Re: New canister filter arrangement
Thank you so much for switching all of your filter media to Seachem products; we hope you will be very satisfied with their performance!
You are correct; we recommend allowing the water to flow through filtration in the following order, to ensure optimal results:
mechanical-----> chemical-----> biological
Where biological filtration is concerned, the more you have in place, the better long-term control you will have over nitrogenous waste. While ceramic rings and bio-balls are pretty good at controlling ammonia and nitrites, they are not very porous and therefore cannot house the anaerobic bacteria that are necessary for the control of nitrates. Therefore, replacing these two medias with Matrix is a very good idea. Each liter of Matrix provides the same surface area of 170 liters of bio balls!
So, assuming that your filter works so that the water first flows to the bottom tray, and then works its way up to the top tray, then I would recommend setting up the filter in this manner:
Bottom tray: sponge (mechanical)
Next tray up: SeaGel and Purigen (chemical)
Next tray up: Matrix (biological)
Top tray: Matrix (biological)
In this setup, the water will first flow through the sponge, which will remove the undissolved matter from the water, allowing the SeaGel and Purigen to function more efficiently. Then, having the water pass through the SeaGel and Purigen, you will have the organics that are in solution (dissolved) removed by the MatrixCarbon that is in SeaGel and the Purigen; the PhosGuard component of SeaGel will take out any phosphates and/or silicates. Finally, the water will flow through quite a bit of Matrix, which will house the proper bacteria to consume ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
Again, thank you for using our products, and please let us know if you have additional questions. Have a great day!