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[APD] Filter versus Pump

My Fluval 304 filter stopped sometime last night.  I was able to get it
started again, but it set me to thinking that maybe I ought to get a
backup...or maybe a replacement.

I used to think I had to have the filter for the bacteria.  But, then I read
on the APD that every surface in the tank is a biological filter.  So, over
time, I've gradually removed all the elements that make it a filter, i.e.
the little ceramic tubes, the various baskets for media, and even the four
sponge filters.  The only mechanical filtration now is a little sponge sock
over the outgoing water strainer in the tank.

So what I have left is really just a pump.  It pushes water through the
heater module and the CO2 mixing jar, and provides circulation for the water
in the tank.  (You can see a picture of the setup at
http://www.fitchfamily.com/Equipment.jpg  Just ignore the kitchen disposal,
etc.)  Otherwise, it's just a collector of brown, stringy stuff that settles
in the bottom.  Scott Hieber said he thought that was just sloughed off

Now I'm wondering why I couldn't replace the cannister with a simple pump or
powerhead.  The Fluval is rated at 260 g.p.h., and I find pumps that provide
more flow than that at a quarter the price of a new Fluval.

Would this be a practical or advisable solution?  If so, would someone
please recommend a reliable and *quiet* pump.  Thanks in advance.

John T. Fitch

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