100% going to start dry.
I appreciate it. I am "well geared" because I have been reading and researching. But I have been stuck for months reading because when I try and do certain things, I just do not "get it". For instance, I own an Eheim 2217 but it take me 20 times to prime it because I have no clue what I am supposed to do or why it worked. Its frustrating practicing with buckets in the bathtub. I have yet to try priming it with the reactor (oh boy). MY fear is I wont set this up correctly and the 5 floors below me will know I have no clue when 40 gallons come rushing through the ceiling.
I truly am at the point where I need some other help. Not reading the boards, but buying someone dinner a few times at my place and have them walk me through the basics!
1. fill the filter to the top before bringing it to the aquarium.
2. place the input and output tubes into the filled aquarium.
3. start a syphon from the input hose then close the quick release valve and attach it to the filter (now gravity is just waiting for the valve to open to start the syphon into the filter)
4. start a syphon from output hose and close the quick release valve and attach it to the filter.
5. turn the filter on and open input valve then output valve.
since you've already got the syphon started and the filter pre filled there's little room for an air pocket to heel the syphon at start up. works for me everytime. just have the hoses filled with water before turning on the filter. if you don't have the quick releases just go get them, life is that much easier with'em. GL
actually another reason for this style, if you buy some extra quick release connectors and some hose you can attach a connector to the new hose and use the filter to do water changes. i have a giant tupperware container next to my tank, the day before my water change i fill it with 15gallons of water, let it sit for 24hrs to evap. chorine (better then adding chemicals IMO) and the next day i switch the input hose from the tank to the hose in the tupperware and the filter's suction is diverted to the tupperware filled with fresh water.