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Just began to experience the joy's of a canister filter w/ a fluval 405. I got it on sale @ a Petland for 120$. The thing runs super quiet and filters great w/ enough water movement for my 65g. I am running the foam and some Seachem Matrix bio media right now. I'm wondering if that's enough filter media or should I just keep it simple to avoid clogging, etc.? I had thought about a Purigen Pouch just for organincs and nitrates.
How often should the filter be cleaned? How quickly can the nitrifying bacteria die off when shutting it down for maintenance? I know I should probably work quicly with it but just how quick? Thanks.
 

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Hello and welcome to the world of cannisters! You will never go back... of that I am sure. I have a Fluval 404 that I bought 7-8 years back but kept it in the box brand new until I setup my dream tank. Which I finally did three weeks ago. The 404 is a pretty good filter but a bit noisy - then again I'm spoiled - it's my only NON EHEIM. But that sucker sure does have some throughput.

As far as media goes I pretty much only use biological filtration mostly ceramic noodles. Sometimes during cleaning I'll add a filter pad but maybe only once every year or so. It has been my experience with heavily planted aquaria that the plants do most of the filtering in the tank. They seem to filter on a biologcal level not attainable with a filter of any kind.

As far as cleaning your filters you will have to wait and see how soon your flow starts to slow down. Like I said I only clean once (at the most twice) a year. I do clean my hoses every three to six months but the media only gets changed/cleaned when absolutley necessary.

I've also notice that when using a prefilter (AKA Aquaclear sponge) you will not have to clean as often - but - I run the prefilter for about 3 months then take it off for about three months and the filters seem to recharge/clean themselves. I know this sounds strange but it works for me. It's almost as if the added biological input after the prefilter is removed feeds the bacteria which goes into overdrive and eats all the gunk inside. Of course I have no scientific proof of this. It is just what I have experienced in over forty years in keeping freshwater aquaria.
 

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As the proud owner of a 304 I'll add my $.02. I'm a lot like Ed in that I have 2 of the 3 chambers full of ceramic noodles with a sachet of purigen on top of the noodles in the top compartment. In the bottom I have floss.

I clean mine every month or so, mainly just to change out the floss and rinse off the noodles and sponges. I run a prefilter also which is rinsed weekly when I do water changes.
 

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I have two 304s, and I use filter floss, the standard foam blocks and the bio-rings. I wouldn't use the bio rings, but they came with it and I have nothing better to use them for. I clean mine once every two or three months. There is a small dropoff in output depending on how long you go without cleaning it, but it should be ok to leave it for a month or two.

Narhay
 
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