Modifying Canister Filter Media

MountainMan

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Hello everyone,

I just purchased a Fluval FX4. I watched this YouTube video: "**** My Filter #25" and it brought up some valid points. First off, it suggests putting primary settlement media in the bottom ring. I have a bunch of Marineland Bioballs, and was thinking about using those in that bottom ring. Thoughts?

Next, I was thinking of carefully "stacking" the provided media (Fluval Biomax) into the bottom tray, getting the most out of that. Is this stuff garbage, or will I be able to rely on it ?

The top tray is open to use whatever. I had some Seachem Matrix in two bags placed in there for now, but am not convinced this is the best use for the top tray. Will it be fine, or should I use something else like Biohome Ultimate?

I've provided a few pics. Any input is appreciated!
 

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Jim

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I have EheI'm so I am not familiar with the layouts of Fluvals. When the water enters my canisters from the bottom it first hits noodles which break up detritus into smaller pieces. The noodles also serve as bacterial media. Then as the water flows upward it runs through a course sponge taking out the larger dirt. The next step is the bacterial media. I happen to use a mix of EheI'm and Matrix. The final filter is a fine pad and some filter floss. Then....back into the tank. Hope that helps a bit.
 
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MountainMan

MountainMan

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Hey Jim,

I imagine the logistics in most canister filters are similar. I left out the foam part of the filtration system, but will be using that. My main concern was with regards to the biological filtration. My guess is using the plastic Bioballs in the bottom ring (normally empty space) of my canister will be just fine, and it sounds like you are confirming that.

Have you had any issues with Matrix? It looked great when I first bought it, being very porous, but now looks like regular gravel (even after boiling it and scrubbing it), so I have doubts about it.
 

Cichlidude

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You watched Pondguru's video about that filter. Pretty good. Using the plastic bio balls on the bottom are the only thing those are good for. As far as Matrix goes it's probably the best media you can use.

I don't remember anything on the bottle of Matrix that says to boil it, but I don't think you harmed anything since it is new.

Matrix is extremely porous so the majority of its surface area is internal. The pores allow water to penetrate throughout the media but restrict its flow. Aerobic bacteria colonize near the surface where oxygen is plentiful, but use up the oxygen leaving the interior anaerobic and allowing denitrifying bacteria to thrive.

Each liter of Matrix provides as much area as 170 liters of plastic bio balls. Plastic bio-materials (balls, pot scrubbies, K1 media) should not be used in static filters. They provide very little external surface area for nitrification and only work in large external moving bed media filters or wet/dry external filters.
 
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MountainMan

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The Matrix was pulled from an old sump wet/dry filter and was pretty dirty, so I rinsed/boiled/scrubbed it before rebagging it for my canister tray. It was very porous when I first bought it, but it doesn't seem to be the case now, since it has been previously used. I'm sure it will work, but was curious if the majority here recommend something else.
 

Cichlidude

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MountainMan said:
The Matrix was pulled from an old sump wet/dry filter and was pretty dirty, so I rinsed/boiled/scrubbed it before rebagging it for my canister tray. It was very porous when I first bought it, but it doesn't seem to be the case now, since it has been previously used. I'm sure it will work, but was curious if the majority here recommend something else.
Your Matrix is just fine.
 

Islandvic

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If it were mine, I would add some layers of fine mechanical filtration in the top basket
 
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MountainMan

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Yes. Coarse, medium, and fine mechanical/foam filtration will be used. It only came with mostly coarse and very little fine, so I will modify that to be better balanced as well. There are carbon pads in there as well.

I was mostly asking about the use of Bioballs in that empty space/bottom ring of the canister, and if using Matrix in the top tray is all that it is cracked up to be. I guess we'll see soon enough!
 

Islandvic

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I think the placement of bio-balls will be an excellent use of that space.

It will definitely catch a lot of the larger muck, before the water starts to enter the layers of foams.
 

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