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Fluval Fx4 Review
Hey folks it’s John with Kate’s tropicals calm in last week’s article we talked all about this tank right here all of the problems that I’ve been having with this thing for months and months and I told you it’s time to start all over again and I told you that in this week’s article we’re going to take apart the FX six thoroughly clean it out get down into there in the motor maintain the motor do all of those things with it well that was my full intention of what I was going to do this week but then I went to one of my favorite fish stores and I saw this so of course once I saw this in the store it kind of changed everything about my plan and I figured you know what rather than mess around cleaning the old one out let’s just start brand new let’s start with everything brand new so I decided to pick one of these up let’s be honest there’s never a bad time to pick up something new that you’ve never seen before so I do want to say real quick that me choosing to go with this filter has nothing to do with blaming my problems on the old filter that’s absolutely not the case I still fully intend on cleaning that out and maybe adding it to another tank or who knows maybe even starting another tank so this article is going to be all about the brand new flooville FX 4 we’re going to talk about some specs I’m even going to show you the process that I went through to install this onto the tank I did a couple of different angles it was a whole lot of fun so we’ll get into that in a minute but before we do that let’s talk about the filter itself let’s go through some of the specs flooville as you know is known for manufacturing very high-end canister filters you’ve probably heard of the 406 and I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the FX 6 these are two huge canisters that can handle huge loads but the thing is the 406 is rated for tanks up to a hundred gallons the FX six is rated for tanks up to four hundred gallons now the 406 at 100 the FX six at 400 that’s a huge gap I always have people contacting me saying John I’ve got 150 gallon tank the 406 is not going to be enough and I’m afraid that the FX is just going to be way too much overkill what do I do well this is where the FX 4 steps in the fx4 is rated for tanks up to 250 gallons now something to think about here is I always recommend my african cichlid friends double their filtration what that would mean is if you have 125 gallon tank and you’re keeping African cichlids in there you’re going to want to filter it as if it’s a 250 gallon tank well there you go now this monster processes 700 gallons of water per hour as responsible fish keepers we want to turn our tanks over about four times an hour right well with this being a 125 and that processing 700 that means we’re going to turn this tank over about five and a half times per hour absolutely more than we will ever need and again overkill never a bad thing couple other things about this flooville introduced a long time ago I think it was with the FX 5 but it might have even been before then the smart pump technology into these filters basically what it does is the filter monitors itself 24/7 to make sure that it’s at peak performance and every 12 hours it shuts itself down purges out all of the air and restarts everything you know if we restart your computer you know that it kind of works a little faster it kind of smooths out all of the bugs well that’s what this thing does completely on its own every 12 hours it can be a little bit scary if you’re sitting there and it happens because you’re like oh no what’s wrong with the filter but in the end you realize oh yeah it’s just resetting itself very very cool I don’t know of any other filters that do that the last thing that we’re going to talk about is within this bucket of a filter is a five stage filtration basket if you’re familiar with the FX series it’s got removable baskets convenient little handles to pull them all out and the room that you have in there to add media is absolutely ridiculous one of the things that I like that they’ve done with the FX series a new improvement that they have is that they’ve put individual baskets with in the media baskets or the media trays or whatever you want to call them I like that because you can keep everything separate keep everything nice and tidy in there it comes with everything that you need to set it up with the exception of any kind of chemical filtration that you want to use like carbon or ammo chips or anything like that you’ll see when I put that in when we do the install another one that people like is pure it doesn’t come with any of those things it does come with the biological ceramic rings they’re not even rings anymore they’re more like tubes which is definitely another improvement that they’ve made to this so comes with all of that but if you want to add some chemical filtration of some type you’ll have to get that in addition to what already comes with the filters so there you go now you know a little bit about this let’s go ahead and install this onto the tank alright so before installing the filter I did something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time and that is spruce things up a bit by adding a shelf to put this filter on – I used to have both flooville filters sitting on the floor and it wasn’t easy to maintain them and it looked really bad so had some old aquarium stands laying around I decided to cut up and make into this new little shelf here I think it turned out nice put a nice coat of black paint on it so that it matches everything else and there you go it’s it’s going to be much easier to maintain them to clean them out and all that it’s again it’s something I’ve wanted to do forever now the fun part let’s get this thing installed first we’re going to hook up the plumbing for it which is very simple to do it comes with pipe clamps for attaching your hosing and those quick connectors there make things very simple they just snap into place we’re going to start out with the input this is where the water is going to come from the tank and enter into the filter through that strainer the hose comes in one large length which you’ll cut into two pieces the biggest thing that I would recommend to anyone is when you measure out how much hosing you’re going to need add 8 to 10 inches maybe even a foot to it because if you cut this thing too short I mean your whole project is messed up you only really have one shot at this thing so once you have it cut to length then you’ll just stick the cut end into the end of the strainer tube very very simple and it’s time to attach it to the rim connectors I actually pulled this from the flooville article because they did it really really well to show how easy it is connect this to the rim connectors the rim connectors are very sturdy and trust me they hold this thing in place they’re actually very difficult to get off if your tank is a rimless tank there are suction cups on the back of those rim connectors that’ll still hold it firmly in place and it’s certainly a lot easier to take off I put mine in the perfect spot in this tank which was right behind that huge piece of driftwood just to kind of hide it from sight I held the strainer up a few inches from the substrate because this is the sand substrate I didn’t want a bunch of sand going into that and but it’s still enough to filter the bottom of the tank so it’s really the perfect spot now it’s time to install the return put the pipe clamp on there that is something that I will tighten up once everything is in place one of the things that I’ve done with all of my flooville filters is after I’ve cut the hose I don’t cut it again I just used the leftover piece for the return and this is just gives you some flexibility again if you cut this thing too short you’ve only got one shot at it you don’t want to ruin the whole project and have to put a hold on it and order a new hose who wants to mess around with that just use the leftover piece for the return and you’re good to go and you can move it around and now we’ll tighten up those screws to make sure that the hoses are down onto there very nice and tight so they won’t ever come off because this thing’s got some pretty good pressure behind it so now let’s prep the interior the baskets you can see it comes with a large coarse foam block there is our individual basket which we can separate the different media I absolutely love that you’ve got large thick sponges around the exterior of it and the way the water flows is it flows through those white sponges up to the top and then down the center through your core sponge the polishing sponge that you saw there and also all of the ceramic tubes and whatever else you want to add to it like the cobalt ammo chips which you see there I’m just dumping some of them into a bag since we are going to be going through the cycle I figured helping out a little bit with the ammonia control with is never going to hurt anybody and these bags came with the flooville filter so defin handy to have and you can put anything you want in there after thoroughly rinsing the ceramic tubes and the ammo chips it’s time to put everything back in there I just put the ammo chips and a few of the tubes down at the bottom then we’ll add the other layer and I will put the rest of the ceramic tubes in there I’m calling them tubes I’m not sure what flooville calls them but I’ll throw those in there place the red basket on top of that with that course punch on the top and we’re ready to go place it in the tank couldn’t be easier and then I’m going to put about two gallons of water down into there just to help to get the whole thing primed put the lid on and then away we go these little handles here they can be a little bit tricky your fingers can get awfully tired once you’re putting these on but the way I like to do it is kind of like putting a tire on a car you do them across from each other and you just go all the way around until they’re all tight yeah your fingers and your wrists are going to be pretty tired once you’re done with all of that but once it’s all attached there open up the valves and away we go the filter will start to prime itself plug it in it’s going to purge all the air out and it’s ready to roll all right so there you go there is the installation of the new FX for folks I am absolutely thrilled with this thing but I wouldn’t have expected any less the flooville filters in my opinion are just at another league from most other filters on the market yes they do cost a little bit more money but you know what for the peace of mind that you get with these filters it’s absolutely worth it I now have four FX series canister filters and they’re all going to be used in here at one point or another I’ve got an older FX five two sixes and 1/4 so yeah they’re going to be staples in this fish room at all times maybe I still will do a article of cleaning out the FX 6 that was on this if you want to see that put it in the comment section below let me know because you might have one of these filters and you’d want to know what I would go through to clean it out so if you want to see that let me know for sure something that I want to let you know of you might not be aware of this yet but Lisa and I have introduced the new kg tropicals premium cichlid pellets we did it on Facebook we announced it we haven’t really talked about it on YouTube because wanted to do kind of a soft launch through Facebook if you want to know anything about these head over to kg tropicals comm they’re right there they’re available for order right now order them today we’ll ship them out to you tomorrow they’ll get to you a midweek and your fish will absolutely love them I don’t want to do huge commercials for this I just wanted to mention it because you might not know in next week’s article we’re going to talk about something that you see behind me but I haven’t talked about yet yes we did convert this tank over to a sand substrate I told you last week I’m removing the substrate and replacing it looked around considered a lot of options decided to go with sand so in next week’s article I’m going to thoroughly clean out the tank remove the old substrate we’re going to get this substrate ready to show you how I cleaned it before I put it in the tank and then we’ll install it in the tank and it’ll look like that at the end but you’re getting a little sneak peek of what it looks like now but definitely go through all of the details about this what it is where I got it how much I paid for it and what I did to put it in the tank so. thank you so much for reading this I hope you’ve been able to get something out of this I’m having fun with it so far we’ve taken a bad situation where the fish are dying and the plants are dying and it’s just one huge headache we turned it into a fun project I’m enjoying it I hope you are too.