set it up like this from the beginning and never had any of the Matrix pumice stones get sucked into the pump.

The bottom basket presses down on the sponge block "dam" and keeps it in place just fine.

I don't place any chemical filtration in my FX because stuff like Purigen and Charcoal is exhausted in less than a month, but i only service my canisters every couple of months or if I noticed diminished output.

What helps me extend the time between cleanings is using an ATI Filter Max III coarse foam pre-filter attachment in lieu of the stock strainer.

The slip-on style pre-filters that Cory w/ Aquarium Co-Op sells work well also.

Mine catches all the large muck and I pull it off to clean every week or two. It doesn't effect flow from the FX either.

Using a pre-filter on a planted tank might be a good idea.
 
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HitzBlack

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Islandvic, do you find that the flow is reduced now that you made the changes? I did most of the changes proposed in the video (only put the new sponges in the top ring) and the flow is reduced. Seems to be more waste on the bottom substrate now. May go back and remove some of the media I placed in the bottom channel
 
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Islandvic

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Not really.

I did find that when I was trying to run layers of Polyfil batting in it with the Cichlids, after awhile I did see a large reduction of flow after it was getting restricted from all the muck it had collected.

When it had the Polyfil batting when the tsnk was stocked with community fish, I never had that problem.

I haven't ran any Polyfil or filter floss pads in it since then, so I haven't seen a large reduction of flow anymore.

I do have an Aquaclear 110 and 70 on the tank as well, so they also do a good job keeping circulation in the tank. Maybe I'm not noticing if there is a reduction of flow on the FX4.....
 
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