Aquaclear 30 Media Basket Question

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dapps06

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To make things as easy as possible, I'm thinking about removing the media basket in both of my AC 30's on my 20 gallon tank. Both filters have a sponge pre-filter on the intake, so I was thinking of removing the media basket and placing a big bag of ceramic rings in each filter. I have a bunch of Fluval ceramic rings so I'd easily be able to completely fill both filters.

Is there anything wrong with this? Will the surface area of all the ceramic rings match or even exceed the surface area of the stock sponge that comes with these filters? Right now I have the sponge, topped by two pieces of filter floss, topped by a small bag of ceramic rings. I want to be able to just drop in a big bag of the rings, and then every month or so quickly pull it out, shake it in some tank water, and drop it back in.

I feel like the intake pre-filter is enough for mechanical filtration. Any issues with what I want to do?
 

WTFish?

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I personally like to keep at least a bit of polyfill in there, never know when you need some cycled media for something, then you’ll have some to spare.
 

bitseriously

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Agree with @AquaticJ, the side of the basket/frame nearest the pump is designed to force water down to the bottom of the media box, then it comes back up through all the media and over the edge into the tank. If you remove the basket, you're basically creating a dead zone in the bottom of the media box. If you want easier access to the media, maybe cut the loops off the top of the basket/frame?
Also, doubling ceramic media does not necessarily mean more bacteria. Just more surface area and pores for the same amount of bacteria to grow on.
 

AquaticJ

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Yeah actually none of Aquaclears have the media it comes with anyway, I like to customize, so I understand why. In my experience, Its the best place for polyfiber to be. I run an AC 110 and a Fluval 206 on my 55 Peacock tank, the AC is full of polyfiber while the 206 is filled with pumice/ceramic media (and some Purigen).
 
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dapps06

dapps06

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Agree with @AquaticJ, the side of the basket/frame nearest the pump is designed to force water down to the bottom of the media box, then it comes back up through all the media and over the edge into the tank. If you remove the basket, you're basically creating a dead zone in the bottom of the media box. If you want easier access to the media, maybe cut the loops off the top of the basket/frame?
Also, doubling ceramic media does not necessarily mean more bacteria. Just more surface area and pores for the same amount of bacteria to grow on.

Little confused by your last two sentences. If I add in double the amount of ceramic rings, and bacteria grows on the newly added rings, how is that not more bacteria? Are you saying bacteria will simply spread out more, leaving the rings it was currently on for the new rings?
 

bitseriously

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I’m oversimplifying this, but the amount of nitrifying bacteria in your tank is related to your bioload, not to the amount of media you provide. We use media in a filter to create an external water cleaning facility, and keep our tanks more or less free of the unsightly plumbing works. But if your tank is able to process (say) 2ppm daily of ammonia input (daily fish waste), and it’s stable, it doesn’t really matter if they happens in the filter, on ceramic, on sponges or even in the tank on plant, ornament or glass surfaces. The amount of bacteria that does that work is the same.
There are situations where adding more media might be beneficial, for example if you don’t have enough to start with. But there’s a point where adding still more media won’t further improve your tanks ability to process waste.
If you’re satisfied with how your setup converts waste, what’s the advantage of adding more media? There are answers to this that make sense*, but “more bb “ isn’t one of them, IMO.

* eg having the ability to remove cycled media to jumpstart a quarantine or hospital tank.
 
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