Too much biofiltration? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Too much biofiltration?

I'm setting up a 90 gallon aquarium and am thinking of dedicating an Eheim 2213 to just biofiltration, I have a Marineland C-360 on order that will be my main filter. At the moment the tank is just going to contain small fish until I get it cycled, then I'm eventually going to add plants and go high tech. I was wondering if there is such a thing as too much biofiltration?


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 01:51 AM
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No. Bacteria will wax and wane in accordance to their food supply. Plus an eheim 2213 isn't much for a 90 gallon, I've used them on a 10 and wouldn't go any higher than a 20! That said, the more filtration the better.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 01:58 AM
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The filter's food supply being what the plants are utilizing as well...therein lies the rub.
You can use bio filtration Jett, but I recommend gaining a full understanding of the mechanisms involved. Your plants are actually your best bio-filter.

I suggest reading Walstad's book, and going from there - even if you plan on going "high tech" at least understand the options, and know why you're doing what your doing.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 04:39 PM
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I've found that it isn't really required to run any biofiltration specific media in moderately to heavily planted tanks, you're generally better off running all or almost all mechanical filtration since planted tanks tend to be messy (bits of plants, dusty/messy substrates) and it isn't like sponges etc. can't hold a healthy bacterial colony.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 04:46 PM
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I have found the opposite. With lots of biofiltration ammonia gets taken out faster and I don't get green water. Without any biomedia I had GW every time I disturbed the tank. Plants may prefer ammonia but they do just fine on the end product of biofiltration, nitrate. I had perfectly clear water with water running through an empty sump with just a prefilter to get debris but the green water was a big nuisance.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. I'll have to see if I can find the book. I have absolutely no live plants at the moment. But as with anything I get into I'll play around and see what works for my tank. I appreciate the advice! I'm going to run my Eheim 2213 with just bio media, and my Marineland C-360 gets here today so I'll be setting that up, and I'll see where it goes from there.

Thanks!


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jett View Post
I'm setting up a 90 gallon aquarium and am thinking of dedicating an Eheim 2213 to just biofiltration, I have a Marineland C-360 on order that will be my main filter. At the moment the tank is just going to contain small fish until I get it cycled, then I'm eventually going to add plants and go high tech. I was wondering if there is such a thing as too much biofiltration?


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With a fish only tank, no. But you are doing things in reverse order. Your tank should be heavily planted. 80%+ of the substrate should be planted from the start with fast growing plants. Biological filters on planted tanks aren't a necessity because every surface, every plant including the substrate act as biological filters. Mechanical filtration to clear the water column of particulate matter can be useful.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, what plants do you suggest as starter plants? I'll be dosing with Flourish Excel until I can afford to complete my co2 setup.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 05:12 PM
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I prefer to keep biofiltration in my system, let the plants deal with the nitrate. Ammonia is incredibly more toxic in much lower doses than nitrate.

The good news is that a 90g gives you wiggle room for mistakes.

When I started, I got Dwarf Lillies and some form of Aponogeton that came from Wal-Mart in a dry bulb form. I later added Bacopa Caroliniana to the mix. The lillies are forgiving, as are the bacopas. Both grow relatively fast with decent lighting.

If you want to pay for shipping, I'm getting ready to do some more trimming of the Bacopas. I can send you a good starter bunch. Be warned, I do have snails and some algae cropping up. I love the Ramshorn snails (great aquarium cleaners, and kinda cute), but algae....meh. A good hydrogen peroxide soak would take care of it. I think I have one of my Aponogetons seeding out, so I could try to include some of those plantlets as well. They're tiny right now, but could be fun.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 06:36 PM
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Okay, what plants do you suggest as starter plants? I'll be dosing with Flourish Excel until I can afford to complete my co2 setup.


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There's a handy dandy link at the top of the page called Plant Profiles that will tell you what you need to know.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 12:34 AM
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I prefer to keep biofiltration in my system, let the plants deal with the nitrate. Ammonia is incredibly more toxic in much lower doses than nitrate.
Ammonia is dealt with immediately in a heavily planted tank, there's no measurable free ammonia in the system to be toxic. Besides, you have bio-filtration in a tank anyway whether you have an actual commercial bio-filter or not. The bacteria live on the plant leaves and on the surface of the substrate - so either way it can't be helped. The point is that you're not saving your
fish from ammonia poisoning by adding a bio-filter.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 02:10 AM
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I used a Eheim 2062 on my 125 gal tank and loaded it up with nothing but biomedia. The water was crystal clear all the time. I later added a surface skimmer hooked up to a XP3 using sponges and filter floss. I really don't think it did much other than keep the biofilm off the surface.
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