Fluval 404 Media Placement - Cloudy Water
What type of media should I use if I want to get realy clear water. Right now I just added the Fluval 404 and changed some of my water and now it is cloudy. What should I do?

You have a two part question.

I am assuming you have a freshwater system. Media placement for freshwater for Fluval 404 would be as follows:

From the bottom media chamber #1 or "L" (as described in our manual), use our Pre-Filter Media, in chamber #2 or "M" you can use our Bio~Max (supplied with the filter), in chamber #3 or "M", you can use either all Bio Max or 1/2 Bio Max and 1/2 Carbon, in chamber #4 or "H" use Carbon.

If you want to use peat granules, I would use Pre-Filter in #1, Bio-Max in #2, Carbon in #3 and Peat Granules in #4. For Peat Fibers, use them in Chamber #3 to reduce any chance of stray fibers entering the impeller well and clogging its rotation. In that case carbon or Bio~Max can be placed in the uppermost chamber.

If you want to use ammonia remover, I would use Pre-Filter in #1, Bio Max in #2, Carbon in #3 and Ammonia Remover in #4.

Keep in mind that carbon should not be used in a heavily planted aquarium and that both carbon and ammonia remover needs to be replaced every 4 weeks. Bio Max needs replacing every 6 months and Pre-Filter does not need to be replaced. The specific uses for all our media is found in our manual under Fluval Filter Media.

To have really clean water, if you have just started your tank or completely replaced all your media and cleaned your tank it will take a while to allow the filter material to mature with biological activity. Until you have extablished a balance of beneficial bacteria and allowed the other bacteria to use up any organic material that promotes bacteria to thrive in the water column, your tank will be cloudy.

How to clear it up.

If you just started this tank or completely replaced your media, you need to add Cycle. It is Live but dormant beneficial bacteria in a bottle. Double dose according to tank size. Remember to add Cycle everytime you do a water change and/or media change. Try not do a water change and complete media change at the same time, you will remove too much beneficial bacteria. One way to protect against this is to ensure you always retain some of the older media through the filter cleaning. The chamber design of the Fluval system lends itself to this style of cleaning where an entire filter module can be left alone during the rest of the media replacement.

If your tank has been running for a while and it is cloudy that could be caused from several reasons. You should not run the light for more than 12 hours. Ensure the aquarium is not placed where the tank will be struck by direct sunlight.. This can produce damaging temperature fluctuations as well as promote suspended algae blooms that turn the water into a pea soup green.

Do not overstock or overfeed your fish. If you have cloudy water add Cycle to reduce the excess production of ammonia and nitrite and "B" Clear. "B" Clear is a biological product that clears up cloudy water from a bacterial bloom. It contains live cultures of bacteria that reduce organic wastes that are the food for the bacteria that explode and cause the visible cloud. By removing the organic material before it dissolves into the water column, the suspended bacteria are forced to die back to invisible levels.

All the media and Cycle and "B" Clear can be purchased from the retail location you purchased your filter.