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el wadd
06-02-2007, 5:43 PM
What in your opinion is the best biological filter media? I have a filstar xp4 with rena stars and fluval glass tubes, but there is still loads of room to spare.

All the ads for media state they are hands down the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I want to hear from the man on the street. I'm piecing together my first tank in over 8 years, and would like to do it right his time.

any and all help is appreciated.

Mgamer20o0
06-02-2007, 5:45 PM
pot scrubbers cheap and prob better then bio balls. i think floss has lots of area for bacteria also and polish the water at the same time.

Weezer
06-02-2007, 5:46 PM
I prefer sponge type media, it's easily transferable to other setups......:)

Rbishop
06-02-2007, 6:15 PM
floss and sponge....all that other media balls, tubes, rings, cylinders are just hype and sales pitches. Last redesign it, call it new and better...they'll buy it.

legendaryfrog
06-02-2007, 9:08 PM
I have the xp4, and I wouldnt say that its exactly suitable for potscrubbers; there would be many gaps and water would go around the scrubbies.

As for best bio-media, I've read "ULTRA bio-media" is the best, as it has 4-5 times more surface area than the same volume of bio-balls.

heres a link to it: http://www.123ponds.com/a70011cf.html

musho3210
06-03-2007, 12:34 AM
what about seachem matrix?

TEL
06-03-2007, 2:22 AM
seachem matrix , sinted glass , ceramic noodles all good just depends on how much you want to spend.

Rbishop
06-03-2007, 6:41 AM
And all that surface area does what? The only place you need to ensure water doesn't bypass, are the mechanical filters.

*KrAmEr*
06-03-2007, 11:33 AM
And all that surface area does what? The only place you need to ensure water doesn't bypass, are the mechanical filters.

All that surface are is for is the Benificial bacteria....

Rbishop
06-03-2007, 11:53 AM
All that surface are is for is the Benificial bacteria....

Which is limited to the size of your bio load. It doesn't matter if something has 10,000 sq cm of surface area or 12,000. For all those companies shoving high surface area products at us, have you ever seen one of them define how much surface area is required?

Weezer
06-03-2007, 12:01 PM
For all those companies shoving high surface area products at us, have you ever seen one of them define how much surface area is required?

Nope.....:headshake2:

J double R
06-03-2007, 2:03 PM
I prefer Eheim's Ehfisubstrat Pro.. perhaps i'm just spoiled but it works great.

coolnicks
06-03-2007, 2:59 PM
I prefer Eheim's Ehfisubstrat Pro.. perhaps i'm just spoiled but it works great.

I second that, I use 1ltr of Eheim Substrat Pro in all my external filters, seems great stuff. I think its slightly different from the Ehfisubstrat though.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=011&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&viewitem=&item=320102916272&rd=1&rd=1

Sploke
06-03-2007, 9:48 PM
I use lava rock just cause its super cheap and easy to find.

hle_81
06-04-2007, 7:53 AM
To me, they're all the same (Biomax, Matrix, Ehfisubstrat, etc.). Just use any media w/ a lot of surface area for the beneficial bacteria.

J double R
06-04-2007, 9:26 AM
the big difference between Ehfisubstrat Pro and Ehfisubstrat is that Pro is better engineered for flow, and resembles a chocolatey cereal that my daughter loves, and now i have to be careful i dont leave any out. :D im not speaking from experience or anything though. ;)

Derringer
06-04-2007, 9:29 AM
Ehfisubstrat Pro ... resembles a chocolatey cereal

Coco puffs huh maybe kix? LOL!

I just set up my eheims with the standard Eheim Ehfisubstrat, as you stated the pro is designed for better flow - the pieces are rounded and they claim it prevents clogging/compacting. Hopefully that really isnt too much of an issue; or I'll have to change out to pro one day myself.

VFC
06-07-2007, 2:29 PM
The advantage of "thick" bio-media like Matrix, Ehfisubstrat, CellPore, etc, is that there is the potential to produce anaerobic bacteria that reduces nitrates. If the center of the media receives just a small amount of oxygenated water, facultative anaerobic bacteria forms. This type of bacteria breaks down nitrates into nitrogen gas. This bacteria sometimes forms in deep sand substrates. However, if the substrate is too compact and the depth too deep, you may totally deprive the bacteria of oxygen This condition may then form a potentially dangerous strict anaerobic bacteria. That bacteria also reduces nitrates but releases poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas.

Pot scrubbers, and other hard surface media, only form aerobic bacteria. That the same that forms on the tank walls, plastic plants, etc. So IMO, pot scrubbers are a waste of space in a canister.

el wadd
06-07-2007, 3:59 PM
I ordered the Ehfisubstrat Pro. We'll see how it shakes out.

Fishman07
06-16-2007, 11:01 PM
what about steel wool, like the kind used for cleaning dishes????

pixl8r
06-17-2007, 1:33 AM
what about steel wool, like the kind used for cleaning dishes????

Are you serious, or just kidding? The metal would rust and would add high levels of iron to your tank.

As a tangent, I use those tubes as a substrate (with gravel or sand) in my tanks that I use for my baby shrimp. It's just yet another hiding and foraging place for them.

Rbishop
06-17-2007, 8:08 AM
No, do not use steel wool.

DarkSoul
06-17-2007, 8:15 AM
the big difference between Ehfisubstrat Pro and Ehfisubstrat is that Pro is better engineered for flow, and resembles a chocolatey cereal that my daughter loves, and now i have to be careful i dont leave any out. :D im not speaking from experience or anything though. ;)

When I bought my second eheim 2213, it came with the substrat pro..... and I was half-tempted to put it into a bowl with some milk and chow down.

Instead what I ended up doing was mixing the 2 types in a big bowl, and divided them up equally between the 2 filters.... so there is a big layer in my filters with substrat/Pro mix.



I still wanna have a bowl of them though.

el wadd
06-19-2007, 12:04 AM
they look much better than they taste.

Shocker6966
06-19-2007, 11:10 AM
http://www.wernersponds.com/biofiltermedia.htm

Bang for buck goes to the potscrubbers for conventional filters. Sand obviously if you use a fluidized bed filter.

Squawkbert
06-19-2007, 11:40 AM
I ordered the Ehfisubstrat Pro. We'll see how it shakes out.

^ I have that (Cocoa puffs) and the rings that came w/ my 2215 kit. Once the media all packed itself down a bit, I added 2 pot scrubbers to the bottom of the can while doing my 1st "real" cleaning of it (which means I emptied ea. layer into its own bucket, rinsed w/ tank water. returned to canister).

If you want lots of SA for bacterial growth, mylon spot scrubbers are hard to beat - impossible to beat if you factor cost in.

TwoTankAmin
06-19-2007, 12:16 PM
I have tried a number of things and always have come back to the dsimple sponge. They are excellent for both bio and mech, are cleanable and reusable for many many years and cheap- plus they can be cut to shape.

Most of the so called "fancy" bio media eventually clog and will need to be replaced.

And floss is not a good bio media. it is designed to trap solid wastes which means reduced flow and surface area. I routinely use floss in all my filters- both HOB and canister. In the HOBs I replace it weekly.

Hartzell
06-28-2007, 8:52 PM
I believe I saw a comparative chart in MonsterFishKeepers that says nylon pot scrubbies (they look like steel wool made of nylon) have the greatest surface area for bacteria to colonize, hundreds of times greater than Bio balls or Bio cubes. And they're very cheap.

loaches r cool
06-28-2007, 10:28 PM
I've used quite a few, and from now on sticking with pot scrubbers for anything new.

DeeDeeK
04-17-2009, 1:52 AM
Does anybody know of any site with solid info on any products, like useful surface area per volume of media, pore size, structure, composition, etc?

I'd like to see, say, ten identical 10gal tanks with equal amounts of identical substrate, identical filters, and each with an equal volume of bio-media of different sorts. Then run a fishless cycle on all of them. Naturally the tanks would be filled and kept topped-off to a single water level.

We could see how quickly the biological filter establishes itself. Then we could keep increasing the measured amount of ammonia added gradually in order to simulate the ammonia production of greater and greater biological loads. Finally, we could monitor nitrates and determine whether and how much nitrate reduction is happening.

I really want to know the solid facts about these things. Right now I wonder how much snake-oil I'm being sold and how much misinformation there is intentionally and unintentionally being put out there. I know I misinform my share of people with my superstitious opinions about the hobby day by day.

I use a plastic cylinder (tennis ball can) with a weak little powerhead attached to the bottom. I put some polyester pillow stuffing in the bottom and fill the cylinder to the top with Odyssea "Bio-Glass" media and the powerhead pushes water slowly up through it all. It handles a rather large biological load with aplomb, but I'd like to know more facts about what I'm doing. Is the Odyssea product decent as far as sintered glass goes? Is it a good media to facilitate nitrate reduction? If I replaced it with substrate pro, could I keep an even denser little nano-ecosystem, with more crustaceans and worms and snails to be live-in entertainers and food for my fish?

I just drank a Rockstar before I typed all this, so please forgive this chatty Kathy.

biggdadyapisto
04-17-2009, 2:43 AM
I use a plastic cylinder (tennis ball can) with a weak little powerhead attached to the bottom. I put some polyester pillow stuffing in the bottom and fill the cylinder to the top with Odyssea "Bio-Glass" media and the powerhead pushes water slowly up through it all. It handles a rather large biological load with aplomb, but I'd like to know more facts about what I'm doing. Is the Odyssea product decent as far as sintered glass goes? Is it a good media to facilitate nitrate reduction? If I replaced it with substrate pro, could I keep an even denser little nano-ecosystem, with more crustaceans and worms and snails to be live-in entertainers and food for my fish?

I just drank a Rockstar before I typed all this, so please forgive this chatty Kathy.


can you explain how you made it in more detail? sounds like it might just work for a project im working on.

fwiffo
04-17-2009, 11:06 AM
Does anybody know of any site with solid info on any products, like useful surface area per volume of media, pore size, structure, composition, etc?

I'd like to see, say, ten identical 10gal tanks with equal amounts of identical substrate, identical filters, and each with an equal volume of bio-media of different sorts. Then run a fishless cycle on all of them. Naturally the tanks would be filled and kept topped-off to a single water level.

We could see how quickly the biological filter establishes itself. Then we could keep increasing the measured amount of ammonia added gradually in order to simulate the ammonia production of greater and greater biological loads. Finally, we could monitor nitrates and determine whether and how much nitrate reduction is happening.

I really want to know the solid facts about these things. Right now I wonder how much snake-oil I'm being sold and how much misinformation there is intentionally and unintentionally being put out there. I know I misinform my share of people with my superstitious opinions about the hobby day by day.

I use a plastic cylinder (tennis ball can) with a weak little powerhead attached to the bottom. I put some polyester pillow stuffing in the bottom and fill the cylinder to the top with Odyssea "Bio-Glass" media and the powerhead pushes water slowly up through it all. It handles a rather large biological load with aplomb, but I'd like to know more facts about what I'm doing. Is the Odyssea product decent as far as sintered glass goes? Is it a good media to facilitate nitrate reduction? If I replaced it with substrate pro, could I keep an even denser little nano-ecosystem, with more crustaceans and worms and snails to be live-in entertainers and food for my fish?

I just drank a Rockstar before I typed all this, so please forgive this chatty Kathy.

sounds like the filter i have running in my tank. i used fluval bio max in it and well if i had to do it again, i would'nt buy them.
http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171231

i would just go to jo-ann fabric store and buy some sea sponges to fill it with.
the bio max is white so it discolors, collects algae spots on it, and is just an awful color for the tank.

all this talk about bio media...why not just get a big hydro sponge and a small air pump. those things are great.

nugpuffer
04-17-2009, 11:41 AM
Does anybody know of any site with solid info on any products, like useful surface area per volume of media, pore size, structure, composition, etc?

Try this link:
http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88677

SMinNC
04-17-2009, 2:45 PM
Plain gravel as a substrate in the aquarium works. :P

DeeDeeK
04-17-2009, 3:46 PM
thanks for the link, it was interesting to read about so many media!

But I want, f'r 'xample data on odyssea "Super Porus Bio Glass" media. What's the useful surface area, how does it compare with, say, Siporax.

I'll tell you, the manufacturers don't like to give technically useful stats on their material. It's BS, because there are a lot of us hobbyists who like to know this stuff but the aquarium supply companies provide only vague and self-serving information.

I bet the first aquarium product company to start providing that info would develop a loyal following. After all, we'd finally know what we're buying!

I use a lot of Jebo-Jebao-Odyssea products because a) I'm poor, b) I'm poor, and c) their stuff is so cheap I'm not afraid to experiment with and modify it and finally d) I'm poor.

DeeDeeK
04-17-2009, 4:35 PM
Plain gravel as a substrate in the aquarium works. :P

Yes, but for what? I keep a very large biomass in a small tank and in order to keep the water as good as it is (which is excellent) I need heap big biofiltration in heap small space!

Oh, and I have a 3" (approx) FW DSB so no gravel for me:p:

gmh
04-17-2009, 5:18 PM
I agree gravel is an underated source of bacteria. Especially clay based, or porous gravel. Lots of surface area down there.

DeeDeeK
04-17-2009, 9:15 PM
can you explain how you made it in more detail? sounds like it might just work for a project im working on.

I hope this tangent from the topic is OK but I can't imagine starting a whole, new thread for this. Hopefully I can make it relevant.

I got a weak powerhead from a discarded filter barely rated for a 5gal tank. Gph I don't know but not many. Then I

got a plastic tennis ball can and put a hole in the bottom,

(note that I created no spout, spigot or other conduit, just the open top of the can, even all 'round)

jammed the outlet of the powerhead into the hole,

Jammed some poly-fil into the bottom,

Poured sintered glass rings on top,

Super-glued two suction cups to the can,

Placed the filter in the tank, suctioned to the back wall and just deep enough that the top of the can was around 1/8" or 1/4" below the surface,

and then I plugged it in!

The filter is placed just barely underwater so its outflow turns over the surface to expose more water to the air, producing a very gentle, low turbulence aeration.

I'm hoping these rings have the right structure to encourage denitrification in the conditions my filter creates. The specifics of the biomedia can greatly affect the functioning of my filter since I'm trying to maintain a pond-like stillness while at the same time supporting lots of fish 'n other critters. So very good nitrification/denitrification in a small volume (small tank) was an important goal for this little filter.

So if substrat pro works better and Odyssea bio glass is inadequate, I'd like to know ahead of time instead of having to start with the cheapest biomedia I guessed could handle it and using the stuff for a while until I could tell if it works or not and then maybe having to buy and try out a more expensive alternative.

More thorough knowledge of one's tools and materials expands one's imagination. I mean, fish keeping is more than a hobby, it is truly a very broad craft and craftspersons, even hobbyist-craftspeople, should know the properties of what they have to work with.

DIYers CREATED this "hobby." The industry should honor us with a little more data.:wall:

jptjpt
04-17-2009, 9:23 PM
I use Rein Biotech's Biohome sintered glass. The stuff is expensive, though, and a little hard to find. 1Kg will set you back anywhere from $35 to $50. I like it much better than Eheim stuff. I have about 2.5Kg of it in my canister along with the Eheim ceramic rings, sponge pad, and a bag of Purigen for a 55G. This stuff will last for at least a decade without needing replacement. I figure having alot of the good bacteria will crowd out the bad ones and help prevent disease in your tank.

DeeDeeK
04-18-2009, 2:22 PM
I read the Biohome info online and would like to try it. Now I need to find out where I can get some around here!

Really, just knowing FEW relevant facts about a product like this makes me want to use it over the unknowns, even if it is several times more pricey!

Sorry to be so persnickety but I just got sold a lot of activated carbon, epoxy-coated gravel, and small fish which grow much much too large as I've learned how to keep fish. Once this guy nearly sold me this bridge in Brooklyn...

Anyhow thanks for the tip on Biohome. Sounds like a good product!

jptjpt
04-18-2009, 11:19 PM
Glad I could be of help. You can get it through notjustfish.com or call up the US distributor -- Kingfish Aquatics in NY, 914-833-7701 and talk to Michael.

DeeDeeK
05-05-2009, 2:22 PM
sounds like the filter i have running in my tank. i used fluval bio max in it and well if i had to do it again, i would'nt buy them.
http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171231

i would just go to jo-ann fabric store and buy some sea sponges to fill it with.
the bio max is white so it discolors, collects algae spots on it, and is just an awful color for the tank.

all this talk about bio media...why not just get a big hydro sponge and a small air pump. those things are great.
but it's fun to talk about bio media. And I think sponge filters look funny! ;-)

tcarswell
05-06-2009, 12:39 AM
pot scrubbers cheap and prob better then bio balls. i think floss has lots of area for bacteria also and polish the water at the same time.
Pot scrubbers are good wet dry media but submerged media it does not have a chance compared to ceramic medias as far as surface area.

DeeDeeK
07-01-2009, 8:54 AM
Are porous ceramic or sintered glass any good in wet/dry filters? Any better or worse than when submerged?

I was thinking, wouldn't it be a good idea to hammer on some of my odyssea sintered glass media to crunch it into gravel-sized bits so more would fit into my filter? It seems like pretty idea good to me and I've actually whacked a few of those little guys and they do crunch into aquarium-gravel sized pieces!

You see, I'm a tad obsessed with nitrification/denitrification because I keep getting these big batches of endler fry and feeding them 4-6x a day makes my tank all ammonia-ny and nitrite-y and my tank is small and I've no room for a fry tank. I like growing them out and giving 'em away to other hobbyists, and besides, my stupid betta hasn't realized that fry=food, though I'm not sure how good it is to feed your fish fried food.:D

oscartank
07-07-2009, 3:37 AM
Lol that's funny, I use pillow floss, sponge, ceramic and bio balls. I bought a box of BB s about 6 months ago and popped them in my sunsun1400lph and my fluval 305. They're still working fine and I have had no spikes or deaths so who cares, tring to push your filter to the highest possible output may be appealing but putting all yr eggs in one basket can be disaterous.

Buy a bigger filter and add acrylic wool sponge BBs Ceramic and those glass beads and you'll get a higher bio load in yr tank safely. The more systems u have the less chance of total disaster

Just thought id throw you al a curve ball fo fun!!!!!!!

SMinNC
07-07-2009, 5:21 AM
BB's?
What kind of BB's?

SubRosa
07-07-2009, 7:26 AM
Personally the thought of using submerged media for biological filtration doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Give me a wet/dry with bioballs or if I'm running a canister a set of Marineland BioWheels. Biological filtration as it is being discussed here is series of oxidative chemical reactions. Submerged media are limited to the oxygen dissolved in the water. Whatever media you use the more oxygen it can get the better.

RDTigger
07-07-2009, 7:46 AM
I hope this tangent from the topic is OK but I can't imagine starting a whole, new thread for this. Hopefully I can make it relevant.

I got a weak powerhead from a discarded filter barely rated for a 5gal tank. Gph I don't know but not many. Then I

got a plastic tennis ball can and put a hole in the bottom,

(note that I created no spout, spigot or other conduit, just the open top of the can, even all 'round)

jammed the outlet of the powerhead into the hole,

Jammed some poly-fil into the bottom,

Poured sintered glass rings on top,

Super-glued two suction cups to the can,

Placed the filter in the tank, suctioned to the back wall and just deep enough that the top of the can was around 1/8" or 1/4" below the surface,

and then I plugged it in!

The filter is placed just barely underwater so its outflow turns over the surface to expose more water to the air, producing a very gentle, low turbulence aeration.

I'm hoping these rings have the right structure to encourage denitrification in the conditions my filter creates. The specifics of the biomedia can greatly affect the functioning of my filter since I'm trying to maintain a pond-like stillness while at the same time supporting lots of fish 'n other critters. So very good nitrification/denitrification in a small volume (small tank) was an important goal for this little filter.

So if substrat pro works better and Odyssea bio glass is inadequate, I'd like to know ahead of time instead of having to start with the cheapest biomedia I guessed could handle it and using the stuff for a while until I could tell if it works or not and then maybe having to buy and try out a more expensive alternative.

More thorough knowledge of one's tools and materials expands one's imagination. I mean, fish keeping is more than a hobby, it is truly a very broad craft and craftspersons, even hobbyist-craftspeople, should know the properties of what they have to work with.

DIYers CREATED this "hobby." The industry should honor us with a little more data.:wall:

Pics...please..

Sounds like a Very Nice DIY article... I would love a visual, as I might try this..

While one may be a little better than an older version, there is no real BREAKTHRU.. Just slightly better flow with a compartment of spheres.. more physics than Bio-Chem..

oscartank
07-07-2009, 12:49 PM
BBs equals bio balls!!!!!

DeeDeeK
07-09-2009, 5:55 PM
I made a little DIY thread called "Quick 'n' Dirty Filter" that shows my filter design.

CWO4GUNNER
07-09-2009, 9:03 PM
Supposedly two glass minerals that have about the same immense internal surface area as carbon are Vermiculite, that weird potting soil that looks like tiny wood cubes you'd see in ornamental planters, and Perlite another weird white potting soil that resembles Styrofoam. Both minerals are supposed to be in the family of volcanic glass and excellent filter media you can buy in bulk but I haven't tried it yet and trying to get more experienced information on their safe use.

RDTigger
07-09-2009, 11:11 PM
Supposedly two glass minerals that have about the same immense internal surface area as carbon are Vermiculite, that weird potting soil that looks like tiny wood cubes you'd see in ornamental planters, and Perlite another weird white potting soil that resembles Styrofoam. Both minerals are supposed to be in the family of volcanic glass and excellent filter media you can buy in bulk but I haven't tried it yet and trying to get more experienced information on their safe use.

yea the stuff is dirt cheap in bulk... I thought it would make good bio filter media, but no idea if it will be safe underwater. I use it in my garden...

CWO4GUNNER
07-10-2009, 1:09 AM
yea the stuff is dirt cheap in bulk... I thought it would make good bio filter media, but no idea if it will be safe underwater. I use it in my garden...

The hard part is finding it in pure form with no additives but also in the right grain size coarse. They make it now for pool and hot tube filters with no additives 100% pure, the problem is its in super fine grain for mud type filters. I'm am in the process of contacting a couple companies that say they sell course grain pure for hydroponic gardening and carnivorous plants which cannot take any additives. I think soon Ill have the right stuff but no way Ill run it on one of my main aquariums cold turkey, Ill have to run a control test first for 48 hours in the QT tank.

DeeDeeK
07-11-2009, 9:34 AM
Personally the thought of using submerged media for biological filtration doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Give me a wet/dry with bioballs or if I'm running a canister a set of Marineland BioWheels. Biological filtration as it is being discussed here is series of oxidative chemical reactions. Submerged media are limited to the oxygen dissolved in the water. Whatever media you use the more oxygen it can get the better.


That's interesting. I'd love to know if there've been any scientific, or at least accurate and objective, tests of bio media submerged or wet/dry for comparison. It makes sense to me that given the same useful surface area, media in a wet/dry filter would process more ammonia into nitrate but we don't know the maximum capacity of the bacteria within a given surface area to do this processing. Can it approach that maximum capacity submerged in well oxygenated water? If it can already, is there room to improve wet/dry? How much more oxygen is available in a wet/dry scenario or can that be measured?

This is not to argue; I'm pretty sure the wet/dry approach is more efficient in terms of (surface area / nitrification capacity). Just, I'd love to see more publications like Diana Walstad's lovely book "Ecology of the Planted Tank" to learn more. I would love to do it myself, but I can only speak pigeon sciencese, not actually do good science.

My preference is to use media with gobs of useful surface area with adequate flow to keep all the surfaces oxygenated. That way a small total volume can house enough bacteria to do the job. Also, I use a large-grained sand for substrate so there is all that surface area in my tank (50 x 25 cm of the top 1cm of sand equals 25-30 grams of decently oxygenated sand gives about 500 or more square meters surface area depending on the texture and porosity of the individual grains - which can increase the area by many many times). I don't use aeration in my tank and the fish and snails and shrimps and other critters seem pretty happy so I have to assume there's plenty 'nuff oxygen.

I like my tank quiet, no humming or splishy-splashy sound, because it's next to the head of my bed. Maybe I can figure out a really quiet wet-dry filter. I had to dismantle the one in the hood of my tank because it was a)noisy and b) had an ugly powerhead dangling down. Oh, and because it is way too powerful for a nine gallon planted tank.

RDTigger
07-11-2009, 10:02 AM
No idea of wet/dry #'s...

But this is a SArea comparison b/n Eheim pro and seachem matrix..

http://www.seachem.com/support/SpecificSurface.pdf

CWO4GUNNER
07-11-2009, 11:16 AM
I believe beneficial bacteria grows on almost any inert material that has surface area to harbor them underwater like the fish a much higher functioning organism with a brain and by mass requiring much more oxygen then bacteria are able to extract more then enough oxygen out of solution when normally saturated with 5-10 PPM oxygen. As far as canister filters go beneficial bacteria are in both the canister and the aquarium in quantities that are active to support the bio load and in a dormant stage to react to increases in bio load. I actually did an experiment where I stocked a new 120 gallon unscycled tank with 4 adult mollies and 2 Cory cats day one and used nothing more then an establish Magnum 350 canister filter off my 60 gallon heavily stocked tank (10 barbs, 5 tetra minor, 4 silver dollars, 2 Cory cats, one 7" Gobi, 2 betta M/F, 1 ADF, and 2 redwags) to establish it in 2 days. I wanted to prove rather then waiting weeks to cycle the 120 that the 120 would cycle almost immediately and the 60 tank would suffer no significant ammonia spike by swapping out magnum filters. The established magnum 350 filter from the cycled 60 tank for the uncycled new magnum 350 originally intended for the already stocked but uncycled 120 tank. The result was that both aquariums suffered only a .5 spike in ammonia almost simultaneously for 2 days before going to 0. In addition and immediately following the 0 reading on the 2nd day I purchased 4 medium size blood Parrots and placed them in the 120 tank and continued to stock weekly with no further spike in toxins. To me this was proof positive that beneficial bacteria given a healthy environment and what they need will colonize underwater in a canister as well as in the tank not only in sufficient quantity but in dormant numbers waiting to bio bloom at the fist opportunity as demonstrated in the 60 tank ability to recover without an established filter and a canister filter established for a much smaller aquarium ability to establish a tank twice the volume. But you see it makes perfect sense that they thrive underwater as our oceans and lakes are also not dependent on wet/dry filtration to grow organisms, in my very respectful opinion (IMVRO) 8^D.

davcheng
07-11-2009, 12:04 PM
given a canister filter that can hold 1 gallon of media and a wet/dry that can hold 1 gallon of media, at the same flow rate, which would be able to handle a larger bioload? (i guess given the same type of media as well)

CWO4GUNNER
07-11-2009, 12:50 PM
Most of your performance differences in different type filters are the result of not only different media and media volume but more importantly and greatly overlooked is surface area media format. Surface area not only of the microscopic in the type media we use, but equally important in the way the media if formatted for exposure to flow or GPH. You could have 2 gallons of media but if 1 gallon of media is configured and formatted to espouse twice the surface area, the 1 gallon will out perform the 2 gallon every day and twice on Saturday. The same reasons high mechanical surface area benifits hi-flow and debrise hi-filtration are the same reasons larger amounts of bacteria will colonize there. Bacteria is not too picky when it comes to colonizing as long as the environment provides surface area, is not toxic and has at least 5PPM oxygen in solution. When considering any filter system with a given GPH the most important aspect is media surface area format, the larger the format like a camera, the better the results all the way round, as in round filters lol.

SubRosa
07-11-2009, 1:25 PM
www.marineland.com/sites/Marineland/Documents/LB12BW_manual.pdf (http://www.marineland.com/sites/Marineland/Documents/LB12BW_manual.pdf)

Please note that the 40lbs of "biomedia" is essentially porous gravel. The system contains 2 of their commercial biowheels. Each of these is about 12" wide and 10" in diameter. The stocking loads these systems are designed to handle would make the proprietor of a Chinese restaurant say "Too many fish!"

Slappy*McFish
07-11-2009, 1:35 PM
http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=Hydroton&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=PdtYSuHCH4r7tgf6j5HdCg&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4

excuzzzeme
07-11-2009, 1:53 PM
You can decide for yourself:

99170

CWO4GUNNER
07-11-2009, 3:20 PM
Yup that activated carbon is amazing stuff. Do you know I did a test on claims that carbon increases phosphates by placing new carbon in RO with an aerator and then after 24 hours measuring differences between RO before and without free floating carbon, and then after with the carbon and difference was like no difference in the chemical test 0.

Incidentally so that im not misunderstood, I understand that at the microscopic level some materials have far more surface area (like carbon) and therefore logically be more supportive for bacteria colonization. While this is true fundamentally it is also true that the reason why they colonize these tiny high surface area crevices is because the food they need gets trapped there as well and where the food is the bacteria go, no food no bacteria. This is where media configuration for surface area exposure (format & footprint) is so important. Even in water reclamation where bacteria plays a huge role they understand that the carbon has to be spread out thin on grates for maximum mechanical exposure relative to the flow of dirty water otherwise you just donít capture as much trapped dirt (bio food) and all that thickness of media simply gets blocked by the media in front resulting in early clogging, not more bacteria colonization. The more media that is stacked in series against a given flow footprint, the less effective that media becomes regardless of what its made of. In contrast a parallel filter even though having the same GPH, because of multiple access points and much larger surface areas will trap substantially more dirt while at the same time maintaining more flow and more OX levels to colonizing bacteria. Its like two identical skyscrapers with different methods of moving people, you can have 4000 people waiting in a line outside the parking lot for 7 hours to access one security check point and get to work, or you can every entrance open around the building with added security to check those same number of people in 20 minutes. The thinner a given amount of media is spread for exposure to a given amount of GPH the more food it will trap and bacteria colonization it will support, conversely the thicker a given mount of media is stacked against a given amount of GPH, the less food it will trap, less OX exposure, less bacteria colonization.

DeeDeeK
07-11-2009, 11:38 PM
If we're talking about nitrogen fixing bacteria, no particles need be trapped, simply oxygen, ammonia, co2, and trace elements - all of which are in solution - need flow around them. This is because nitrifying bacteria are autotrophs like plants but they use chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis to power the production of complex organic molecules from simple molecules of inorganic carbon and other elements.

denitrifying bacteria, which are often found deeper in the pores of the media and in the low oxygen regions of the biofilm, however, use no2 and no3 to oxidize organic compounds in the absence of oxygen. They can metabolize dissolved organic carbon so though they are not autotrophs, they don't need particles.

CWO4GUNNER
07-12-2009, 3:21 PM
True to a point but all the more reason why large dimensional surface area filter design with respect to filter size is best. Take for example the Magnum 350 canister filter with size of only 12HX5D round with a filter foot print of 18x5"= 90 SI, yet out performs the same comparable size stack media type filter (6x5=30 SI) by 2 to 1 in all areas. So its not just the media used but its surface area exposure to flow as proven time after time in industry. Only in the home aquarium market are stack filter design's used, and only for convenience and styling at the expense of effectiveness, IMVRO. ;)

mott
07-12-2009, 7:13 PM
True to a point but all the more reason why large dimensional surface area filter design with respect to filter size is best. Take for example the Magnum 350 canister filter with size of only 12HX5D round with a filter foot print of 18x5"= 90 SI, yet out performs the same comparable size stack media type filter (6x5=30 SI) by 2 to 1 in all areas. So its not just the media used but its surface area exposure to flow as proven time after time in industry. Only in the home aquarium market are stack filter design's used, and only for convenience and styling at the expense of effectiveness, IMVRO. ;)

The 350 out preforms what comparable filters and what are we talking about here bio or mech?
Please explain because when I had the 350 I used it for mech only, it did little for bio filtration.

CWO4GUNNER
07-12-2009, 7:55 PM
All I can tell you is that my Magnum 350 only had the standard 5x18 blue blanket sock and canister full of carbon. This same filter established on a stocked 60 gallon tank was used to cycle a new 120 stocked tank and it cycled it in 2 days. For me that little demonstration was proof positive that the Magnum 350 is a bio-mechanical-chemical powerhouse filter by comparison due to design.