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Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

This is a discussion on Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; This is my very first post, so I'll do a little prologue on my situation before I get to my ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 20th September 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

This is my very first post, so I'll do a little prologue on my situation before I get to my question.


I've been wanting an axolotl for a while now, and just when I was about to abandon the idea due to my current lack of funds, I got an email from a guy on craigslist saying that he would trade my bass guitar for his 55 gallon tank. I originally wasn't going to try to jump into a 55 for my first axie tank, but the thing is absolutely beautiful and worth double my bass (which the man knew and was ok with). So, I go and get this tank and I notice it came with a Fluval 404 canister filter.

I'm a little puzzled on exactly how it works, so when I looked into some information about it online, I came across some things that made me nervous.

1. I'm aware that axies need a low current, and this thing is supposed to pump out some serious waves.

2. I have no idea HOW to turn down the flow on it.

3. It's meant for a 100+ gallon tank. Mine is only 55, so I'm worried that if I even can turn it down, it won't be calm enough.

4. I don't understand the setup completely. The reviews said it needs less regular care, but I honestly don't have the first clue how it works at all, or if that's even true.


I haven't tested it out yet, but I was told that it's fully operational and a friend that helped me get the tank had used the filter type before and said it looked to be in working order. I'm not going to be getting my axies until I'm in my apartment and I have a job (my interview is on Tuesday!), just to make sure I can take the absolute best care of them.

Do any of you guys use this type of filter for your axolotls? I feel like I'm in way over my head, being insanely new to this. Any help is appreciated!



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Old 20th September 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

hello!

Welcome to the forum! And welcome to the world of axy! Be warned, it's VERY addictive! :P

Now to answer your question, I'm unfamiliar with the fluvel brand but I do know canister filters are (I've read) the best type of filter for lotties. It's also an expensive option so if you got it with a tank - great!! I have two tanks and both are on canister filters which I love. They are also very low maintenance :)

The great thing with canisters is they can have spray bars and this greatly improves the flow rate to be much more axy friendly. It's also very easy to have the bar pointed towards the glass so you have next to no flow. My canisters don't have a knob or anything that can be used to physically turn down the flow rate but like I said, the spray bar is just as good if not better.

If I was you I would set it up and test it. Put something in the water like a piece of paper to monitor the flow and see how fast it is moving. If it is going to fast adjust where the spray bar is pointing and where it sits in the water (I used to have mine sitting about an inch above water level and pointed straight at the glass so it just trickled down the glass and into the water). You will want to get it set up anyway once you move into your apartment so the tank can cycle :)

Oh, and good luck with your interview!!!



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Old 20th September 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

I don't think it has a spray bar; like I said, I just got it yesterday and it's sitting in the garage waiting to be tinkered with. Are they very expensive? The only thing I really saw were the two huge tubes that came with it, as I was/am entirely too excited to pay that much attention.

I also have the pesky dilemma of not having the first idea of how to test it at all. I'm not even sure if it has everything it needs inside of it, which is a bit perplexing

And thank you so much! I'm really excited for the interview; the job not only pays good but sounds incredible for me to have a shot at, having just gotten out of high school. I totally get what you meant by Axolotls being addicting; I saw one for the first time a few weeks ago online and lost my mind. "OHMYGODOHMYGOD IT LOOKS LIKE A MUDKIP!" Since then I've been researching non stop and looking for ways to spoil them (even though I'm not even near getting them quite yet!)


On another note, I have a question about lighting. I'm kind of a cave dweller due to my boyfriend and I being gamers, so I'd like to have a dim light on most of the time for my axies. I figured if I did hides that got pretty dark, it should be ok. Any inquires on the wattage I should consider on the bulbs? Also, do they care much about black lights, or do those bother them?

Thanks so much for your feedback! I'm so hungry for knowledge *om nom nom*



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Old 20th September 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

Hey sorry i dont have a clue about canister filters *shrugs* i just use an internal corner filter and a sponge filter haha.
Anyways lights, tank lights more specifically, yeah axies arent a big fan of them, but if your going to get one, get a low wattage one and then invest in lots of dark hides and some floating plants to create shady spots for them

Are you a ps3 type of gamer?



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Old 20th September 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

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Originally Posted by layna View Post
Hey sorry i dont have a clue about canister filters *shrugs* i just use an internal corner filter and a sponge filter haha.
Anyways lights, tank lights more specifically, yeah axies arent a big fan of them, but if your going to get one, get a low wattage one and then invest in lots of dark hides and some floating plants to create shady spots for them

Are you a ps3 type of gamer?
After the horrible Xbox One debacle? Oh yes, I'm going back to Sony for sure! I'm excited for October; the next pokémon games come out then. I'm still a little kid at heart :3

What would you recommend in the plants department? I've seen some of the live plants people have, and I thought the little potted ones looked awesome for moving around (I never can make up my mind on where I want to put things).



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Old 20th September 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

Okay so what exactly did it come with? My canisters have the body and two (three for my bigger one) baskets. I have bioballs (plastic black balls) on the bottom. Then you have bio noodles (Ceramic hollow noddles) in the bottom of the lowest basket. These help with the biological filtration. Then you have a coarse sponge which is for mechanical filtration (getting rid of the floaties) then in the next basket I have a finer sponge (mechanical filtration) and finally the filter wool(Biological and mechanical filtration.) So thats the canister itself. Then you sould have two pipes. These and your in and out pipes. In pipe brings water in out pipe will be attached to your spray bar and send water back into the tank - pretty straight forward. Now if you don't have a spray bar its super easy to DIY one. Get a piece of plastic pipe drill holes in it block one end and attach the other end to your out pipe and viola you have a home made spray bar. Or you can buy spare parts. I know I can get spare parts for my canisters easy online for cheap (But I have aqua one canisters). Just google it

To test it set it up in your tank (fill the tank up) set the filter up and turn it on. You will probably need to prime the filter (Simply fill the canister and the in pipe and turn it on). Then it *should* do its thing and start filtering. And thats as simply as it is to test the filter. Leave it going for 24hrs just to ensure its working okay :)

I saw my first lotls when I was about 8-9 and wanted one for ten years before I finally got one. Then I got another. And another. And now I've got one big boy (Leucistic) one big girl (Golden albino) one little boy (leucistic) five newly hatched golden albinos, 50ish wildtypes/leucistics eggs coming and another 10 golden albino eggs coming... I'm seriously badly addicted :P

I have tank lights due to live plants in my tank but I usually only have the lights on during the day so its not so bright on my lotties and I have a cloudly light cover so it dims the light considerably and isn't so bright on my darlings. Because of this they probably don't really help my plants but my plants are doing okay so meh lol. Generally, lights aren't advised for lotls (Eyes ontop of the head and no eye lids means lights hurt lol) But I have read before the blue lights are fine and aren't too bright for them. I also think black lights are okay (they are used for GFP lotls so I think but I don't know). I'm not very knowledgeable on the lights subject, sorry.

Oh and they are so much fun to spoil. My guys are spoilt totally rotten haha.



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Old 20th September 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

Plants department: heaps of people have java mose and fern. Its great because its hardy - lotls can be hard on plants (tear them up dig them up try eat them etc lol). I have twisted val because I love the look of it. My lotls try eating it on occasion and play tug of war with it but its doing okay so far. There is a whole load of plants that people use but they need to be fairly hardy. I also know there are some plants that aren't axy safe. I know theres a link floating around here somewhere, I'll try locate it for you.



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Old 20th September 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

It has the four layers on it and it has two levels with the bio noodles in it, but that's all. Due to there being empty layers, I figured it wasn't complete so I was very leery to test it until I knew exactly what I was doing. I mean, from what I understand the thing is worth around $200 so I didn't want to break it! The pipes are out in the garage and it's really late or I would go snag some pictures, but I've been thinking on replacing those anyways seeing as how they pretty green inside and the guy suggested more 'moveable' ones that weren't as stiff as the ones he gave me.

It came with a really nice light system, but considering he was getting ready to set the tank up for salt water I imagine the light will probably be too bright and possibly add heat to it. I think the middle light in the fixture is blue, but due to my excitement and lack of attention to detail, I could be wrong. I was thinking just the middle blue light would be ok if I took the two bright ones out.



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Old 20th September 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

some good plants for axie tanks are;
Anubias (most types)
java moss (most mosses actually)
java fern
marimo moss balls
elodea
african elodea
Hornwort
Narrow Chain Sword
Riccia
Hair grass

Haha good move on the sony front, ive never understood the xbox trend except the fact they have L4D! GRRR

Yeah just look in the pond plant section at garden centres or search for 'true aquatic' plants. Anubias looks cool attached to mopani/drift wood



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Old 20th September 2013   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

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Originally Posted by layna View Post
some good plants for axie tanks are;
Anubias (most types)
java moss (most mosses actually)
java fern
marimo moss balls
elodea
african elodea
Hornwort
Narrow Chain Sword
Riccia
Hair grass

Haha good move on the sony front, ive never understood the xbox trend except the fact they have L4D! GRRR

Yeah just look in the pond plant section at garden centres or serach for 'true aquatic' plants. Anubias looks cool attached to mopani/drift wood
Looks like I'll be making an axie shopping list! Oooh I'm so excited! How many of those would be ok in little pots? Like say, shotglasses?

I was a big 360 supporter mainly due to L4D, but after that I'm good .__. I'm excited for the indie game selection on PS4.



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Old 20th September 2013   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

I have a never ending shopping list for my guys haha

Okay for your filtration I suggest buying filter wool and filter sponges. There will probably be a blue one and a black one (the different colours are just different coarseness). Some people use carbon but I don't bother (i think) its just to help keep your water crystal clear but my water stays perfectly clear without it. Also get some bio balls. Once set up you should only need to wash your filter once a month and replace media once every couple months or when it gets clogged up (I change the wool every second month and the rest just gets well rinsed and is good as new lol) You could get new pipes but all I did was get a pipe brush and used hot water to wash my pipes that I got second hand and they came up good as new.

My first tank came with a light system that had a marine blue light ( the person was going to set up a marine tank but decided to get a even bigger tank lol) in it and its perfect for my axys. They don't mind it at all. But since I got my lotls a brand new bigger tank that got a different light system now (with the cloudy cover).

I think everyone has has got the plant section well covered so I'll leave that alone



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Old 20th September 2013   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

Erm little shot glasses, maybe the mosses and you can either let the elodea float (blocking the light) or i suppose you could plant individual strands in shot glasses haha. possibly the hair grass but all of these will just be little clumps in shot glasses haha.
The anubias and hornwort ect are quite leafy, and the marimo moss balls are well..balls that just sit in your tank
google them all to see what they look like then decide on the ones you like :)
I tried mini water lettuce and water soldiers too in my tank and they were cool, but i dont have a light so they just died



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Old 20th September 2013   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

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I have a never ending shopping list for my guys haha

Okay for your filtration I suggest buying filter wool and filter sponges. There will probably be a blue one and a black one (the different colours are just different coarseness). Some people use carbon but I don't bother (i think) its just to help keep your water crystal clear but my water stays perfectly clear without it. Also get some bio balls. Once set up you should only need to wash your filter once a month and replace media once every couple months or when it gets clogged up (I change the wool every second month and the rest just gets well rinsed and is good as new lol) You could get new pipes but all I did was get a pipe brush and used hot water to wash my pipes that I got second hand and they came up good as new.

My first tank came with a light system that had a marine blue light ( the person was going to set up a marine tank but decided to get a even bigger tank lol) in it and its perfect for my axys. They don't mind it at all. But since I got my lotls a brand new bigger tank that got a different light system now (with the cloudy cover).

I think everyone has has got the plant section well covered so I'll leave that alone
Considering the tank and setup was practically free for me, I don't mind going for new hosing :3 Plus, I can also be pretty lazy :P I'm relieved that I won't have to downgrade, because it really is a nice filter. I did some looking around and apparently Fluval is top of the line. The internet is a scary place though, so I could be wrong.

The past couple of days have been so great for me. I haven't been so excited for all of the life changes in years, which is kind of sad because I'm only 18. But I never gave up! And my new life is just around the corner, and I can't stress how much happier I am lately. Thank you guys for all of your help, I was getting nervous not knowing how to use my new toys. I certainly didn't want to accidentally break anything!



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Old 20th September 2013   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

Haha as long as you prepare before hand, and dont break your axies, you will be fine



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Old 20th September 2013   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

I just had another thought enter my mind: what do you guys think is a fair price for lotls in pet stores? So far I've only checked one of two stores that I know carry them.

I'm just full of questions :P thanks for your patience!



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Old 20th September 2013   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

Erm in the uk they range from £20 ($32.13) to £30 ($48.19) which i personally think is a little steep but i bought mine from a local man who 'accidently' had the babies and he sold them for £4 ($6.43) each
It just depends on how bad you want them, but make sure they are kept healthy before buying!



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Old 20th September 2013   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

The most expensive ones I saw were almost $60, so I was a little unsettled about buying from those people. There's a place in the mall that is rumored to have them though, so I figured that would be a good place to look. There was also a guy on craigslist selling them too, but he wasn't very descriptive and kind of sketchy to me :/



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Old 20th September 2013   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

As far as I'm aware, Fluval is a top of the range brand :)

Pricing here in NZ is normally around $20-$30 depending on the size. But you can often get them cheaper on trademe (same as ebay) or pet shops can have them a lot more expensive. My old flatmate got on of hers for $40 and it was only 10cm and your standard run of the mill leu... I thought that was steep.



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Old 20th September 2013   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

I would try to find people who keep them as pets and the pets have bred as opposed to breeders who dont care about their health and sell them unhealthy to pet stores, if the lottle is on gravel or has bad gills ect then i would move on and keep looking



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Default Re: Can I use a fluval 404 filter for my axies?

I agree with Layna :)



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