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ticman
12-28-2003, 10:55 AM
I am becoming enamored with the Emperor 400 or 280 (because of size constraints on back of my tank--54 gal corner tank from All Glass). This is based on having read so many different opinions on HOB filters.

Question? Can the siphon tube on the Emperor be used on either side of the filter or only on the left side as you look at it from the front of the tank?

Must you buy replacement media or are there some diy options.

I also am using an Aquaclear300 and had to file part of the filter in order for it to "fit" over the tank rim--again a constraint of my particular tank.

Thanks,

Mike

chc
12-28-2003, 01:08 PM
The Emperor 280 must be run with the intake tube on the left as you look at it on a tank. I am assuming you cannot fit the larger 400 on your tank. If that is possible, I would recommend the larger filter. I only use the 280 when, as perhaps in your case, the dimensions of the tank require it (e.g. I have a 5' long 120 gallon that will only fit two 400's and one 280..... I'd rather have three 400's on that tank).

As far as DIY modifications are concerned, there are many. The simplest, and probably most effective, would be to eliminate the use of the store bought inserts altogether and use the media container as the frame for your mechanical filtration options.

I buy "baby bumper batting" at a fabric store and cut it to fit the outside dimensions of the media container. I adhere the batting to the upstream side of the media container with rubber bands (some use velcro attached with a hot glue gun, but it can be difficult to get the velcro to stick; I do not trust the velcro with the adhesive already attached as it may cause damage to the water quality). In addition to batting from fabric stores (which, by the way, needs to be polyester.... no cotton!), you can buy "blue bonded cut to fit filter pads" from pet suppliers, but I find it to be much more expensive and no more effective. Bating is available in many thicknesses, so experiment for what works best for you. My big messy Central Americans call for a rather coarse, thick (1") pad.

Inside the container, I usually use crushed coral to help with the pH of my tap water, but most people put carbon or PolyFilter (my preference as you can cut it to fit) inside the container.

On top (upstream) of the carbon, etc. I cut to fit a micron filter pad (available in big sheets at pet supply houses, inline, etc...... Pure-Flo is one brand). That pad is held in place simply by closing the container over it.

Making the above modifications is much cheaper in the long run........... MUCH cheaper......... than using cartridges. Some people rinse the batting a couple of times before replacing it, but I just throw it away as needed (it's very cheap). The micron pads can be rinsed many, many times under a jet of water (like a hose or sink nozzle). They can be cleaned with bleach too, but I generally just throw them away too after several cleanings.

Also, this set up works better than store bought cartridges since the water is micron filtered, you can use whatever chemical media you like (or even none), and the dramatically cheaper operating costs allow you to change the mechanical media weekly or more without costing much to do so (and the faster you get the organics out of the system by removing the floss the better the water quality will be).

You can further improve the performance of the filter by cutting a piece of sponge to fit over the intake strainer. In that modification, you just rinse that sponge out every couple of days, and the filter media doesn't have to be cleaned as often (but this really only works for lower waste load tanks or the sponge will clog easily). Such a modification also keeps bits of plants, etc. from entangling in the filter's impeller assembly.

Lots of options, but I hope this bit helps!

matt1066
12-29-2003, 08:51 PM
Wow chc,

That was great information!