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View Full Version : Help, used FLUVAL 204 w/ no manual!



kimberlynns
12-16-2005, 9:59 PM
I'm trying to set it up but I can't find the manual. I took it all apart and rinsed it in very hot water...even the sponges in there. There were the white tubey things in a basket, and carbon in a basket...a bag of floss stuff came with the tank I bought...but there wasn't floss stuff in the canister. I hope someone out there can walk me through setting it up! I can't beleive I lost that manual!

Kim

IceH2O
12-16-2005, 10:25 PM
If you have Adobe reader(you'll have to hit zoom a few times)

http://www.hagen.com/pdf/aquatic/Fluval04new.pdf

there are other sites but you need Adobe for them also...Just use Google and type in Fluval 204 manual and it will show you all of them.

kimberlynns
12-16-2005, 10:40 PM
Thanks...I had finally found that very site and had just finished reading it when I checked back. Now I do have a question about the three levels. I have those ceramic prefilter tube things in the bottom, carbon in the middle, do I need anything on the top? What is best for cycling a tank? I saw things that remove dangerous levels of ammonia that can go on top, but do I want that in there while I'm trying to cycle the tank?

Kim

rbell219
12-18-2005, 2:15 PM
I use a bio sponge on top. I also use white cotton ( i guess) mechanical pads at every level--. The bio sponge is blue. You can buy them pre cut for your filter---I like to buy the cut-to-size sheets so I can cut them a bit oversized. I have found my canister (a cheap Jebo) does best when the baskets are very tightly packed.

kimberlynns
12-18-2005, 4:52 PM
Ok, just to help clear out the dirt from the sand I put in there...the sand has settled but the water is still not clear and its been a couple days...anyway, I hooked the filter up. It has the sponge along one side and then the three levels. I put that polyfloss stuff on the bottom, bio tube things in the middle, and more polystuff on the top. I figured I would change it all out in a few days. Does that sound ok? I dont' have any fish in there...I want to get the tank set up first..then I'll cycle with some danios probably...before I add fish I'll redo what I have in the levels?

Kim

rbell219
12-18-2005, 6:47 PM
Ok, just to help clear out the dirt from the sand I put in there...the sand has settled but the water is still not clear and its been a couple days...anyway, I hooked the filter up. It has the sponge along one side and then the three levels. I put that polyfloss stuff on the bottom, bio tube things in the middle, and more polystuff on the top. I figured I would change it all out in a few days. Does that sound ok? I dont' have any fish in there...I want to get the tank set up first..then I'll cycle with some danios probably...before I add fish I'll redo what I have in the levels?

Kim

Give the water a while longer to clear--Also, i found that with sand sometimes it leaves a film on the inside after it settles. Use your algea scraper to clean it off.

Don't change all your media at once. You'll get rid of all the bacteria you have started to grow which is one of the points to cycling. There is no need to change your bio media--the ceramic tubes and the floss. Only rinse them and with a one filter setup you don't want to do that all at once either. One level every two weeks about every two months or longer depending on your fish and feedings. You won't need to change or clean anything in the filter until you have fish.

Read up on cycling in the newbie forum. There is invaluable info there.

kimberlynns
12-18-2005, 8:10 PM
Oh, I haven't built anything up on the filter myself. I bought it at a yardsale...so I'm not sure if I should use the old stuff in there or not...but I did leave the sponge and also the bio tube things. I did turn it on..but should I turn it back off? You think it will settle some more? Its been running a few hours and the water is already getting clearer....as its starting to look blue/green...which is my light blue walls showing through I think. Will I ruin the filter by running it now, or just the media inside it?

Kim

rbell219
12-18-2005, 10:22 PM
If the filter is making any clicking sound then theres probably sand in the impleller. You'd want to turn it off and clean it out. But, you won't ruin any of the media at all. If sand or particles got past the impeller, there is no harm in just leaving them where they land.
If it's only been on for a few hours, i would get all new media tomorrow just to start fresh. Change it all out and then forget about it. The biological factors will grow and you'll be set.

kimberlynns
12-18-2005, 11:04 PM
Thanks. Hey, do you know where I can buy new sponge filter things for the Fluval?? I looked at one LFS and didn't even see a canister filter in there for sale, let alone a replacement sponge. I guess I'll have to look around at other LFSs and online, but if you know of a good place right off, please let me know. :)

Kim

rbell219
12-19-2005, 6:33 AM
I have been told Big Al's is pretty good.
http://www.bigalsonline.com/?splash_done=1
The prices are low, but the shipping brings it up to about what you would pay in a store. You'll save on a larger order. Check around at other stroes. I think even PetSmart (as much as I hate to recommend them) sells the Fluvals--anywhere that sells them should have the replacement media. Any bio media will work (the ceramic tubes)--doesn't need to be fluval.

Did you ever find the manual? Here's a link--you will need Adobe Reader. It gives you part numbers for the media and instructions on placement.

http://www.hagen.com/pdf/aquatic/Fluval_MSF_Manual.pdf

kimberlynns
12-19-2005, 8:38 AM
Thanks, I did find the manual online...still haven't found the real copy but my garage is such a mess that I'm not surprised. It all sat out there for two months before we could set it up.

I'll call around the different pet stores to see who sells those fluvals. Do you think if there was anything bad on the used sponge that it will get cleared up by putting a new one in there? I don't have any fish in there yet...I want to get the aquascaping (?) right, then buy a heater, test kit, and plants/decor for it, then dechlor the water and *then* buy some fish. I can't wait to have some in there...I hope the ones we get for cycling will all make it through the process.

Kim

rbell219
12-19-2005, 9:51 PM
There was probably nothing bad on there--i wouldn't worry about it.
I would get the media, heater, dechlorinator all at once. The heater is important to the cycling. This way while you get the other stuff the way you want it, your tank will be cycling. Fishless cycling is best-the only way I ever do it-this will also improve the chances of the fish you buy first making it.

kimberlynns
12-19-2005, 10:03 PM
There was probably nothing bad on there--i wouldn't worry about it.
I would get the media, heater, dechlorinator all at once. The heater is important to the cycling. This way while you get the other stuff the way you want it, your tank will be cycling. Fishless cycling is best-the only way I ever do it-this will also improve the chances of the fish you buy first making it.

Will do, thanks :) And your tank is so pretty...loved the pictures!

By the way....I went to check the floss stuff and put new floss in there if needed because I'm trying to filter out dirt that is floating in the water...well I put the filter in a bucket first and then I opened the latches...water gushed everywhere...I latched it back finally and THEN decided to read the directions...thinking there had to be an easier way than removing the entire thing and openining it in the tub.......so THAT is what an "Aquastop" system is all about, LOL. Not one of my best moments!

Kim