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That's the question- I just keep rinsing mine in tank water every time I do filter cleaning and maintenance. Does it somehow lose it's effectiveness over a long period of time? If not, is it permanent?
 

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Are you talking about the ceramic stuff? If so, I think it's pretty much permanent until it falls to pieces and turns to sand. Heck, even foam pads that came in my XP2 have lasted for 2 years now, and look like they have another 2 years left in them.
 

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Yes unless the media gets contaminated with something toxic, I don't think you'll ever have to change it.

I was fooled by the sales guy on the very first Eheim that I bought. He told me I needed a refill pack... That's been sitting in my closet for 6 years now and still makes me mad, when I see it...
 

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Yep the ceramic media lasts forever just rinse and reuse unless your worried about a contamination, then just dip it in white vinegar or better yet Potassium Permanganate and then rinse in tap water and reuse.

Edit: I have a few Eheim refill packs as well but there cheap and you never know when you or a buddy will need an emergency canister on a Sunday at midnight.

- Brad
 

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Yep the ceramic media lasts forever just rinse and reuse unless your worried about a contamination, then just dip it in white vinegar or better yet Potassium Permanganate and then rinse in tap water and reuse.

Edit: I have a few Eheim refill packs as well but there cheap and you never know when you or a buddy will need an emergency canister on a Sunday at midnight.

- Brad

That's true. It's also helpful for a new tank. Just take half the biomedia out of your established tank and replace with new media, while setting up the new tank with half old and half new media...

I haven't done it, but that's what I would do.
 

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Another question related to this topic. Using Rena as an example, what is everybody's opinion on the ceramic bio media(wholey cylinders) versus the plastic bio-stars? Since it will ultimately be coated with a slime including the nitrifying bacteria, does it make sense to spend more money on ceramic vs. plastic?
 

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I don't use either in my Rena, only the provided filter pads and I stuff the top basket with poly quilt batting. In the Eheim I used to have, I was really impressed with the amount of stuff that the ceramic bio-rings held when I cleaned out the canister. If I was to buy another filter, I would buy and Eheim, and fill it with those ceramic rings. I think that even with the slime buildup, they still provide better surface area, and kept that tank very clean. Just my .02, either would work well provided you meet other conditions.
 

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Another question related to this topic. Using Rena as an example, what is everybody's opinion on the ceramic bio media(wholey cylinders) versus the plastic bio-stars? Since it will ultimately be coated with a slime including the nitrifying bacteria, does it make sense to spend more money on ceramic vs. plastic?
The hollow ceramic rings are porous unlike the plastic balls so there ability to trap particles and harbor bacteria colonies are at least double what the plastic stuff can do. Personally I don't buy anything but the ceramic's anymore tho there isn't really much difference in brand name ether Rena's or Eheim's work just as good so get whatever one is cheaper.

- Brad
 

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Another question related to this topic. Using Rena as an example, what is everybody's opinion on the ceramic bio media(wholey cylinders) versus the plastic bio-stars? Since it will ultimately be coated with a slime including the nitrifying bacteria, does it make sense to spend more money on ceramic vs. plastic?
Instead of the Rena biomedia I use Seachem's Matrix ceramic media in my two Filstar xP1s. Once a month when I clean those filters I replace the microfiltration pads and roll the bio media against each other in my hands in tank water to clean the surface pores. I've never had to replace the 20ppi and 30ppi filter pads even after several years of use. I asked Seachem technical support if the Matrix media ever had to be replaced and they said that as long as I clean it the way I do now it should never need to be replaced.
 
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