cheap bio media? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 06:20 PM
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2 cubic feet, as in 15 gallons worth? that's a lot. I was going to say that, while not cheap, Seachem Matrix isn't really all that expensive either, and it's pretty darn good bang for your buck.

But that much volume? yeah, I think I'd be looking for cheaper options.

I like the Army Men suggestion!!
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 09:17 PM
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i use plastic plants as bio media ,. finally a use for them lol
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
True pumice does, so I think he meant lava rock...
It will float, but after a bit some may get waterlogged. And with 2 cubic feet, I'm sorta assuming this is going to be a wet/dry type set up? In most filter set ups, the bouyancy of the media won't really matter much.

Anyways, I've got some pumice in my Eclipse right now, I just stuck a sponge on top, and it seems to be working okay.

It's lighter, and gives a bit more surface area then lava rock. I remember it came up recently in one of the discussions about one of the pricier seachem(I think?) media. Seemed to be remarkably similar, if maybe not quite the same.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Media will be submerged, not wet/dry. The tank is 360 gallons.
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 01:05 PM
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You might as well look into a k1 media setup, thats the route i'll be taking once i upgrade my filter system on my 180g. If not seachem matrix is really good. If you order the pond matrix which is just the bigger size stone its $20-$25 for 4 liters of it, pillow stuffing, pot scrubbies, foam, ceramic rings.

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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 12:17 AM
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Having excellent results with dollar store pot scrubbies. There's a thread out there that attempts to scientifically rate cheap biofilter media, IIRC pot scrubbies were either top or second place for surface area to actual physical dimensions.
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Having excellent results with dollar store pot scrubbies. There's a thread out there that attempts to scientifically rate cheap biofilter media, IIRC pot scrubbies were either top or second place for surface area to actual physical dimensions.
Any chance you have a link to that thread? I don't seem to be able to find it.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 08:36 PM
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I just bought a large bag of red lava rock at home depot this weekend for $3. Can't get much cheaper than that.
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Any chance you have a link to that thread? I don't seem to be able to find it.
Let me open this request up a little more broadly. If anyone has any sort of unbiased information on actual performance of various bio media, I'd love to see it.

Seems like the only "research" out there is either from the hand of the vendor selling the product, or extremely rudimentary. Or just not very conclusive. Apparently everyone concentrates on surface area per unit of volume. I agree that is clearly important but I'm not sure it's the only thing we should be paying attention to. Does surface area per unit of volume translate linearly to actual performance in a fish tank?
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the best I have found so far:

http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/fo...o-Filter-Media
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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 09:22 PM
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I don't know if any real statistics are out there, but I've read countless threads where folks used pot scrubbers with great success. MarinePure had a data sheet that compared various plastic media (like bio balls) but I don't think it included data about pot scrubbers.

Here is an interesting conversation. Down the way it lists various surface areas for commonly suggested cheap bio media.

http://forum.simplydiscus.com/archiv...p/t-51196.html
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 09:25 PM
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...... Does surface area per unit of volume translate linearly to actual performance in a fish tank?
It does. The more surface area you have available for the BB to grow the better it will work. A problem with lava rock is the insides aren't porous so it can clog up and become anaerobic. Pot scrubbers have a higher surface area available as well as better throughput availability so it won't clog up and go anaerobic.
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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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It does. The more surface area you have available for the BB to grow the better it will work. A problem with lava rock is the insides aren't porous so it can clog up and become anaerobic. Pot scrubbers have a higher surface area available as well as better throughput availability so it won't clog up and go anaerobic.
See, I think you're proving my point. It's one thing to say a given media has high surface area, but if the structure makes for poor flow or easy clogging, it may not be as effective as a media with lower surface area - i.e. the relationship is NOT purely linear.
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 09:36 PM
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I have a bunch of pot scrubbers, matrix, some fluval bio rings, and some filter floss in my sump and my matrix appears to have more growth on them than any of the other medias, aside from the filter floss at the top.
With that being said, I'm sure there's a thin film of BB on the pot scrubbers, just not enough to gunk up like the matrix (the matrix has a sludge/film on the surface).

So, I think the pot scrubbers stay cleaner, but don't have as much room as the matrix. But then again, that's my tank setup: all of my media is submerged and I'm sure everyone will have somewhat different results.

If you wanted to get some pot scrubbers, let me know: I've got a box of those things sitting out in the garage and I'd let them go almost free.

Edit: I see that someone else mentioned the K1 media (they also make K3). I have a moving bed of the K1 in the discus tank and it seems to be doing okay. I don't have any complaints from it other than they tend to snag on my filter socks, but the sump design on that tank is only temporary.
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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How many in your box? If I take my best guess at the dimensions of a pot scrubber, and account for volume loss in my box due to plumbing, it looks like I'd need something like 200-300 of the things. Yikes!
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