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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
take a glass marbles (amount that fit your filter)

now take sandpaper the coarser the better
you sand the marble until you feel the rougher wash them
and put in the media section in the filter

they will be heavy so watch out
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you make them vary porous and large surface area

because they most common (at least here)
 

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Nylon pot scrubbers, for example, are dirt cheap and offer crazy amounts of space to colonize if you're looking for cheap, DIY filtration media.

As near as I can figure, the marbles would be 99% solid glass, with a slight colonization of the scratched up surface. Has anyone tested out what this actually allows for bio filtration in comparison to a similar sized sponge layer for example? (I would presume even a coarse, rinseable sponge would offer significantly more bio colonization than the marbles, cost less, not require sanding, and it's easy to rinse/re-use, and works as mechanical filtration on top of that)

I guess I'm missing why marbles.

(although I am looking to use marbles for some valves I want to design, I don't think they're well suited for filtration media)
 

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You'd have much better results using lava rocks than those marbles. You can buy enough to fill a 10 gallon aquarium at a hardware store for under $10.
 

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The smaller the particle size the larger the surface area / mass. Say one of those marbles had a mass 1.27g and a surface area of 6.4 square cm. When broken down to infinite pieces you would gain surface area without gaining mass. Once you reach a point (smallest) the media will no longer filter properly.

If you want to use marbles I would suggest soaking them in a caustic solution, drain-o for several days, high pH will etch glass
 

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Lay each marble on a concrete floor. Hit with a hammer, breaking them up into small pieces. Result: much more surface area, with most of it not polished. Also, reduces bottled up stress, and is cheaper than tranquilizers.
>:)
 

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Why not just throw in a hand full of gravel. It would be more effective than marbles, cost less and you don't have to do any sanding. Bio media is all about surface area and even water flow. Lava rock makes pretty lousy bio media but would be many, many more times efficient than marbles. If you break them up that would effectively give you more surface (still a fraction of what a decent media would get you) but you won't get even flow through it and will end up with pieces packed together.
 

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Nylon pot scrubbers, for example, are dirt cheap and offer crazy amounts of space to colonize if you're looking for cheap, DIY filtration media.
I like this idea. Which kind would you use, the ones that are like a round thing made out of net, or the ones that are kind of flat and thin?
 

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I like this idea. Which kind would you use, the ones that are like a round thing made out of net, or the ones that are kind of flat and thin?
The round, hair net looking kind. Some folks over at MFK at one point had done the math on various materials and their surface area. Nylon pot scrubbers were second only to the specialized clay material sold by various filter manf. that's super expensive.

Pot scrubbers were the next best option, and at 1/10th the cost. I ordered them from some bulk supplier when they went on sale, $50 was enough to fill 40g of sump.

The only downside, (or maybe upside) is that my sump looks like a unicorn threw up in it.

edit: Here's the thread. It's worth a read if you've never seen it before, some non-intuitive results (I thought).

http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/threads/beginners-guide-to-filter-media.88677/

If it's not OK to cross link to another forum I can remove it, but this is just really solid data.
 

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Cool! In my neighborhood dollar tree has them in packages of 5 for $1, so that's a pretty good resource for smaller filters.
 

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I think what has more potential, is fine(ish) perlite in a mesh (the stuff floats like crazy, it would be like chasing individual Styrofoam balls if it were to escape the filter). You get different size granules in the agricultural section. It is basically expanded glass with a very rough texture.

Wiki:
Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian. It occurs naturally and has the unusual property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently. It is an industrial mineral and a commercial product useful for its light weight after processing.

Perlite softens when it reaches temperatures of 850–900 °C (1,560–1,650 °F). Water trapped in the structure of the material vaporises and escapes, and this causes the expansion of the material to 7–16 times its original volume. The expanded material is a brilliant white, due to the reflectivity of the trapped bubbles.
 

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Flourite would be a very interesting medium. My only concern would be if the bag ever broke, or it bits get out the might get sucked into the sump return, and I presume do some serious damage.

I bet it would polish up the water like nothing else though.
 

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As others have said pot scrubbers work well. It takes a lot of media for a 3000 gallon pond so you have to get creative if you don't want to spend a small fortune. I've also used the green plastic stretchy tape that you use to tie plants. Rolls of that are also available at a lot of dollar and 99 cent stores. They make a pond bio-media that is very similar but has dents punched into the surface which gives it a little more surface area. I've also used plastic hair rollers. You can buy a pack of various size and slip the small ones into the medium ones and then the whole thing into the large ones.
 
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