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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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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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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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MbunaJoe said:
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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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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I run a FX6. I use course, medium then fine foam and a fine filter floss (always course to fine). I do not use any chemical filtration but do use Biohome Ultimate for my biological in the rest of the trays. It's a bit pricey but well worth it. Seems to be working fine. I have only opened it up once in the last 6 months and it could have went longer. I don't use the Fluval foams. I purchased the different course foams from Amazon. A simple search and you will find them. All three are sold together for about $15. You cut them to size.
 

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To all on this thread:

What changes do you notice in your tank (not inside the filter itself) when you used one media versus another?

I find the expensive medias work fine and initially that was all I had so that is what I recommended. But over the years I have tried the cheaper medias and see no difference whatsoever.
 

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Great question. That's hard to say. It would make a good experiment to run 2 of the same size tanks same filter but 2 different medias. I run multiple filters on each tank with different media in all of them. The FX 6 gets biohome the SunSun gets ceramic rings (125Gal) as well as the 306 (55gal). I honestly couldn't say without running one at a time on the 125. I probably wouldn't buy the Biohome again because of the price but is supposed to last forever. I would like to try lava rock as it is extremely pouris (definitely not spelled right) and cheap. I do have bioballs in mesh bags in all of my HOB. Not sure if they make much of a difference either. I'm going to switch them out to ceramic rings on the next filter cleanings.
 
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