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I recently picked up a used 110 gallon tank that came with two used Emperor 400. I have no experience with these and have questions. I've searched for the manual or instructions but not having much luck. I've read some older posts as well.

Since these were used I wanted to clean them and ensure that everything is working properly and all the filters and media basket being used correctly. Also note that one is the old version with the grey lever and one is the new with no gray lever (I noticed and learned last night).

I've purchased a box of new filters cartridges - a box came with four blue filters with rocks inside of the cartridge. I plan on replacing the old dirty ones.

The new emperor came with 2 gray baskets. The old one did not have these baskets so I've purchase two for the old one. I saw read that these baskets can either be used as mechanical filter (floss) or chemical filter (carbons). What is popular use for these? I assumed carbon and purchased the API Ammo-Carb. Let me tell you, filling these cartridges, closing, and rinsing was a disaster. I must have put too much and the basket didn't close properly... it was just a mess. Little particles of debris keep falling out of the basket. Did I do this all wrong? I ended up doing carbon and floss (floss helped keep the carbon debris in the basket).

Insert Stages
Now, the stages of the inserts starting from the front of the Emperor 400. I have two bio wheels that I've kept wet to maintain the health of bacteria. Is the next slot/stage 2 for the carbon basket? I was confused because the previous user had the blue filter cartridge in there, but I think it should be in the rear slot/first stage. Please clarify.

Maintenance
Obviously the bio-wheels should not be replaced as it carries the bio-bacteria.
The blue filters should be replaced or simply washed how often?
The basket with carbon should be replaced or simply washed how often?

Tips
I would gladly absorb any tips, suggestions or added information on these Emperor 400

Thanks all
 

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Is the next slot/stage 2 for the carbon basket? I was confused because the previous user had the blue filter cartridge in there, but I think it should be in the rear slot/first stage. Please clarify.
I'd dump the carbon and not readd that, you don't need carbon. If possible, just use a second blue filter pad or similar. Your biowheels will do bio and the fliter pads will do mechanical. That's all you need. Keep it simple.

Rinse the filter pads as needed, maybe once per week but depends on fish load, feeding, etc. Only replace them when they start to degrade. They should last for months. If you rinse them gently in tank water, they'll also do bio, but I wouldn't worry about that. I prefer to rinse mechanical media aggressively if I know I have more than adequate bio going on elsehwhere.

And, yes, leave the biowheel alone.

If you use the second cartridge for chemical filtration (carbon), then the filter pad should go in front of it, meaning water flow should hit the filter pad first. The order in any filter is typically mechanical, chemical, and biofiltration, but I suppose bio and chemical could be reversed ok if the design of the filter allowed for that.

This would apply generally to all filters, regardless of make/model.

HTH
 

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I have no experience with emperors but as for what to put in the baskets, how about pot scrubbers or foam blocks? That gives you pretty good mechanical filtration and a great place for bacteria to grow.
 

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Sounds like a deal but we may be able to help make it a bit more simple as well as cheaper. Right now as you are getting the tank going your main concern is the bacteria. Got that in mind? Sounds okay. When I have the media you have, I put the blue pad in the slot farther away fron the tank. It catches larger stuff. The item in the blue pad is carbon. After the tank is set and running well so that it is not so "fragile", is a good time to start changing things. Most agree that carbon is not needed most of the time. We use some alternate pads without carbon.
This is the type pad many use.
http://www.petsolutions.com/storefr...e-bonded-filter-pad/prodmagnumfilterpads.html
We just clamp it in/on the container. Whether we use other media in the container varies. I don't use anything inside. Works well and the wheels do a good job with good bacteria. We find the carbon stops up and doesn't help much after a week or so and we don't need it.
 

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I have 3 Emperors, and in one of them, I use coarse scrubbing pads cut to size for both the grey inserts. In the other 2 filters, I use the floss. When I do a water change, I just rinse them in a bucket of tank water. Since i been using them, the water is noticibly clearer.
 

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Oh my mistake. I added crushed coral to to the grey inserts of one of my filters. I have floss in one, scrubbing pads in another, and the coral, to help buffer pH.
 

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I have an Emperor 400 on my tank and i have those coarse scrubby pads as well that you can get from the dollar store. Just give them a quick rinse before you put them in your filter. After your blue insert wears out, which should take a very long time i would probaby just get pot scubbies as those will give you awesome bio filtration, also they are cheap. I rinse mine out every 2-3 weeks, but i could probably do it a little more often. You wont need that carbon, i would just use something fiber-y. Another option you can get sponge. I wouldnt buy new inserts from marineland as its a waste of money.
 
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