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Thread: Best bio media
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2020, 10:49 PM
PlantedRich
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What is best changes with different tanks and different situations and does take some judgement as there is no one "best" for all things.
Some of the factors involved are size of tank and waste load, age of tank and how much time effort you want to put in for cleaning, etc. Lots of small points to think about.
First is what do you want/need the media of all types in your filter to do for you. Not important what others want done in their tank!
If you have a newish tank, less than maybe six months old, there will be different levels of bacteria, depending on how you have worked the nitrogen cycle to build those colonies of bacteria.
Bio media is simple "something" that provides a place for lots of bacteria to live. The more tiny spaces for them to hang on is often considered "better" for bio. That leaves things like ceramic and many of the Special stuff better for lots more bacteria but then if we look at whether we need that much bacteria, we may find a different answer.
If you have a newish tank and lots of big messy fish, you may need a lot more bio to take care of the waste processing, but if you have an older tank and lots of plants as well as few or small, far less messy fish, you don't need a lot or very good bio media as you have other things taking care of the job!
spong is often considered mechanical and it does do that but it also has a fair amount of small spaces for bacteria so it is also bio media.
That leaves us open to slanting the media to fit what we find works best for us. Specific great bio media is okay but not needed if you really find your big old messy fish needs more water straining to remove the floating debris he kicks up!
What is best is what works for you and the time you want to spend cleaning the filter and media.
I normally start a tank with a mix of bio and mech but over time, I do change out some things like spong if they begin to be too much work due to stopping up flow too quickly.
Spong and filter floss are often too time consuming if I have a reasonable fish load, so I go for things that don't stop up so quick, once I know for sure there are tons of good bacteria all over the tank. Just not to throw out too much of the media at one time to create a spike due to loss of bacteria.
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