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Canister Filter Media For HEAVY planted tank

12593 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Droyer
Its christmas time!

I am getting a canister filter from my girlfriend for xmas, first time im gonna have one woo!

However, she wants to know what else she should get with it in terms of media.

I have read places that i shouldnt use carbon?

Not TOOO sure,

If anyone can help me out with what to place in my media baskets ( it has 3 ) that would be fantastic.

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dont canisters come with media?

if not...I like Eheims ehfimech in the bottom...effisubstrat pro in the next two...filter floss on top of the final
that ehfimech stuff is ok, I use it and it catches a good amount of stuff.

But after that layer I like to have course media x 2, then fine media, then effisubtrat pro. The reason being is that the crap inside the aquarium will get onto the bio media if it is right after that ehfimech stuff (for it doesnt catch everything), and you want bio properties to be in the effisubstrat and not crud. Also thats how EHEIM recomends it.

There is alot of speculation on carbon, I never used it so I cant comment. But whatever your canister filter comes with should be sufficient.
efhimech 1/3 canister
course sponge
effisubstrat pro 1/3 canister
the rest filter floss then carbon pad to hold floss.

floss is a must in my opinion, and my eheim has no problem whatsoever when the floss clogs, although it does create bypass.
for a purely mechanical filtration unit, efhimech + 3 coarse sponges. use floss whenever you want to polish.

if you know it has 3 media baskets, what kind of filter are you getting, that would help :)
I use an eheim and thus what works for me might not work for you.

Another choice would be sponges, purigen/matrix, and floss for your 3 trays
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This is the canister filter i am getting, its an ebay filter but has had very good reviews.

I am getting the larger one that pumps 369 GPH instead of the one in the review, but same design.
I would use pond filter sponges cut to fit on the bottom tray, filterfloss in the 2nd tray, and a bag of purigen and seachem matrix for bio media in the 3rd
When I got my SunSun 303B, I had an Eheim 2026 and 2213 sitting around. This meant I had plenty of Eheim filter media to use. Instead, I tried using "lesser" filter media. In the bottom tray, I am running the blue pad and a white pad. In the second tray, I am running 2 white pads plus filter floss. In the third tray, I am running Dollar Store pot scourer pads as biomedia. I will be adding a bag of Purigen to this top tray.

As I said, I have a lot of Eheim filter media sitting around, but I want to see if I can tell a difference at all when using this cheaper filter media.
I had a SunSun 303 and it worked great .. for awhile. Here's some very helpful info for you that has been tested and works great.

If you are doing a planted tank, never use carbon as it will neutralize a lot of the fertilizer compounds. Medium to heavy planted tanks are more than adequate at removing ammonia and nitrates on their own.

Second, screw the filter pads for the canister, they are expensive and clog too quickly (depending on the mulm load). I highly recommend you go to the nearest fabric/sewing store and pick up a bag of poly-fill for about 6 bucks. It's 100% polyester and won't compact (much) or rot. It is easy to rinse and reuse for about 2-3 cleaning cycles each.

Bottom basket should be full of open coarse media like the coarse sponges or my favorite the Fluval Prefilter Media (stones).

the next two baskets just fill with your filter floss (stuffing), though not too tight. Make sure to press it in around the corners of the inlet tube. Trust me is works much better like this. The SunSun filters are cheap Taiwan filters and after 6 months you'll see a decrease in flow just because. They will average about 200 gph at a head height of 2'. I have been though 5 of these filters and they all do it. Take care of the o-ring seal with some Vaseline because it become loose sooner rather than later.

I also recommend not using their surface skimmer attachment. Where it is a handy item for removing debris and surface film, it can and will increase oxygen absorption which cause you to use more CO2 and when blocked will cause are to enter the canister and again cause more O2 absorption.

If you have any questions, please just message me.
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for the course sponges they are reusable. So all you have to do is give them a good rinse in a garden hose, no need to buy them. The ones I replace are the fine filter pads. I dont like that filter floss stuff, it turns all mushy and IMO doesnt flow as well.

I buy big one tim euse fine filter pads that I get about 6 uses out of the pack (cut to size). Costs me 5 bucks every 4 months.
I just ordered the HW-402B for my 29 Gallon, It should really improve my circulation as well.
Now to play the waiting game...
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