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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm taking the plunge and upgrading to a larger tank. I recently bought a XP2 to go with a 40- 50 gallon sized tank. Im looking at all the different types of media.

For Bio media Ive read accounts of Lava rock, Diced up drinking straws, little green army men... I work at Michaels Arts and Crafts so I am always thinking of all the products and what I could use in my aquarium :D

this idea hit me here at home so I dont even know if we sell these ( ill have to look) but one could put alot of these in a filter...http:/http://www.northernleisure.com.au/Images/starsbg.jpg

(if you are unfamiliar with them they are cheap plastic beads for kids to make necklaces and jewelry out of, a type of pony bead)

any thoughts? Id image they'd need to be well contained and not get lodged in the impeller
 

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One property that a biomedia must have is to not clog up easily. If you have a lot of surface area but it clogs up easily then you are forced to clean the media on a regular basis. That's one of the most idiotic things we are used to do in this hobby. The bacteria and other organisms that form the biofilter establish themselves slowly and if we disturb them we are working against them. Yet we feel like we are doing something good when we clean the filter.

Yes, often after cleaning the filter the water gets very clean. But that's just an indication that if the flow through the biomedia is good the filtration is working very well. A properly running bio-filter actually cleans and polishes the water better than a diatom filter.

So if you want to try new and cheap media do it. It actually may work better than many commercially sold medias. The flow through the media must stay consistent and not slow down. If you find a media that does that the two things to look for are the surface of the media and the so called "protected area". The surface needs to help the organisms attach themselves to it. The "protected area" allows the organisms to not get easily washed away. Of course at home it'd be hard to compare medias based on these 2 things. But if the flow through the cheap stars (or soldiers) is consistent you will be way ahead of the guy that diligently squeezes his filter sponges every 3 weeks using old aquarium water.

For several months now I have been using German filter foam specifically made for fisheries. I can say 2 things with certainty now:

1. The filter takes some time to establish.
If you use cheap foam that plugs easily you get clean water fast - in some cases within a day. And you have to clen that filter quite often. The German foam does nothing visible for at least 2 weeks. But after that...

2. It appears that the filtration capacity of the foam is trully amazing. We import rare fish and unless you really stay on top of your water changes it's impossible to keep too many fish in a tank. With the German foam, once it's established, things are very different.

Here are two good links that may helps someone see biofiltration from a little bit better angle:

http://www.emw.de/english_web/produktseiten/s_aquaristikfilter.htm
http://www.swisstropicals.com/Poret Filter Foam.html

http://www.anoxkaldnes.com/Eng/c1prodc1/mbbr.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFQBMDQIdwQ

--Nikolay
 

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Niko

Would you recommend changing out the existing "foam" in our present filters? Do you think the Poret foam with enhance the performance of my Eheim classics or Filstar XP1 or for that matter any filter that uses foam.

I've heard raves about this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, well I see lava rocks are out and so are army men haha.

pot scrubbers you say? like an SOS pad? isant that like a sponge? so the mechanical filtration is the same as bio filtration?

I would think..if you had filter full of sponges they would eventually get clogged or full of gunk that would need to be removed some how.
am I worng?

I just thought of these little beads because they have a bit of surface area.. and you could literally put hundreds in the palm of your had and yet they arent THAT small. But small enough to fit well together and Id assume have ok flow.. I'd like to test it...

and IF a need for cleaning should arise.. poor flow, too much detritus build up... then cleaning would be rather easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
niko i've seen foam like this, how can one differentiate between the good stuff and the cheap stuff?
 

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Lnb,

I think that going with the Poret can only help. But honestly - you should first try to make sure your filter is running continuously, without reduction of flow at any moment. You may find that that's all you have to do. No need for expensive Poret foam.

I can rant about my experience with what I now call "uninterrupted filtration". The amazing results that I got involved only one modification to the operation of the Eheim filter - putting a cylindrical foam "sleeve" over the filter intake. That prevented the strainer getting plugged up with moss pieces and debries. Before that the filter flow was reduced to about 1/3 in only 5-6 days due to debries getting stuck in the strainer. Now every week I take the "sleeve" out and rinse it. The flow never slows down. The tanks "makes" about 3 lbs of cutting every week. Get this - iIt's a non CO2-tank, lots of fish, lots of food, 80 watts of shoplights over 100 gallons. The plants used to really struggle before I added the "sleeve" over the strainer. That was the only change to the tank before it started grow like mad.

Creative,

Be aware that some pot scrubbers may contain some kind of cleaning chemical. Also from my experience pot scrubbers plug up extremely easy, I don't know why.

If you had a filter full of sponges they will clog eventually. The trick appears to be to extend the period between cleanings. Poret for example should be cleaned every 12-18 months. The Kaldness media - never. A piece of foam made for chair cushions ($5 at Hobby Lobby) plugs up royally in a few weeks. You get the idea.

Once again - try any media you want. I hear in Australia they used hair curlers for a long time. Funny, but it maybe more funny to hear that some commercially sold medias don't do a better job.

How can you tell if the foam is good? I don't think you can unless you try it for a long time and see. So the easiest way is to get the Poret and be done with it. The stuff is made for what we use it for. Everything else is most likely just marketed for aquarium use.

--Nikolay
 
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