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I've been doing a lot of rummaging around here and elsewhere trying to sort wheat from chaff when it comes to the FX5. The filter seems to have no real weakspots other than 1) a relative lack of track record (only about 5 years so far), and 2) less bio media capacity when compared to the Eheim 2260/62 or Pro 3 2080. Critics point out that the volume of the three trays in the FX5 is roughly equivalent to the (total) capacity of a 2217. The FX5's foam perimeter is noted as providing better mechanical filtration, but in comparing the bio-filtration only the inner baskets get considered. Is there a reason for this? Sponge is an excellent bio media so I don't understand why that considerable amount of foam isn't taken into account when the FX5's bio-filtration capacity is being discussed.
 

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I think people focus on putting ceramic rings in the basket and forget the sponges hold bio also. You can put more rings in the ehiems, but they don't have the bio area on the sponge. They only look at the baskets and don't take it all into account.
 

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I have never owned an FX5, and I have asked myself the same question. The thing is that on sites like this the specs of the FX5 are given as 6L media capacity. So that's all folks have to work with when they are comparing filters. Does anybody know what the total media capacity of the FX5 is, meaning including sponges?

And you are right - sponges are superb for bio-filtration - much better than ceramic rings, which I never use in any of my filters.
 
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