Pot scrubber for Biofilter media - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Question Pot scrubber for Biofilter media

No, I do not mean the round ones.

What I mean are the rectangular pads that are about 1/4 inch thick. Originally from 3M company, and usually have a grayish color to them. They actually come in different grades, which can be used for everything from scrubbing teflon-coated pots to sanding hardwood.

The wood sanding ones made by 3M were too expensive at Menards, so I went to a 'Dollar' store and bought a bunch of cheap imitations (8 for $1.25). They are also in different colors (red, blue, yellow, gray).

The questions I have are: Has anyone used the plain gray ones in their filters? Has anyone used the colored ones? Is the coloring harmfull?

If the coloring is bad I can always use them for scrubbing pots, and go pay full price for the 3M gray ones.

Jim
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 12:50 AM
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A friend of mine uses them all the time for filters.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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A friend of mine uses them all the time for filters.
Does your friend use the gray ones or the rainbow colors? That was my main question. Is there something in the coloring that is harmful to fish?

Jim
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 05:10 PM
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I have used the colored round ones from the dollar store for yrs in my sump filters, as have many other people. They work well for trapping large particulate matter and do an "OK" job with biomedia.

Exactly how do you plan to implement them? Once I have your answer, I can better give you a solution.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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I have used the colored round ones....
What I have are the square flat ones, not the round ones. I am concerned with whatever was used to get the rainbow colors. Is it 'painted' on, or actually internal to the substance itself?

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Exactly how do you plan to implement them? Once I have your answer, I can better give you a solution.
My filter system consists of 3 whole house cansiter filters in cascade, for mechanical, chemical, and bio filtration. This also allows for palying around with the filtering method, such as coarse-fine-bio; or coarse-fine-chemical, etc.

I haven't decided exactly how I will use them. My ideas so far are to 1) shred them and stuff them into the filter, or 2) cut them into donut shapes and carefully layer them into the filters. In either case there will be a 1 inch pvc pipe, which fits nicely in the center of the filters, to draw the water out from the bottom of the canister. Might also layer them with gravel.

Sounds like overkill for a 55 gallon tank, but this is A LOT cheaper than a store-bought filter rated for 55 gallons!

My new job with the post office has been sending me away for training for weeks at a time(in fact, I am at this time in beautiful Norman, OK), so I haven't had much chance to work on the system lately. When I get it done I plan on posting pictures here.


Jim
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 09:36 PM
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If these are what I think they are, they will collect a lot of gunk and then completely block the filter flow, especially if you lay them flat. But maybe you are talking about something else, because the ones I think of are mostly green.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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If these are what I think they are, they will collect a lot of gunk and then completely block the filter flow.
They will be after the mechanical filtration, so there will be no gunk at this point. However, I was also considering using them for prefiltering, which will be rinsed out during routine maintenance. Wouldn't any filter eventually have this problem?

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the ones I think of are mostly green.
Whatever. remember that 25% of the male population has a some type of color vision problem , red/green being the most common. They look gray to me. Some of them are blue. The ones that are bought are different rainbow colors (each one being one of 4 colors, that is).


Still, what effect will the different rainbow colors have?

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 06:16 PM
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They will be after the mechanical filtration, so there will be no gunk at this point. However, I was also considering using them for prefiltering, which will be rinsed out during routine maintenance. Wouldn't any filter eventually have this problem?
The finer the filter medium, the more particles it will retain and the quicker it will completely clog.

I guess you are right, gray and blue and different colors, are those the ones you are talking about? http://www.completestorefixtures.com...gsupplies.aspx

With those things, you always need to be concerned about mildewcides/fungicides/whatevercides which might be added to delay the "old-rag-smell" and will probably end any life in your tank quickly.

For both reasons, I would suggest you go with some filter sponges. They are inert, last years, and have a huge capacity for both mechanical as well as biological filtration.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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I guess you are right, gray and blue and different colors, are those the ones you are talking about? http://www.completestorefixtures.com...gsupplies.aspx
Well, yes. 3M is the brand name. They invented the things. What I bought are some cheap clones made in Mexico. The package does not say anthing about fungicide.

I would guess that the ones made for sanding would not have any fungicide, although they cost 8 times as much.

Whats the problem with using cellulose sponges? The package says not to use in aquariums.

Jim
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 06:54 AM
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you are trying to use scotch-brite pads.

they should not be harmful. the color is in the material. if it were painted on it would only wear off when you try to scrub something with it

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