Question about bio balls in Canister Filter - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Question about bio balls in Canister Filter

Hello All,

A little confused about the various stuff I am reading about bio balls.

1. How many bio balls do I need for a 100 gallon tank? This is going to be a planted tank. I keep hearing 1 gallon of bio balls per 50 gallons. That's about 225 bio balls every 50 gallons. Totally 450 bio balls for 100 gallons. Is that correct?

2. If indeed it is 450 bio balls, how am i supposed to fit everything in the media tray of a canister filter? I doubt a 100 bio balls would fit in each tray. Or would I be able to fit more? Could someone let me know about this? It is a Aquatop canister with 4 media trays. I tray has sponge and then I have 3 trays. If we put ceramic media in 1 tray, that leaves me with 2 trays. Is that possible to fit that many bio balls in just 2 trays?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 07:18 AM
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I have the same filter for my 100 gallon tank. I don't use bio balls but I do have 2 trays of
seachem matrix in the Aquatop and another two trays of matrix in my other canister filter. It works fine.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 07:40 AM
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Hmm, last time I saw a bio ball in person I want to saw it was about an inch around, I highly doubt you'll fit anywhere near 400 in your filter.

If all you are after is more beneficial bacteria media in your filter, I would just get some lava rocks and use those.

Ceramic disks do the same thing, you can get those from the pet store usually, but they are going to cost more than the lava rocks but will be in a more uniform package.

Some people may disagree with me here, but a well used bag of carbon has been an excellent source of beneficial bacteria for me. I have a bag I've used for almost three years now. The carbon we use in the aquarium hobby has an extremely large surface area. Need more surface area? Go with activated carbon used in air purification, one gram of the stuff has about 2,100 square yards of surface area.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 07:44 AM
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Without getting into the completely dumb (look how much I spent on my...)price type
of bio-media, I think Matrix is the top of the line bio-media. Ceramic nodes come next
and I use Fluval Pre-filter ceramic nodes just because they come in a 750 (grams I think) box while the others come in a 500 or less box...all the same ceramic, just a slightly different shape.
Any list which says it list bio-media by performance puts bio-balls at the bottom of the list(not the ones which are filled with either sponge or ceramic balls).
That may help explain why they recommend so much of them.
They are mostly used in sump filters which usually have lots of room.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 05:10 PM
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The plastic bio-balls with spikes sticking out work well for a pond where the water may contain more debris, so you need more voids for the debris to pass through the balls.
In terms of how many square inches of colonizing surface they have, well, that is why ponds are filtered with 50 gallon drums!

Indoor aquariums are usually a lot cleaner, and have filters with smaller volume, so a more compact bio media works just fine. If Matrix has the highest rating, and there are a few other options near that, then I would look at the price of each of these and forget bio balls.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdog View Post
I have the same filter for my 100 gallon tank. I don't use bio balls but I do have 2 trays of
seachem matrix in the Aquatop and another two trays of matrix in my other canister filter. It works fine.
+1 for my 100g hate bio balls they float to hard to work with plus matrix is a superior product .

125g,75g,50g,40g,27g,10g
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqguy View Post
+1 for my 100g hate bio balls they float to hard to work with plus matrix is a superior product .
Thanks guys. Links to the matrix would help me make sure I get the right product. Also, 4 trays. 1 with mechanical filtration (sponge, etc).

2 trays for the bio media (the matrix thingy).

I don't want to use carbon since it is bad for a planted tank? Am I getting this right? If no carbon, what can I use on the last tray? Matrix again?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:54 PM
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http://www.petmountain.com/product/a...bio-media.html
I would think it wise to keep some carbon available(in the closet) for removing meds after they have done their job.
It is believed by some that the carbon can leach ack some of what it took out of the water. It only last a couple of weeks till it's full of whatever it is going to absorb.
Some however use purigen in place of it.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 08:15 PM
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I have an 80 gal. with 2 rena xp3. I use ceramic media in the middle, filter pads in the bottom, and plastic scrubber pads in the top. And fine filter floss above that. Works great!

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 11:15 PM
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In my fx5 its ceramic on the bottom matrix in the middle and sponges on top I use this stuff called pinkyfilters from e-bay you get a 10 foot roll for just a few bucks its made for aquariums and works awesome when its dirty just throw away or clean.

125g,75g,50g,40g,27g,10g
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 02:00 AM
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With a 4 stage filter I use in order, ceramic rings, coarse sponges, biomedia, floss.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqguy View Post
In my fx5 its ceramic on the bottom matrix in the middle and sponges on top I use this stuff called pinkyfilters from e-bay you get a 10 foot roll for just a few bucks its made for aquariums and works awesome when its dirty just throw away or clean.
Shouldn't the mechanical media at the very bottom tray? that should be the 1st layer the water column should move through. Isnt it?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
http://www.petmountain.com/product/a...bio-media.html
I would think it wise to keep some carbon available(in the closet) for removing meds after they have done their job.
It is believed by some that the carbon can leach ack some of what it took out of the water. It only last a couple of weeks till it's full of whatever it is going to absorb.
Some however use purigen in place of it.
Thanks mate. I do have the carbon (bought some media as package and it came with it). I have kept it aside and will use it if there was an algae bloom or something.
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