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I have read the other threads on canister filters and I would like some understanding about the filter media as it relates to planted aquariums. For example, the standard material in the Eheim 2217, Ceramic hollow bodies, coarse mechanical prefilter, highly porous filter material and synthetic filterfloss.

Is this all that is needed to properly filter a 72 gallon planted tank?

Is more surface area needed for bacterial growth like the bio wheel set ups?

Starting a new 72g bow front from scratch, I love all the great ideas the members provide on this site!
 

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That is basically what I use in canister (the Cascade 1000). I have 3 buckets, the first one has a corse filter about 2in thick and then I add filter floss on top. The 2nd has cylindrical ceramic porous biomedia and another filter floss. The 3rd has solid ceramic biomedia (different brand cause it's what I had around) and filter floss.
I clean the filter about once a month by thouroughly but not completely rinsing the coarse filter media, lightly rinsing the ceramic media and replacing the filter floss.

The ceramic media will give you all the surface area you need and the biowheel will make it more dificult to keep any CO2 you might try to use.

I am sure you will get other opinions so do some research and find one that fits you and what you would like. I have heard that the eheims need much less maintenance but they are also much more expensive. I got my filter for 70.00 amd knock on wood it's been going strong for a year.
 

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I would pretty much use what comes with the eheim (several layers of efisubstrate/coarse and fine filter pads and yes use the Carbon pad as well). At startup you want to remove as much organic matter (waste/decaying plants, etc.) before they breakdown into Ammonia . Since there is an insufficient bio-filter at startup the carbon will help remove organics you can also add some purigen into the filter as well. After a few weeks remove the carbon and hopefully the biofilter will be well enough established to deal with the organics and the plants will start to grow and absorb nutrients as well. Down the road once the tank matures most of the filtration will take place in the tank and IMO it doesn't really matter what's in the filter it's really for flow. This is especially true in a bigger tank.

BTW I've had a 72g for a three years now and just redid mine from scratch about 5 weeks ago.
 
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