03-19-2010, 03:35 PM
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I have a 305, and I currently have (from bottom to top) the pre-filter media (kinda hex-shaped ceramic tubes), ZeoCarb (mix of Ammonia Remover and Carbon, and which was only there to address a problem I was having with my tank), and then the BioMax (round ceramic tubes) topped with the water polishing pads. But, I'll probably remove the ZeoCarb and replace with an added layer of BioMax, and maybe move the polishing pads down to give the BioMax the cleanest water possible.
If there are no plants, the carbon would be fine for starting the tank off (it'll help 'polish' the water), but will remove nutrients that plants would use. Put the carbon at the bottom and the BioMax at the top. I don't know exactly what the 'crushed' stuff you have is - where did you get it? It could be crushed coral, in which case you'll probably want to leave it out because it could raise your pH pretty high. If it came w/ the filter, I think it's Ammonia Remover, in which case, as long as you have plants and don't overstock, you won't need it with scheduled water changes, but may also keep your ammonia from spiking during cycling, so it's your call. After the tank is cycled (1-2mo), you can remove and shouldn't need to replace the carbon or ammonia (again, especially if you have plants).