The Fluval-G 3 filter was installed on a Tropiquarium 88 that has been installed and operating for well over a year. It is holding a variety of Lake Malawi African Cichlids that have been in the tank since it was started in December of 2008. The tank has dual filtration, an AquaClear Clip on filter with a Fluval 105 canister for filtration, a Fluval E 200 W and the double standard Linear Fluorescent lighting that is integrated into the Tropiquarium 88′s.
The plan was to move the Fluval 105 from the Tropiquarium to my medium sized Elite 60 community tank and use it to replace the Elite Hush 20 that came with the set-up when it was purchased. This way, two important aquariums in the set will be updated simultaneously. In the first part of this two part series, I talked about some of the benefits of the Fluval-G filters. They are the reduced bypass of the water flow, the powerful chemical compartment that will accept almost any chemical media besides the Carbon, Phosphate, Nitrate and Tri-Ex media prepacked containers. The most apparent advantage is the Hydrotech monitoring system that provides vital information about the current state of both the aquarium and the filter.
The Fluval-G series can be installed quite rapidly, and it requires no tools to do it. The filter comes with everything required for a standard freshwater tropical fish aquarium. There are other cartridges use for saltwater, but the media that is supplied was just fine for the African Cichlid tank. The polyester pleated mechanical first cartridge with the carbon chemical cartridge. The biological filter media is provided in two sizes, this has been found to pack better in the trays for increased biological filter activity.
The first thing to do is open the cartridge cover to remove the two cartridges from their receptacle.
Then I removed the motor head from the filter to reveal the plastic biological filter partition to allow access the biological filter baskets under the cartridges.
The Chemical Cartridge needed to be removed from the assembly, the plastic packing material removed and the carbon rinsed of debris. The Biological nodes also need to be rinsed of any shipping debris and half added to each basket, with a good mix of the large and small ones to make sure the system is efficient in offering places for beneficial bacterial to grow and thrive.
The filled baskets are put back into their filter area.
Once the baskets have been replaced into the lower parts of the filter and the cartridge separator is replaced into the filter chamber, the silicone gasket needs to be put into place. This is an important seal to ensure there are no leaks into the filter case. It is very large and easy to place into the provided channel.
After the gasket is put into place., replace the motor cover and use the four Zama latches to secure it in place. Then its time to replace the two cartridges. Insertion and removal is very easy, the cartridges can only be put into the sytem one way to prevent any problems, there is a notch at the top right of the Mechanical and top left of the Chemical cartridges, these notches face each other at the junction between the two units.
The cartridge is inserted into the cartridge holder and turned clockwise about an eight turn to lock it
in place. The cartridge cover is put back in its down position and the unit is ready to be installed with the AquaStop and the hose system.
All hoses are held with a hose clamp that is twisted to hand tight, no hose clamp or tools required for the seal to be solid. I inserted the hose into the input siphon and the output system – selecting the double diffuser rather than the spray bar systems, there is enough surface agitation with the AquaClear, so I opted to not to use the spray system and its possible added evaporation capacity. The diffuser is surprisingly adjustable, so there still ius lots of current at the top to properly agitate the surface and exhaust carbon dioxide and adsorb oxygen at the interface.
The AquaStop system on the filter is an effective way to allow disconnection of the hose system and maintain the filter from a distant location. There are two levers on the filter that control the water, the silver lever controls water flow, it can adjust the water flow to a lesser amount for normal filter operation, but remember the filter will start alerting for low flow when the water processing is working at 30% or less. I have always wanted to move as much water as the filter will pump, so this is never a consideration for me.
Once the silver flow control is in the full up or off position, the AquaStop lever parallel to the AquaStop must be lifted to release and seal it. The attached hoses to the water delivery system need to be measured to the AquaStop in position on the filter to ensure the route is as straight as possible. It is at this time that the final location of the filter is finalized, once the filter is in place, the hoses can be cut to proper length. Extra length should be removed, kinks and dips are not the best installation. Once all extra is cut, in my case, about a foot for each hose was removed, the system is pretty much ready to run.
The filter is started by a few vigorous pumps on the push button on the top of the Mechanical cartridge. The filter started right away and I plugged it in as the filter was filling. This is a trick I always use to start the 05 series of Fluval Canister systems to prevent any airlocks should the canister fill before the impeller is turning and forcing water from the system rather than allowing air to go backwards up the intake tube and airlock it.
Once the filter is plugged into to power, the electronics initialize, the only real decision needed is to define the language used in the screens, there are a number of choices, I only use English. The system then will provide any alerts. I found that the temperature of the tank was not as high as I had thought, and adjusted the heater slightly to maintain the temperature around 78 F. It took a few hours to settle, but that alert soon stopped. The alert for conductivity was not so accommodating. The recommended EC from the official Fluval Site is 200 – 500, the actual EC was over 1500, so I have a lot of work to get it in order…….