DIY Filter Media

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by bassbonediva, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    I just bought an AquaTech 5 gallon tank kit off Craigslist for $10 (yay!). This tank is basically a Marineland Eclipse 6 tank, just five gallons instead of six. The media that came with it is a bit old and crusty, so I need to replace it, but I really don't want to buy media for it, especially since I don't generally use activated carbon in my tanks. So, I have a big pad of blue filter floss I got with another tank. Could I use the filter floss alone instead of buying media? I know you can do DIY media like that for canister filters (I did it for my Cascade) and for regular HOB filters, but what about filters that are integrated into the hood?
     
  2. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I have two such filters, both eclipses. I use the filter media you are considdering. What I do though is cut strips so that looking down on it, it's blue/white/blue/white/etc. It looks to me that the media is designed for the water to go through the blue part first, and if you lay a piece down so that the blue side is on top (or bottom), the the water doesn't do that.
     
  3. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    BB,
    The principles of filtration remain the same, regardless of the filter type.
    Mech -> Bio -> Chem (or sometimes the Mech -> Chem -> Bio)

    So as long as you at least cover off the Mechanical and Bio filtration aspects, you should be fine, and only add chemical (A/C) if required.

    I had an Eclipse system at one point, and see no reason why you couldn't just put filter pad/wool in. I would suggest maybe putting some fine filter wool under some coarse before it hits the bio wheel.

    I.e., the water flows up into filter system, passes over the coarse filter sponge first to extract large 'bits', then flows through the fine filter wool to remove the smaller 'bits', then flows through the bio-wheel for bio and back into the tank.

    Using the fine wool should result in much clearer water to :D

    HTH
     




  4. OP
    OP
    bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    What do you use for the white part? A different coarseness of filter floss? I also thought of cutting the bad floss part of cartridge that came with the tank off and somehow attaching just a new piece of floss to the plastic cartridge back.

    Ryan, I use clean unused pillow stuffing in my canister filter...could I use that instead of fine filter floss? It seems to work really well in my canister.
     




    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  5. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I don't see why you couldn't use pillow stuffing.

    Anything that allows a coarse 1st stage filtration, followed by a fine 'touch up' type 2nd stage (such as pillow stuffing) should be fine.
     
  6. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    One thing to be conscious of when using custom media with the a biowheel is that it can impede the wheel from spinning if it gets clogged or if it settles from how you put it in.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    That's kind of why I thought about trying to attach the new DIY media to the old cartridge back. I have a Marineland Hex5, so I know about the way the bio wheel works, but have never tried to do DIY media in it.
     
  8. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I'm missing a couple strips cause I gave them out to friends for their betta tanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. OP
    OP
    bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    Ah ha! I gotcha now! I'll see if I can come up with something like, then. :) Thanks!
     
  10. midthought

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    I'm glad this post is here because I was *just* thinking of replacing some of the DIY filter media that I have. I inherited a DIY setup in an Aqueon Power Filter, so I've never even really messed with it. It has various sponges and ceramic rings in it, but the mechanical filtration has been really bad the last day or two. Gonna try rearranging this now so that the filtration makes more sense...with any luck, it will clear up the water a bit.
     
  11. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I may be wrong here, but I seem to recall reading a long time ago that the slower the bio-wheel spins, the better the bio filtration :;dk

    The concept being that the slower the wheel spins, the more time the water is in contact with b/b, thus better bio filtration.

    The general reading I did concluded that as long as the wheel spins at some rate (i.e. not stopped) then the better the filtration.

    It may be worthwhile researching a little further, and remember, this is only what I recall from about 8yrs ago when I had my eclipse system.
     
  12. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I believe that to be true as well. However, custom media can actually stop the wheel, allowing it to dry out.
     
  13. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    +1 Jaysee.

    And if I remember rightly, water level can also have an impact.... been a long time since I used a bio-wheel.
     
  14. anunez91Valued MemberMember

    definately for the water lever, i found that if it doesnt submerge the little diffuser deal, the plastc thats in the tank, i think you all know what im talking about, hahaha, that it doesnt spin as well, its weird, i use diy filterage on my biowheel 150 and it got to the point where i had to take out the chemical filtration cause it was stopping the biowheel, so, definately watch out for that,
     
  15. OP
    OP
    bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    It's weird. I have that problem with my Hex5, but I never had that problem with my 18gal Eclipse 1 system. Of course, my Eclipse 1 didn't have nearly the evaporation rate that my Hex5 does, so that could have been part of it.
     
  16. marina3Valued MemberMember

    Jaysee,

    I came accross this post because I need to change the cartridge of my Eclipse 3 gal. filter. I am planning to use that blue/white/blue, etc...method, but I have a question...is there anyway to "seed" this material with the beneficial bacteria from the old cartridge? or do I just throw it away?. This particular tank is fairly new, been running since the end of February. Thanks!
     
  17. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Marina,
    As a general rule, you never want to through away your bacteria colony.

    In Eclipse systems, all your bacteria (well most of it) is on the bio wheel, which you never want to throw out, so you can pretty safely just throw out the old cartridge.

    With the bio-wheels, you only ever want to lightly rinse the wheel in old aquarium water (don't use tap water as the chlorine/chloramine will kill your bacteria)

    The eclipse cartridges are designed for Mechanical (filter sponge) and Chemical (activated carbon).

    Activated carbon isn't necessary in your filtration, unless you are removing medications or trying to remove something from the water to make it clearer (such as tannins).

    Whilst the AC is worn out after about 4-6 weeks, the filter wool/sponge is still good. I used to just rinse the sponge off in old aquarium water to remove the debris caught in it and put it back in. I probably only replaced the cartridge every 3 months - but that's off topic [sorry everyone]

    So, the short answer, yes, just throw out the old cartridge :)
     
  18. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Marina, i would just cut the mechanical media from the cartridge and stick it between the pieces of DIY media. once the DIY media is colonized, itll be a LONG time till you have to replace it.
     




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