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post #591 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 06:07 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by Othello View Post
Hi there

Great thread.

I bought the SunSun on Saturday to replace a DIY filtration system I had for my 180G tank...must say its pretty silent and I have to sometimes put my hand on the filter to make sure its running at all I got the 304/B model which is supposed to churn out 1400 Liters per hour...(roughly 370GPh) priming it was a major PITA until i came across this thread and filled it up with water prior to powering it on...then it worked like a charm.

Currently my tank is pretty empty in terms of stock with one Bala Shark, two Clown Loaches and one Tiger Barb and seven red crayfish I like to call the seven dwarfs as they tend to put up quite an act...they will be moved to another tank soon as they cannot seem to coexisist with any form of plantations... I plan to stock some more but I am taking it nice and slow...don't want to over do it...most likely it will be a school of tetra neons (around 15 or 20), a couple of angels, my bala shark and a mate and of course the loaches and the barb.

anyways my question is regarding the tray stackup of the per the quoted thread, the trays should be stacked as:

Dense Filter Floss
Chemical (optional or more bio)
Bio Media
Coarse Sponge

is this from top to bottom or the other way round?

what I have right now is

Top tray: white fiber stuff similar to what came in the trays originally ( I threw that one out as I thought it smelled chemical)

Middle tray : ceramic rings from my previous filter

Bottom Tray: Carbon bags also from my previous filter...

Flow is not as I was hoping...could it be from the stackup? should I change this?

thanks in advance.
Water in the Sunsun/aquatop filters flow from the bottom to the top trays. Here is what I've done with my aquatop filter. I have the 404/b model with 4 trays.

Bottom tray was the course blue sponge material. I bought a sheet of the same stuff to stack on top of the blue pad. This way the bottom tray is completely full with fairly course open cell reticulated foam. This stuff can easily be rinsed off and reused forever.

The next tray up I bought 5 packages of plastic pot scrubbers from the dollar store. I turned them sideways and stacked them in there nice and tight. I had like 4 left over as they come in packages of 6 for a dollar. This filers out smaller sized particles in the water that make it through the porous foam in the bottom tray.

Next tray I have some ceramic bio-rings. In hindsight I think I paid too much by going this route as it took 3 boxes of 500ml of rings to fill the tray. At $13 a box that is $39 for rings. What I should have done, after learning how much surface area there is, is go out and buy a bunch of bags of wide opening coffee straws. You know the black straws used for stirring and drinking that they used in coffee or mostly at bars? You don't want the regular drinking straws as they have too wide a diameter. Nor do you want those really thin brown ones with the really tiny diameter. You want the straws with the 2mm-3mm diameter or so. My dollar store sells them for a buck a package. It takes about 5 or 6 packages of these to fill a tray. Once you buy them, you need to cut them up into half inch lengths or so. Then fill up a tray. These cut up straws have ridiculous amount of surface area to grow bacteria upon. As much or more than those ceramic bio rings I bought and at a MUCH cheaper price. From a couple of documents and reports I've read, they have more surface area than the sinstered orbs used commonly for bio media such as Ehiems substrate pro which costs ridiculous amounts of cash.

Lastly, since I'm still in the initial stages, I got a big container full of carbon and zeolite chips. I bought some pantyhose, also from the dollar store, and filled the pantyhose with the carbon zeolite chips. This is because those chips are a bit smaller than the "slots" on the bottoms of the trays and tend to work their way through those slits. Make sure you pour the carbon and zeolite chips into the panty hose while you are OUTSIDE, as they make quite a bit of dust. Also make sure after the chips are in the pantyhose that you rinse it all off to remove the remainder of the dust. Unless you have good tap water, I wouldn't use the tap water to rinse off though. Just get some good water you would put into your tank normally to rinse it off.

I did this and fill the top tray with just enough carbon and zeolite chips in panty hose to almost fill the tray. I left enough room to place some filter floss at the very top.

That's all I did. I get good flow and good filtration over all.
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