Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fluval View Filter Media

This post is about switching out the filter cartridges in a Fluval View aquarium with alternative filter media. The filter fits seamlessly in the back of the aquarium and is virtually silent. It has two skinny filter cartridges that slip easily into place. However, the Fluval View has been discontinued and the cartridges can only be bought online. The large space inside the filter provides an opportunity to use filter media beyond the Fluval View specific cartridges.
Fluval View with Red Micky Mouse Platy and Baby Betta.
For the replacement filter media, Poly-Fil Low Loft Quilt Batting was selected for mechanical filtration, and Fluval BioMax was selected for the biological filtration. Though more expensive than other ceramic media available, it comes in a mesh bag that makes it easy to use in this particular application. The cost of the Poly-Fil was $4.79 for 45"x60", and the cost of each BioMax box was $2.07 for 2.3 oz ($4.14 for 4.6 oz). The cost for a 4-pk of filter cartridges is $2.24 + shipping, or $1.12 per filter change, which should be done once a month because of the carbon in the cartridges. The BioMax will never need to be replaced, but with a conservative guess of a 1-year life for the BioMax, and the Poly-Fil changed every 2 weeks, the cost comes to $0.28 per month ($0.12 if you never change the BioMax).
Replacing Fluval View filter cartridges with Fluval BioMax and Poly-Fil.
 A 3"x12" section of Poly-Fil can be folded and pushed down the middle of the filter area until the Poly-Fil is below the bottom of the filter cartridges. The purpose of pushing the Poly-Fil so far down is to prevent water from passing back into the tank without flowing through the BioMax first. The two BioMax mesh bags are placed side-by-side on top of the Poly-Fil. The filter cartridges are left in for at least two weeks while new bacteria grows on the BioMax.
Poly-Fil and two Fluval BioMax mesh bags inside the Fluval View filter.
 After bacteria has grown onto the BioMax (2 weeks), the cartridges can be removed. For convenience, the white filter cartridge front and carbon inside the filter cartridge can be removed, and the black filter cartridge backing can be placed back inside the filter to help keep the BioMax in place and control water flow through the filter.