View Full Version : Bio-media: sintered glass vs. plastic
11-22-2005, 12:57 PM
Hi. For those who have had experience with both plastic media and sintered glass products, which do you prefer in your canisters? Did one out-perform the other? How do you know? Thanks!
11-22-2005, 4:08 PM
The sintered glass products will plug up eventually and therefore must be periodically replaced. Plastics, gravel and other improvised items do not carry this issue as much if at all. The sintered glass does have more surface area by far, but there is usually ample room to develope a good bio-filter with other products. I use several types of bio-media but do not use sintered glass except for an initial purchase I made when unaware of the downside.
11-22-2005, 4:40 PM
I use open-cell sponge (like the AquaClear sponges) in my canister filters. I just cut to fit and stuff sponge in all of the compartments of my canisters (I do the same for HOBs as well).
The sponge has a large surface area for the volume it occupies, but doesn't clog up like sintered glass or porous ceramic media (which shortly lose the majority of their surface area to clogging). It's also very easy to clean, cheap, and lightweight. It's everything that I need/want in biological media.
11-22-2005, 6:11 PM
I use the ceramic rings. They seem to be very porous and I can usually shake alot of debris out when it gets clogged. When its really dirty you can put them in boiling water really quick and thier as good as new. I wonder how well the sponges work? If the sponges work fine as bio media i wonder why peopple stil buy epxensve stuff?
11-22-2005, 6:37 PM
i would go with really porous sponges too. cheap and effective.
people buy expensive stuff because those companies make the money for good marketers. most of my stuff is diy; with that many animals i cant afford to go out and buy everything off the shelf.
11-22-2005, 7:53 PM
Does anyone know exactly how well things like biomax compare against the sponges? I have an AC myself and if the sponges work they would be a greate alternative to the expensive bio rings.
11-22-2005, 10:18 PM
The ceramic medias do have significantly more surface area than does a sponge.
But a sponge usually has plenty of surface area to create a good bio-filter. With that in mind the sponge is easier, cheaper, and lasts longer so it is the better option. The exceptions would be where space is highly limited and bio-load dictates a need for a larger bio-filter. In reality small space high bio-load usually menas improper housing so it isn't an issue for a responsible hobbyist.
I use plastic or ceramic biomedia only. Both are permanent media, both offer plenty of surface area. The plastic is completely self-cleaning, the ceramic is pretty good.
The plastic medium I use is Dupla's MiniKaskade, the ceramic is Eheim's Ehfimech - sold as a coarse mechanical medium, but it serves nicely for nitrification bacterial attachment as well.
I know because I ran quite a lot of tests over several years on sinteed glass, various plastics, assorted ceramics, sponges, lava rock, plain gravel, coarse gravel, etc. to find out which was most effective, most self-cleaning, and most lasting in my particular (canister-only) application.