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Hi,

I have an 80 gallon tank that's been running for about 7 months now. All good, juveniles have grown well with a few surviving fry from a couple of different breeds hiding in the rocks.

I'm planning on upgrading the filtration - as the fish have grown they're producing more waste. Water parameters are all good though, so the bio side doesn't seem to be a problem at the moment. I would like a bit more mechanical filtration though, as the water contains some very small debris that aren't clearing very quickly.

Currently I have an Eheim Pro 4+ 600 as the only filter. It's set up with two trays of SubstratPro, a tray of bio mech, and the bottom tray containing sponges (might replace these with the original MechPro - I was experimenting with sponges, but the pre-filter sponge at the top is catching the majority of crud coming in). I have a Tunze nanostream circulation pump helping with water flow in the tank. Due to the sizing and design of the cabinet that this tank is on I can't add a second Pro 4+ - there just isn't enough space.

What I plan to do is replace the existing filter with two 2217s. They'll fit fine in the cabinet, side by side. I've got the first 2217 arriving in the next couple of days. I haven't ordered the second one yet.

I'd appreciate comments on my approach, as I think it'll be OK, but am concerned that I may have missed something when switching stuff around:

- Hook up the first 2217, move approx 50% of the bio media from the existing filter to it, and run them in parallel. I'll be adding some new media to the new filter (both bio and mechanical), on top of the media I take from the existing filter.

- Once the new filter is settled, do the same again, replacing the Pro 4+ with the second 2217, transferring all remaining bio media. How long should I wait before doing this? Is a couple of weeks long enough? Or doesn't it matter too much given that the bio media is all being retained? Do I need to worry about the non-bio parts of the filter being 'run-in' in any way?

If the water flow is good enough with the two filters running I plan on removing the powerhead. My plan is to have the left filter spraying from left to right, and the right filter spraying from back to front, both angled to agitate the surface of the water. I'm hoping this will cause a circular flow from the left to the right, then forward and back to the left. That's what I have at the moment with the Pro 4+ and the powerhead. All the equipment is located at the left of the tank, with the main flow crossing the tank and hitting the right hand side glass before heading down and circling back to the intake in the left corner.

If I knew what I know now, I'd have gone for two filters from the start! The one nice result from this though, is that I'll have a spare filter at the end of it, so can start planning the next tank (with a better laid out cabinet this time!).

Cheers
 

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If you transfer the media, no worries about leaving the old filter(s) on the tank.
 
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