I'm curious as to how many of the above posters run without bio-media in their filters.
As I mentioned in my previous post, with some exception*, I have only sponge material in all my filters. Sponge is not only a great mechanical filter, but finer bio-sponge is an excellent platform for beneficial bacteria. So bio-sponge IS my bio-media.... And I can aggressively clean these, even weekly, with no negative affect on tank life - EVEN in bare bottom grow out tanks.
I'm experimenting with Dr. Kevin Novak's phD anoxic biocenosis baskets.
The "trouble" with many commercial bio-medias is they claim irregular surfaces or micro pores to provide [even] more surface area, but these all too quickly become clogged with detritus. Many manufacturers recommend replacing half the media every few months while most hobbyists ignore this thinking the media is good forever.
The notion that fish urine is different than fish poop is a bit incorrect as like plant waste, it is all organic nitrogenous waste. In addition to nitrosomonas and nitrospira (once that to be nitrobacter) beneficial bacteria, there is also faculative bacteria that decomposes organic waste.
Although it is true that the aquarium filter is a great place for BB as food is constantly delivered, it is also true (as posted) that fast flow rates through the filter do impede BB's ability to process ammonia and nitrites.
When comparing the surface area of filter media to the substrate, whether gravel or sand, the substrate wins hands down. Although the aerobic regions in the substrate may only be an inch or two deep, the surface area is still many times greater than the bio-media in even large filters.
But again, I speak of established tanks. With new tanks, it can take up to 6 months to reach stability.
Tank on - Mike
Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.
What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg from a chicken.
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