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To stack or just pile canister filter bio media


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  • Regular Member

When I first got my Fluval 405, I simply poured the bio media into the trays. Then, during one filter cleaning, I thought I'd do a test to see if the trays held more media (these are ceramic cylinders with a hole through the center) if it was stacked neatly in rows. Sure enough, I could get quite a bit more in each tray. So I purchased more media, and filled the trays in neatly stacked rows.

Well, after 2 years running the filter like this, I was doing a cleaning this past week and noticed that when I poured tank water through the trays I was getting a ton of green debris. So much so, that I held the trays up to look at the bottoms and see if all the grill surface was plugged.......and pretty much, it was! Geez, talk about a restriction to flow!

Needless to say, I dumped out all the trays, poured tank water through the media to get all the cylinders free of being clogged with crud, and same with the grill areas. Then I just poured the media back in and left it loose and jumbled.

Can't really tell by looking at the spray bar output, but I'm hoping it's flow is improved.

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  • Regular Member

No, never. Just poured tank water over them to rinse off all the loose "stuff."

Typically cleaning for the filter is just dumping the water and rinsing the inside of the bucket, and taking the impeller out and cleaning it, the inside of the motor housing, and the underside of the impeller housing cover. I also take the sponge filters out and blast them completely clean with the garden hose spray nozzle. Depending on condition, I'll rod out the inside of the spray bar, and maybe twice a year take the houses out and blast through them with the garden hose and it's spray nozzle.

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  • Regular Member

When I clean the media baskets of my canister that have ceramic rings I"ll usually give them a good shake (inside a bucket of tank water) and since they're just piled in there, that does the trick. But I guess because yours were piled so tightly the debris couldn't come loose.

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  • Regular Member

Yep, I guess because they were sitting right on top of each other, and although not perfectly lined up, they were still end-to-end, it was making it easier for all that green gook to pack in, both blocking flow, and making it difficult to rinse out.

What can I say, I'm a student of life! Hope that the day I stop learning is the day after I take a dirt nap.

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