So in my recent purchase of a huge lot of aquariums and supplies, I got a used Fluval 204 canister filter. The guy who sold it to me (a friend's dad) gave me a huge plastic jug of activated carbon for the filter, but I don't plan on using it. He informed me that I would be "out of my mind" to not use the carbon and that there's no way my fish would survive without it. I wanted to point out that he was selling all of his equipment because his fish breeding operation failed due to all of his fish dying and that my fish had bred in community aquaria purely by accident, but I kept my mouth shut as I was getting such a great deal.
Anyway, since I'm not using the carbon and only one of three media baskets has ceramic rings in it, I've got two free baskets. The filter also has those big sponges. The question is, should I fill both of the free baskets with filter floss, or should I go with two baskets of ceramic rings and one of filter floss?
Also, I was rinsing out some tanks in the front yard today and tried to test the Fluval. It didn't come with the manual so I didn't really know what I was doing. I filled the canister with water, put the input and output hoses in a tank full of water on the lawn, plugged it in and tried to get it running by pumping that "start" plunger. I couldn't get it to pull water all the way through the tubing and into the filter. Will I have more success trying it when the filter is below the tank?