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I just upgraded from a 60 gallon to a 75 last weekend (mostly haps and peacocks - overstocked). I moved my filters (two Aquaclear 110s each rated at 500gph and an Aquaclear 50 rated at 200 GPH) directly to the new tank along with rocks and fish (I removed the gravel - currently bare bottom but currently looking at my options). The 75 will be fully stocked.

Ammonia was 0 on Wednesday and Nitrates were around 20 (i did not test nitrites since ammonia was zero). Right now, the two 110s are on each side of the tank since it's deeper than the 60 was so the new 75 is now closer to the wall (tank is in a walking path and I wanted to keep the intrusion to a minimum). the 50 is on the back. i want to get rid of the 110s as soon as possible since i can't put the lids on the tank with them on the sides, and i can't fill the water up to much without the lids (fish jumping, etc.).

I just purchased a canister filter (SunSun 404B rated at 525GPH) that i will set up this weekend. I just cleaned one of the 110s 2 or 3 weeks ago (rinsed biomax in aquarium water and replaced filter foam).

Questions:
1) Can I just take that 110 off and move the biomax to the canister right away since the filter foam is still pretty new? All i would be losing i think is the filter foam (new) and any bacteria in the box itself (i cleaned the outside edges and the intake). I would still also have the second 110 and the 50.

2) How long would I need to keep the second 110 going? I know by getting rid of that my total flow goes down, but I'm wondering if the additional media capacity in the canister will make up for that? I also plan to potentially add some Seachem Purigen and Matrix to the canister which I was not using before. I would also try to move the biomax from the second 100 to the canister as well when I take that one down.

3) I'm hoping that I can get by with just the one canister, the aquaclear 50 and I've added a small sponge filter. However my plan is to watch things and see if I need to get a second canister down the line. Thoughts? I have about 14 fish in there now. a few are 5 inches but 5 or 6 of them are 2-3 inches (2 labrichromis, a neolamprigus pulcher, a small red shoulder who doesn't seem to grow. and others that are in between.

4) I have used the same biomax in these 110s for 3 or 4 years. I do periodically rinse them in aquarium water but they do still look a bit dirty - not broken, just dirty. Are they still good? I know the manufacturer says to replace them every few months but also see that most people say to never replace them. do the pores get clogged with dirt and lose effectiveness? should i slowly start replacing them over time?

Thanks.
 

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Congrats on the larger tank upgrade!!

1) Yes.

2) Usually a couple weeks but testing water parameters will tell you more after a couple weeks. I have Matrix in some of my canisters and like it but I don't use Purigen despite having bought it a few years ago.

3) One canister may work but only monitoring parameters over time will give you that answer. I'm a fan of 2 canisters on a 75G tank but that's just me and a personal choice.

4) Good question! I do not replace bio-media but do vigorously spray 1/3 of the total filter volume of it to help dislodge fine debris during filter maintenance. As an example, I have 1L of Matrix in filter A, during filter maintenance I take 1/3 of that 1L and vigorously rinse it in a bucket either using my hand to swish it around or placing it in a colander/strainer and blasting it with a hose sprayer on the faucet. This helps flush out any fine debris from the bio-media and I haven't noticed any detrimental effects in water parameters.

Hope that helps!
 
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