Most effective biofilter media by size? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Most effective biofilter media by size?

As the number of snails in my 7.5g approaches twenty, plus three species of shrimp, so grows my concern about outstripping the capacity of the natural biofilters. In my Ovation filter, I have room for perhaps three layers of Eheim Substrat Pro which I have left over from earlier; it's not much space but all that's available. Is there anything that's significantly more effective and that could be reasonably sourced in small quantities?

I've heard good things about K2, for example, but believe it would likely float up into the unprotected impeller.

On reflection, I could also remove the black filter block that guards the intakes from incoming baby shrimp and use that space for even more filter materials. I already have a guard of the same black filter material surrounding the external intake ports around that block and fine filter floss near the impeller, so that shouldn't seriously degrade protection. There would be no issue with floating materials there; in fact, that would probably be preferable to the weight of the Substrat Pro threatening to blow off the lower access door and spill it all over the bottom of the tank.

Snail Glades,
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 02:14 AM
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I use Seachem Matrix . I bought a large jar of it a while ago and I have plenty in my filters and about half the jar left . There is a thread on here about testing pumice , I think it was , and it was proved to be pretty much equal to Matrix , just less expensive . Most anything porous and aquarium safe will work , just some things are better than others .
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 02:23 AM
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Check this out, thank you Frank's Tanks for taking the time to do this.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting link; I'd expected a lot more from the fluidized bed filter media.

It looks like the Substrat Pro I have on hand is my best option. The Marine Pure spheres are too large for my filter and, since the tank's on a daily low-dose fert regimen, Biohome and Matrix with their denitrifying aspects would be self-defeating.
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Snail Glades,
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 11:44 AM
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Haaa... the above is all fake. Those numbers are for the surface area of nitrogen molecules which are trillions of times smaller than one bacterium cell. From other forums found the web and other sites with full tests. Matrix and Biohome are the worst since they have no internal surface area and that is what you need for good aerobic bacteria. Matrix and Biohome only have a surface area of 20-40 ft2/ft3.

7.1.3. Filter Media Test
7.2.12. Matrix
7.5. Denitrifying Media
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting that, @Somefishguy; there's some very interesting stuff there, including the sections on planted tanks.

FWIW, it seems that by adding the foam filter guard to the outside of the intakes, I serendipitously increased the area available for BB substantially, assuming this is 30 ppi foam. I'll have to check that and replace if necessary. The filter also contains an area for activated charcoal, which I removed of course, and replaced with two layers of filter floss; that's where I had considered placing a couple layers of Substrat Pro, along with another in the void between that chamber's cover and the impeller.

Lacking quantitative data on the bioload of the snails and, to a much lesser extent, the shrimp, I can only guess that I have sufficient BB capacity and monitor closely when adding more snails.

Snail Glades,
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
no internal surface area
LOL, what drugs are you on.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 05:56 PM
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LOL, what drugs are you on.
Proven above. It clogs in 2 weeks making it useless. Only the outside is marginally useful. I showed the proof above. Where is your proof?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:25 PM
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@Somefishguy, is that your site?

I think there might be some javascript error with your Wordpress setup. It made my fans come on like crazy and I got a Safari warning that it was using significant energy.

[Error] TypeError: null is not an object (evaluating 'primaryNav.querySelector')
(anonymous function) (theme.js:767)
Global Code (theme.js:875)
[Error] TypeError: _.template is not a function. (In '_.template(DavesWordPressLiveSearchConfig.resultT emplate)', '_.template' is undefined)
init (daves-wordpress-live-search.min.js:1:874)
(anonymous function) (daves-wordpress-live-search.min.js:1:5166)
i (jquery.js:2:27368)
fireWith (jquery.js:2:28123)
ready (jquery.js:2:29926)
J (jquery.js:2:30282)

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
@Somefishguy, is that your site?

I think there might be some javascript error with your Wordpress setup. It made my fans come on like crazy and I got a Safari warning that it was using significant energy.

[Error] TypeError: null is not an object (evaluating 'primaryNav.querySelector')
(anonymous function) (theme.js:767)
Global Code (theme.js:875)
[Error] TypeError: _.template is not a function. (In '_.template(DavesWordPressLiveSearchConfig.resultT emplate)', '_.template' is undefined)
init (daves-wordpress-live-search.min.js:1:874)
(anonymous function) (daves-wordpress-live-search.min.js:1:5166)
i (jquery.js:2:27368)
fireWith (jquery.js:2:28123)
ready (jquery.js:2:29926)
J (jquery.js:2:30282)
Problem with your browser. Try another computer.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:40 PM
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Nope, same error with other browsers and computers. I even remoted into one of my work servers to test.

I'm just trying to be helpful, since I do IT for a living.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
Nope, same error with other browsers and computers. I even remoted into one of my work servers to test.

I'm just trying to be helpful, since I do IT for a living.
OK, works for everyone else though...
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:44 PM
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I didn't say the site didn't work, just that it is throwing errors. Open your developer console in your browser and check the Javascript console.
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Style: Organic potting soil, gravel, sand, wood, plants, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, fish, dual siestas
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:47 PM
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I didn't say the site didn't work, just that it is throwing errors. Open your developer console in your browser and check the Javascript console.
Nothing with Firefox...
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 08:21 PM
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I try not to get too caught up in a lot of the chemistry side of things . It is a hobby that I enjoy and Matrix does a great job of housing the bacteria to convert ammonia and nitrite . I don't worry about any media converting nitrate because mine is always 10-20 ppm the day before water change . The main reason I think is they are planted tanks! The plants will do a better job of converting nitrates than any media , or at least that is my thoughts . If you like to delve deep into any aspect of the hobby , more power to ya . I try to keep it simple and enjoy the fruits....lol

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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