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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there I've an established tank (40cm cube) around 16.4 gal or 60 lt. Currently I'm using external filter topka LW-603B and still use its factory default sponge filter. 3 stages of sponge filter and the last one isbfine mesh. It's been almost 6 weeks and I'm planning to replace the middle sponge with biomedia filter and added chemical filter on at the end.

But I'm still not sure how much do i need for my canister in related to water volume

I'm planning to get seachem matrix and purigen, but as i said i don't know how much grams should i get. Please advise :)
 

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As long as your sponge in the filter is maximizing the space I would just leave it. It’s going to have the same biological filtration capacity and adds on the mechanical filtration as well. Chemical filtration is really only used to take out the things that should never have been there in the first place so it should not be needed. You could run Purigen which removes free-floating biological materials that can aid in algae growth but can easily be deemed unnecessary by a healthy balanced tank with proper plant growth.

Best of luck!


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As long as your sponge in the filter is maximizing the space I would just leave it. It’s going to have the same biological filtration capacity and adds on the mechanical filtration as well. Chemical filtration is really only used to take out the things that should never have been there in the first place so it should not be needed. You could run Purigen which removes free-floating biological materials that can aid in algae growth but can easily be deemed unnecessary by a healthy balanced tank with proper plant growth.

Best of luck!


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Hey there, thanks for the advice!

So in reality i don't need any biological filter, let alone the premium one to create a proper loving environment for the good bacteria? Is it related to how much water volume available, so the bigger the tank is then i can start to think about what biological filter i should use?

I was wondering if sponge filter can eventually turns into a good biological filter as well, what is the real purpose of the biological filter itself that were sold on the market?

Ooh one more thing, i read that purigen can also helps the water column to be clearer. If I'm not going to use it, is there any other method to achieve the same results? besides major water change
 

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Filter floss/ poly floss can help with water clarity similarly to purigen but it will not help with nitrates and will need to be replaced frequently while removing organics. Luckily it comes in a bag and resembles the stuffing you'd put in stuffed animals so all you have to do is grab another chunk of it and throw the dirty one away.

I'll be honest- I don't use anything in my filters besides sponges, polishing pads and floss in planted tanks. My substrate and plants provide biological filtration and I've found keeping up with routine maintenance weekly has made it so I don't need chemical filtration.

This has applied to all my planted tanks throughout the years ranging in size from gallon vases to 1500 gallon ponds. Initial set up and maintenance is a little more difficult to tune in in larger set ups but once they are established they are actually no different than smaller set ups in the sense that their filtration will work the same way you just require bigger filter to adequately turn water over at a proper rate, not because they require a different type of filtration media. The only set up I have that I use any biological and chemical media in is my relatively unplanted turtle tub and that's because of the excessive stock and no plants/ less substrate so there's not an adequate level of biological media and my cats regularly drink from it which introduces lord only knows what chemicals in there.

Sorry for the long read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Filter floss/ poly floss can help with water clarity similarly to purigen but it will not help with nitrates and will need to be replaced frequently while removing organics. Luckily it comes in a bag and resembles the stuffing you'd put in stuffed animals so all you have to do is grab another chunk of it and throw the dirty one away.

I'll be honest- I don't use anything in my filters besides sponges, polishing pads and floss in planted tanks. My substrate and plants provide biological filtration and I've found keeping up with routine maintenance weekly has made it so I don't need chemical filtration.

This has applied to all my planted tanks throughout the years ranging in size from gallon vases to 1500 gallon ponds. Initial set up and maintenance is a little more difficult to tune in in larger set ups but once they are established they are actually no different than smaller set ups in the sense that their filtration will work the same way you just require bigger filter to adequately turn water over at a proper rate, not because they require a different type of filtration media. The only set up I have that I use any biological and chemical media in is my relatively unplanted turtle tub and that's because of the excessive stock and no plants/ less substrate so there's not an adequate level of biological media and my cats regularly drink from it which introduces lord only knows what chemicals in there.

Sorry for the long read.
Thanks a lot for the information!

Do you have advice on how often should i clean my canister? And i assume i need to replace the floss whenever I'm doing maintenance...
 

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Only while you're going through the initial removal of organics. If you notice the floss is relatively clean you can stop using it and throw some sponge in and just use the floss when you notice organics in the column.

While using floss to remove stuff I'd suggest replacing it when water changing but I'd leave the rest of your media alone. I usually squeeze out my filter sponges once or twice a month max. A lot of times it's every 3 months if I'm honest with myself, or when I do plant maintenance. Basics on filters maintenance is just rinsing your sponges in water change water and making sure there's nothing blocking the intake or outlet and corresponding hoses and making sure nothing is trapped in the canister itself. Don't use chlorinated water to clean filter media. I hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Only while you're going through the initial removal of organics. If you notice the floss is relatively clean you can stop using it and throw some sponge in and just use the floss when you notice organics in the column.

While using floss to remove stuff I'd suggest replacing it when water changing but I'd leave the rest of your media alone. I usually squeeze out my filter sponges once or twice a month max. A lot of times it's every 3 months if I'm honest with myself, or when I do plant maintenance. Basics on filters maintenance is just rinsing your sponges in water change water and making sure there's nothing blocking the intake or outlet and corresponding hoses and making sure nothing is trapped in the canister itself. Don't use chlorinated water to clean filter media. I hope that helps.
Thank you again for this! Will keep that in mind, have a good day kind sir/ma'am!
 

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I only use sponges unless I am trying to help remove medication (in addition to water changes), then I'll use some carbon.
 

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Hey there, thanks for the advice!

So in reality i don't need any biological filter, let alone the premium one to create a proper loving environment for the good bacteria? Is it related to how much water volume available, so the bigger the tank is then i can start to think about what biological filter i should use?

I was wondering if sponge filter can eventually turns into a good biological filter as well, what is the real purpose of the biological filter itself that were sold on the market?

Ooh one more thing, i read that purigen can also helps the water column to be clearer. If I'm not going to use it, is there any other method to achieve the same results? besides major water change
I have a 180g tank with a 55g sump and ZERO dedicated biological media. My dirt bottom with a gravel cap has tons of biological surface area. All the plants and rocks and wood just add to the available surface area for the bacteria. The only thing I do special is make sure I have pretty good water movement through the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a 180g tank with a 55g sump and ZERO dedicated biological media. My dirt bottom with a gravel cap has tons of biological surface area. All the plants and rocks and wood just add to the available surface area for the bacteria. The only thing I do special is make sure I have pretty good water movement through the tank.
Noted! Do you have any tips if i wanted to have a crystal clear water? I realize i still need so much to learn to have a proper established and well balanced tank. But i do curious about when i reached that level, what should i do when i wanted yo have a ceystal clear water?
 

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Noted! Do you have any tips if i wanted to have a crystal clear water? I realize i still need so much to learn to have a proper established and well balanced tank. But i do curious about when i reached that level, what should i do when i wanted yo have a ceystal clear water?
It might not be the solution for everyone but in my opinion a Diatomatious Earth filter is hands down the best solution for constant crystal clear water. I started this thread on another board ten years ago and just updated it today: Monster Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter!

Other people have very valid very useful very effective approaches for crystal clear water but this is the one that works best for ME!

Second, or actually THE most important thing you can do for your tank is water changes, water changes and water changes. My 180g tank flushes about 40g of water every morning before I even wake up and the affect this has on the plants, fish and the tank as a whole has been phenomenal. I spent over 40 years keeping fresh water aquariums and an automatic water change system is the best thing I have ever done. The DE filter is the second best.
 

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Really appreciate this dude, will sure read it tonight!! Thanksss!
Before accepting the statements of a self-professed expert-beyond-doubt that refuses to verify his/her identity, you may want to read through this thread: Biomedia.

I would also suggest that it may not be a good thing to use the most efficient ammonia-removing biomedia. Plants also like ammonia and prefer it to to nitrates. So, a little of both is good. You would be surprised to learn that, between plants and BB in the tank (substrate and surfaces), all of the work of filter biomedia can be performed.
 
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