just curious why you shouldnt have any other media besides ceramic and sponges , what are your reasons ?
i agree with not using carbon or floss in a fx5 , it would clog way to fast and slow down the flow bigtime ..
This was directed at canisters for the most part.
you shouldnt have any other media besides ceramic and sponges for a simple reason.
The sponges act as your mechanical media, and the ceramic acts as your biological media. I know you know this, but not what i really mean.
Why i say only mechanical and biological is simple. We must have a mechanical means of filtration on any tank of course. Its for a few reasons, mainly to removed organic solids for easy removal from the system when you clean the sponge. Second, and more importantly, to protect your biological media.
The reason for only have ceramic media, or any other type of biological media in your filter is simple. It it the single most important function of a filter, so we should always emphasize on having as much as we can.
Now, why not have other things, like carbon?
Carbon is a waste of space in an already limited space a canister filter has to offer. Most canisters don't hold a lot of media to begin with, so you dont want to take up that valuable real estate with any other media.
While carbon is great for removing tanins, or meds... thats where it should be used. Only when needed. You dont need to constantly run it.
On a well cycled filter, the bio-media will keep the water just as clear as the carbon would.
Carbon is the 3rd most commonly used media.... and a bit over rated in my opinion, unless you need it temporarily to remove tanins, discoloration, or meds from a tank. After that, replace it with bio-media.
Other commonly used media are things that help reduce ammonia, and nitrites or even nitrates.... Again, a well cycled aquarium doesnt need these things, and are a waste of space.
What about media that changes water parameters, like moss used to soften/lower PH... This is a whole other story, and not typically used. Most problems come from people over complicating their aquariums. Constantly trying to mess with levels and parameters. If you not happy with the water that comes out of your tap, pick a different fish, or acclimate them to what you have. Its not very common to NEED to use means to alter aquarium readings.
Most issues in the aquarium are surrounded by a lacking filtration set up. Usually in the biological filtration area. Not to mention lack, or incorrect maintenance.
Choosing the right media is also a concern when it comes to bio. You'll want to insure you get the most out of your media. Now in a small, submerged setting like a canister filter, ceramic media is the best option, due to its massive surface area compared to its small area consumption. You'll want to protect that surface area with the sponges.. prefiltering the water befor it gets a chance to clog your ceramic media. Which was the reason for me saying only use ceramic and sponges.
The more basic and simple you keep things with your aquarium, and filtration set up, the more success you will have.
Lots of bio filtration, lots of water changes, and you can keep any fish. (proper tank size/diet,ect as well, but you get the point)