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Re: filtration questions, Fluval


First of all, a 304 on a 38 gallon is pretty aggressive IMO.  I used a 104
on a 38 I set up and there is plenty of circulation.  However I tend to
undersize my filtration on plant tanks.

I have set up several tanks with Fluval *04 filters running CO2.  I do not
use the carbon they provide.  Save it for some day you may have to clear
medications or something.  I generally slope my gravel as you do but I
wouldn't worry about sloping it toward the filter intake.  IMO if you have
that much junk floating around your tank somethings wrong (plants not
healthy, lack of maintenance, etc).  I always put the intake in one corner
and use plants to hide it, directing the output down along the back.  I have
used a spray bar which works nice because you can direct the flow downward
to minimize surface turbulance, but in some cases they are more difficult to
hide.  I have also used the _U_ shaped nozzle they provide, with a slight
modification to get it deeper in the water.  Used as-is, the nozzle they
provide is only slightly under the water surface, even when set as deep as
possible.  Using a hack saw I cut as near as possible to the bottom of the
_U_ on the nozzle side.  This allows you to insert the nozzle upsidedown,
which gets it a little deeper in the water.  Not much I admit, but it helps.
You could probably find some tubing to extend it further if needed.

As far as filter baskets, I just run the ceramic biomedia, that's it.  Of
course the sponge prefilters are in there too.  You could add some of that
Polyfill in one basket for finer filtering if needed.  I sometimes do that

Now for the CO2 injection I run a piece of clear rigid tubing (available at
LFS) down the intake tube to the intake strainer.  I cut one of the _bars_
on the strainer just enough to allow the rigid tubing to enter.  I bend a 90
degree elbow at the end of the tubing (using hot water) and use plastic zip
ties to secure it to the intake tube.  Tip: It is easier to bend more elbow
than you need, then trim to fit :)  Now you just need to push your flexible
tubing onto the other end above the water line.  You could just run flexible
tubing down to the intake strainer but I find this to be a cleaner
installation, and you can easily disconnect it if needed.  BTW, an airstone
should not be necessary, just bubble it in.

Mike Grace

Catherine wrote:

Can you also use Polyfil?  (that's the fluffy stuffing)  Also, I just got my

Fluval 304 canister filter, and it would seem the instructions don't answer 
all the questions I have.
If the intake is at the back of the tank, and the gravel slopes to the
does the intake still do a good job?  Do you want to try to slope your
towards the intake?
Do most folks put their intake/outflow thingy in the center of the tank, or 
in a corner?
How do you arrange your filter baskets, with what inside?  I noticed it said

carbon pulled fertilizers out of the water, but it sure came with lots of 
carbon!  So do I use it?
Do I just rubberband the airstone from my DIY CO2 right on to the intake?  
How should I rig it?
What else do I need to know to get the best use out of my new canister
Since I am going to be taking out my UGF, what good thing can I use my 
powerhead for?  I saw plans for a filter in a one liter bottle with lava 
rocks inside it, and a powerhead on top, but I didn't quite understand the 
directions.  Maybe that?
Is there such a thing as too much filtration?  I got the 304 for my 38

Thanks ahead of time, 
Catherine, Queen Newbie