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fluval canister filter set up for planted tank
Have recently added a fluval 306 three stage canister filter to my 50 gallon planted tank. Manufactor recommends (first basket ) foam,(second basket) bio max ceramic,(third basket) polishing pad and carbon. I was thinking of disposing of the carbon for the plants sake. Does this sound right, and replace the carbon with what?
I would suggest adding another layer of foam or floss in its place. Foam is better, in my opinion, than adding more biological filtration because it's really unnecessary in a heavily planted tank. If it's not heavily planted, then go ahead and replace the carbon with more biological filter media.
Just leave it empty. I went through the same thought process for my canister and decided that even extra foam is of little use as the two layers in the fist stage will clog up and need cleaning.,The next layer doesn't really get used anyway. Having an empty stage is not an issue to worry about. Chances are that even the bio stages are mostly a waste as there is so much more surface area for the bacteria to adhere to in the substrate that the little bit in the bio media is a pittance in contrast
Essentially, in a planted tank, the canister provides only mechanical filtration.... period. Even this is really just to keep the water clear for our viewing pleasure and, to some degree, provide for water movement so the plants can do their work. I suppose if you use a spray bar or stir the surface up it allows that to occur as well.... but even this may be counter productive to the plants due to the off gassing of CO2.
I would personally do foam, floss, then bio.
The beauty of canister filters is that it allows for everyone to adjust their tanks to personal preferences. :]
I forgot that mine has a finer filter layer on top of the ceramics so it amounts to the same thing without having had to add it separately.
I'm probably going to take out the ceramics and the plastic "bio-balls" next cleaning as all they do is make little rattly noises as the water passes through them anyway.
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