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Hey all.

I recently purchased a 75g Cichlid setup from someone off of Craigslist and have a few questions about filtration. The tank is currently set up with a SunSun 304b and should be fully cycled as the tank was only without water for a couple of hours and the only thing that changed within the tank was the water itself - the filter and substrate/rocks all stayed the same. I have not disassembled the filter to see what setup the seller was running in terms of media/order but after doing my research I have decided that I would like to set up my filter with ceramic rings in the bottom, a coarse, medium, and fine pad in the first tray and then fill the remaining trays with lava rock for my biomedia. On to the questions..

1.) Is my planned filter setup ideal? Has anyone had a good experience running something similar?
2.) I know I need to add more filtration in order to deal with the messiness of a properly stocked Cichlid tank - will it be adequate/overkill/insufficient filtration if I add a 2nd SunSun 304b filter? Should I set up the second filter with the same setup as I put in the first one?

I know that I will lose some progress with my tank cycling by getting rid of the established biomedia in the original filter but I don't have fish in the tank yet so I would rather cover all of my bases and have a minor setback now than down the road when I have a stocked tank. Thanks in advance!
 

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Consider plastic pot scrubbies instead of lava rock. They have more surface area per volume than the lava rock. They can be easily cleaned if they get mucked up, as they can be unrolled, rinsed, and re-rolled.
 

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I have a Sunsun 303b and 304b on my 75 which nets about 900 gallons/hour of circulation assuming there is no loss of flow from the pump to the aquarium. I figure I get at least 750 gallon/hour which is really ideal for a 75 gallon tank. I would not use the lava rock either, I prefer Biohome, but any of the available media is more porous than lava and the pot scrubbers are used by many. I also put some ceramic in the bottom of the canister before the trays; it breaks up the water flow and keeps a lot of the solid waste in the bottom of the canister and not clogging up your foams.
 

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At some point, you risk having the beneficial microbes in your tank and filter die off, without fish to create ammonia for the cycle. I don't know how long that will be, but it's something to keep in mind.
 
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