How To Best Utilize 5 Media Trays

Morpheus1967

So setting up a 75 gallon. It will be filtered by (2) Penn Plax Cascade 1500 canister filters. So these each have (5) filter media trays. It filters from the bottom up. I think I have (4) of the trays figured out, but unsure what to do with the last tray. I would appreciated any ideas you might have, and would love feedback on what I propose below. I have never had a filter with this many trays before lol.

Tray 1
Fluval Pre-Filter Rings
Coarse Sponge
Filter Floss

Tray 2
Fluval Bio Rings

Tray 3
Seachem Matrix

Tray 4
Unknown??

Tray 4
Seachem Purigen
 

kallililly1973

Tray 4 you could always add more filter floss to pick up extra particles that get by the first 3 trays... just a suggestion
 

grump299

More matrix or lava rock is always the way to go if you have unused space in your filter
 

Islandvic

Welcome to the forum Morpheus1967 .

What type of stocking do you have planned for the 75?

Having 2 of those canisters will be a lot of filtration!

Just so we're on the same page, referring to Tray 1 is the bottom tray, and tray 5 would be the top.

Water flows from the bottom to the top the out to your tank.

The order of media show be as follows as the water first enters then exits the stack of trays.

Mechanical: coarse - medium - fine

Biological - can be pumice stone, ceramic or sintered glass bio-rings, more layers of sponge (dont under estimate the amount of bacteria colonization that occurs in foam sponges), etc etc

Chemical last (optional)

You have 2 options in my opinion for the general set up of the 2 canisters.

Method 1: fill them both identically

Method 2: each canister is set up different

Canister #1 set up for primarily mechanical and chemical filtration (biological will be secondary though the colonization in the multiple layers of sponge)

Canister #2 set up with mainly tradional biological media (pumice stones, ceramic or sintered glass media, etc)


You can set the canisters up anyway you want, but it is good that you're performing some due diligence before hand.

Here are some suggestions, in my opinion, that you may want to look into.

It looks like you are covering the bases of the 3 primary types of mechanical filtration with the Fluval Pre-Filter Rings, coarse sponge and fine floss.

Dont underestimate the potential of the volume of muck you will be trapping.

You may want to dedicate bottom 2 trays at a minimum for this job.

Also, consider looking into a 1" layer of 10ppI foam instead of the Pre-Filter rings. I think those have their place more suited when you have canisters (like sunsun's and eheim classics for example) where there is a void space above the bottom of the canister body and below the 1st tray.

Many times there can be a 1" - 3" gap space where water enters the bottom chamber and starts to rise up through the trays. In canisters like this, those Pre-Filter Rings are an excellent choice to trap some of the large muck that swirls around before flowing up through the trays.

Placed inside the bottom tray though, I think a layer of foam sponge will do a better job, but that is not to say it will not do its job. Just throwing out that point of view to you.

As for the layers of foam sponge, I am not sure if Penn Plax gives you a tall enough piece to fill the bottom tray or just half way leaving room for the fine floss pad. I am not a betting man, but I would wager they only include a foam pad tha only fills half the tray. This is from a business perspective to keep manufactured cost per unit down.

I would suggest looking into filling the entire bottom tray with coarse/medium foam of 20ppi. This is about the same ppI of what a foam sponge block included with Aquaclear HOB's consists of.

20ppI foam will provide good flow and not restrict, while catching a ton of muck.

The 2nd tray you may consider filling half with layers of 30ppI foam pad and the other half with your fine floss. I like using layers of Polyfil (loose fill or batting) and/or the bulk roll filter pads on Amazon.

View media item 246706
View media item 246421
Dedicating at least the 2 bottom trays will help somewhat extending the time interval between servicing the canisters because you have more media catching all the muck.

Amazon has bulk mats of 20ppI and 30ppI foam sponge. I believe the brand "Aquaneat" has them, but I can't comment about that brand since I've never used it.

API sells refill replacement packs of 20ppI and 30ppI foam sponge pads for their Filstar XP lone of canisters. I think those are 6.5x6.5x0.75 in size. Those may work if trimmed to fit your trays.

If I had 2 Penn Plax 1500's, I would fill the baskets with foam sponge with Poret foam from swisstropicals.com.

They import it from Germany. It is available in different thicknesses and sheet sizes. Poret is top of the line foam sponge material.

I mention Poret, because if they were my 2 canisters w/ 10 trays to fill, I would consider filling the majority of the trays with their foam. They have a tremendous ability to colonize bacteria and act as mechanical filtration.

The majority of fish breeders (hobbyist and professionals) and those with large fish rooms w/ multiple tanks primarily rely on sponge filtration because it works so well.

Also, if you don't mind having a pre-filter sponge in the intake tube down in the tank, look into attaching an ATI Hydro Max III or ATI Pond pre-filter to the intake tubes. Jehmco.com had an excellent selection with great prices on ATI products. Using the pre-filter will eliminate the need to put your coarse sponge on the bottom trays, so you can start with 30ppI foams and filter floss in your 1st tray.

Here is a pic of my ATI Hydro Max III prefilter.

View media item 245556
View media item 245557
If you want dedicated biological media, consider bulk pumice stones used for aquaculture. You can buy online 20lb bag (11 liters of volume) for $17-$19 depending on the size of stones . It is the mined from the Hess quarry in Idaho.

Seachem Matrix is pumice stone that has been graded and sifted by size and uniformity. It probably comes from the same mine.

How much Purigen are you trying to use. The top tray from one canister should fit all the Purigen you need!
 

Cichlidude

Trays 2,3,4,5 all Matrix.
 

Morpheus1967

Wow Islandvic ! Now that is an answer!

It is a lot of filtration, but I like to turn the tank capacity over about 10x per hour. I think it goes back to my cichlid keeping days lol. Plus redundancy against filter failure.

Not sure on stocking yet. It will be a community tank for sure, but we are doing a fishless cycle, so we have time to explore our options there.

My filters are arriving today, but from what I have seen on youtube, there is definitely the gap between the bottom tray and the bottom of the canister. So I could definitely put the prefilter rings in there. So, that being said, does this sound ok?

Gap
Pre-filter rings

Tray 1
Coarse Sponge (Comes with the filter)

Tray 2
Medium Sponge (20ppi?)
Filter floss (Comes with the filter)

Tray 3
Fluval Bio Rings

Tray 4
Seachem Matrix

Tray 5
Seachem Purigen

Trays 2,3,4,5 all Matrix.

I ordered the 1 liter (67.4 ounce) size from Amazon. Anyone know approximately how many filter bags that would fill?
 

Cichlidude

I ordered the 1 liter (67.4 ounce) size from Amazon. Anyone know approximately how many filter bags that would fill?
Not sure but 2.5 liters fills only 1 tray on my Sunsun 303 canister.
 

Islandvic

I keep media loose in my baskets. No bags.

I would wager that 1-liter of Matrix would fill no more that 1-tray. It may not even fill it up.

If you want to buy bulk 4-liter Matrix or the larger Pond Matrix, try looking at kensfish.com. I think he sells them for $26 or $27.

A lot of the stuff on his site beats Amazon pricing. He has a great selection of fish food and even his own private label in-house brand of fish food. Good stuff, I used it before and will order again.

If you are wanting to fill up more trays with Matrix, you may want to look into that link I provided about the bulk aquaponics pumice stones, which are basically the same to Matrix. Going that route nets you $1.75 per liter when you order the 20lb bag.
 

Morpheus1967

Thanks everyone. So I went with:

Tray 1
Coarse filter
Filter floss

Tray 2
Fluval Bio Rings

Tray 3
Seachem Matrix

Tray 4
Seachem Matrix

Tray 5
Filter floss
Seachem Purigen

Got everything up and running yesterday and dosed with Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride to 2ppm. Now the waiting begins!! I may have to adjust my spray bars, as I think I may have too much surface agitation. I will try and post a video later tonight to see what you guys and gals think.
 

Morpheus1967

Ok, here is a link to a video on the flow of the Cascade 1500's I have on my tank. I tried to show that the plants are moving a little from the flow, but not a ton. So.

1. Is this current too strong?
2. I could move the spraybars from the back of the tank to the ends. Would this be a good idea?
3. I have an email in to Penn Plax to inquire about turning the output valve down if this looks like too much current.


Ok well after researching most of the evening last night I have decided to first enlarge the holes in the spray bars, and if that doesn't do the trick I will add more holes. Should be able to get this to a more manageable flow.
 

leftswerve

Floss will get spent quickly.
Not sure what the last #5 tray looks like in relation to the output, but be aware if anything in tray 5 will block or get sent down the output.
 

Cichlidude

Floss will get spent quickly.
Not sure what the last #5 tray looks like in relation to the output, but be aware if anything in tray 5 will block or get sent down the output.
Agree. Plus he will be taking apart the canisters every 2 weeks to change the Purigen.
 

Morpheus1967

Floss will get spent quickly.
Not sure what the last #5 tray looks like in relation to the output, but be aware if anything in tray 5 will block or get sent down the output.

There is a mesh tray that covers tray 5. So that shouldn't be an issue. But thanks for the heads up.
 

Islandvic

The spray bar on my 75 gallon is on the right side and pointing towards the left, instead of on the back wall facing forward.

My intake is on the back left corner.

Maybe positioning like this may help.

I also drilled out the holes to reduce the pressure coming out, and it slowed down the current.
 

Morpheus1967

I enlarged the holes and doubled them. Worked like a charm. Thanks for the tips!
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
40
Views
9K
goldfishbeginner
Replies
2
Views
828
Letsfish
Replies
5
Views
7K
SammieTheLabradoodle
Replies
15
Views
10K
Ohiotank
Replies
16
Views
1K
Wraithen

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium Filter Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom