08-23-2007, 05:25 PM
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In my many years of being an aquarium junkie, I have experimented with many, many filtration configurations and combinations. Everything from trying to use a "bank" of filters(each element providing a different type of filtraion, much like reverse osmosis) to reverse flow filtration to driving the filters with air and/or pumps. I did an experiment once using an undergravel filter and a canister using the reverse filtration theory. It does work. Running the canister in a "standard" configuration provides no benefit to the system other than providing additional area for bacteria growth. By runnig the canister in a reverse configuration, you not only increase the "bio-bed" area, compaction of the substrate is reduced and you provide filtered areated water to the bacteria the is in the gravel.
The reverse flow theory is exactly as it sounds. Instead of forcing water flow up the lift tubes, on forces the water flow down the lift tube and back up through the bacteria bed found in the substrate. This method is beneficial in that it reduces substate compaction, provides clean, aireated water flow to the bio-bed, and eliminates the need for frequent gravel sweeps from caused by uneaten food. Most of my "show" tanks use the reverse flow method. It sure does help reduce maintainance on the tanks.