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Re: filtration questions

> I just got my Fluval 304 canister filter, and it would seem the 
instructions don't 
> answer all the questions I have.

I'll try to help.

>  If the intake is at the back of the tank, and the gravel slopes to the 
>  does the intake still do a good job?  

Mine works fine arranged like that.  Water circulation is sufficient to 
slowly pick up debris from the gravel as the substrate is manipulaed by the 
fish, particularly Corys.  It eventually winds up at the intake.

> Do you want to try to slope your gravel towards the intake?

You could if you wanted to, but I think that's unnecessary.  Also, sloping 
gravel forward helps a lot when you want to vacuum the gravel.  

>  Do most folks put their intake/outflow thingy in the center of the tank, 
>  in a corner?

Mine is in the center.  I wish Fluval made their intake and outlet spray bar 
as separate units.  On Eheim filters, I position the intake in one corner, 
and the spray bar clear across the tank so that I get complete tank 
circulation.  With Fluval's design you are more restricted.  

>  How do you arrange your filter baskets, with what inside?  I noticed it 
>  carbon pulled fertilizers out of the water, but it sure came with lots of 
>  carbon!  So do I use it?

Frankly, I don't like Fluval's media arrangement.  So, I arrange it similar 
or identical to Eheim.  I put the ceramic prefilter in the bottom, and 
overlay that with Ehfifix (which I purchase separately).  The middle basket 
is filled with Ehfisubstrat.  The top basket is either more Ehfisubstrat or 
perhaps BioMax, and that is overlaid with polyester fiber batting, putchased 
at the fabric store as pillow stuffing.  Water so filtered rivals water 
filtered with an Eheim.  By the way, I do not run carbon.  

>  Do I just rubberband the airstone from my DIY CO2 right on to the intake?  
>  How should I rig it?

You don't need an airstone.  Just trim the end of the CO2 tubing so that it 
is cut with an angle toward the filter intake.  I used to use rubber bands, 
but found that they broke from time to time and fish would try to ingest 
them.  Now I use black plastic ties, which accumulate from bread wrappers and 
just about every product packed in plastic bags.  If you save them, over time 
you'll accumulate a drawer full of them.  

>  What else do I need to know to get the best use out of my new canister 
> filter?

Not much.  Just clean it every 2-3 months, and pay special attention to 
cleaning out the impeller magnet well and impeller magnet.  It will give you 
decades of good service.

> Is there such a thing as too much filtration?  I got the 304 for my 38 
> gallon tank.  There really can't be too much filtration, but there can be 
too much water flow.  A rapid water flow can shred plants and tire fish.  
Don't try to convert your tank into a Cuisinart.  Your fish should never be 
swimming for their lives all the time.  A gentle water flow is all that's 
needed.  A 304 on a 38g is much more than enough filtration.