Aquarium Setup • Brand new Fluval FX4 - Media type & layering suggestions

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Brand new Fluval FX4 - Media type & layering suggestions

Postby MbunaJoe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:26 pm

I have a brand new Fluval FX4 for my 55 gallon tank that will soon be overstocked with just juvenile sized (1.25" - 1.50") mbuna. No fish yet; tank setup phase. FX4 doesn't come with chemical filtration but I'm a proponent of it. Thinking of going with just two well rinsed Seachem Purigen 100ml bags; no carbon. Poly-Filter by Poly-Bio-Marine is a product I want to incorporate in my filter also. I'm not going to use the provided Fluval ceramic rings for my biomedia. I plan on using Seachem Matrix instead.

This is my proposed filtration order from top to bottom:
1. Coarse mechanical (provided Fluval foam inserts...for now)
2. Fine mechanical ( Poly-Filter by Poly-Bio-Marine)
3. Seachem purigen in fine mesh 100ml bags (quantity 2)
4. Last but not least my biomedia, Seachem Matrix, and I will buy enough (1 gallon) so that the bottom of the canister is full to about a 1 inch thickness.

Thanks in advance good people.
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Re: Brand new Fluval FX4 - Media type & layering suggestions

Postby DJRansome » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:58 pm

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

I would have used the manufacturer's media and not a proponent of chemical filtration, so let's hear what others think.
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75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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Re: Brand new Fluval FX4 - Media type & layering suggestions

Postby Mcdaphnia » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:45 am

I have used the Purigen and it does seem to work. It removes the yellow from water added by driftwood and almond leaves which I think is only a cosmetic plus. The tanks seem cleaner and less algae and detritus build up. But I am uncomfortable with the way it's recharged so I won't try it again. I have no problem with the media suggested by the manufacturer. I see no need to replace the foam inserts that come with the filter. But if they did need to be replaced, I would consider the same pore size of Poret® brand filter foam.
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Re: Brand new Fluval FX4 - Media type & layering suggestions

Postby ken31cay » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:14 am

MbunaJoe wrote:I have a brand new Fluval FX4 for my 55 gallon tank that will soon be overstocked with just juvenile sized (1.25" - 1.50") mbuna. No fish yet; tank setup phase. FX4 doesn't come with chemical filtration but I'm a proponent of it. Thinking of going with just two well rinsed Seachem Purigen 100ml bags; no carbon. Poly-Filter by Poly-Bio-Marine is a product I want to incorporate in my filter also. I'm not going to use the provided Fluval ceramic rings for my biomedia. I plan on using Seachem Matrix instead.

This is my proposed filtration order from top to bottom:
1. Coarse mechanical (provided Fluval foam inserts...for now)
2. Fine mechanical ( Poly-Filter by Poly-Bio-Marine)
3. Seachem purigen in fine mesh 100ml bags (quantity 2)
4. Last but not least my biomedia, Seachem Matrix, and I will buy enough (1 gallon) so that the bottom of the canister is full to about a 1 inch thickness.

Thanks in advance good people.


I used an FX6 for awhile in my 180gal, I assume the FX4 has the same foam inserts around the trays. I really like your proposed order of mechanical, chemical, and bio. IMO the mechanical & biomedia are the most important.

Though it can be expensive I'm a supporter of Purigen and firmly believe it makes a big difference in water quality. I use 1/1 bleach/water when recharging or else it doesn't fully recharge. I recharge twice then replace with new Purigen.

I wouldn't replace the FX4 foam inserts unless they were the same size & shape.

I've used the Fluval ceramic rings and Seachem Matrix and think the Seachem Matrix was better.
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Re: Brand new Fluval FX4 - Media type & layering suggestions

Postby Oscar6 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:23 pm

I run a lot of FX series filters on various tanks, have for many years. My experience tells me this.. they are a great filter for reliability and functional performance. They are big and heavy, even the downsized FX4. You want to move, open and clean these beasts as infrequently as possible. Using fine floss, having to periodically recharge Purigen is going to make servicing more frequent. The Fluval Biomax is a high quality bio media imo. I run all my FX filters as simply as possible, that being letting the wrap around fitted sponges handle mechanical, and having all trays as full as possible of Bio Max. I have yet to wear out any sponges on any FX and I have some FX5's that are over 10yrs old. Still run as well as they did on day 1. If you want to polish water, put an Aquaclear 110 hob on and fill it with filter floss. You can clean/change that in about 2 minutes, as compared to the half hour or more it takes to break down and clean a big canister. I have never used chemical filtration. Water changes and a responsible filter servicing schedule is all any tank should ever need
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