Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters - Page 3

Rcslade124

Member
Yes the bare minimum cartridges will be just fine for a cycle. They just clog up after so long and need replacement. And then you buy more and lose cycle.
 

Maritimer

Member
Islandvic said:
Putting it all together:

The following are pics of different combinations of DIY media that can be used in your HOB filter. For reference, I use the Top Fin Silenstream 20 HOB filter. Your HOB filter may differ but the same concepts will apply.

  • Intake pre-filter sponge + small bag of Bio-Max added to stock cartridge






  • Filter Media Pad cut from bulk roll + large bag of Bio-Max




  • Intake Sponge Pre-Filter + Polyfill + Aquaclear Sponge + large bag Bio-Max




There are other combinations that may be utilized w/ DIY media, but this will get you on the right track for your set-up......
[/QUO
Islandvic said:
The blue plastic bio-grid isn't hurting anything, but in my opinion it isn't helping much either.

You may certainly leave it in the reservoir.

On my Silentstream filter, my train of thought was that it took up space in the reservoir that could be better served by a sponge, bag of bio-media, Polyfil, etc etc.

The concept of the blue plastic bio-grid is that it creates surface area that beneficial bacteria colonizes on.

But in reality, the surface area is minimal and there is more surface area in the tank if you count the substrate, glass, ornaments and plants.

Considering everything in the tank, the surface area of the plastic blue grid starts to appear small.

That is why I removed it and inserted other media in its place.

For example, if you were to calculate the surface area of all the pockets on the exterior and inner structure of a block of foam sponge, you will have exponentially more surface area vs. the blue plastic grid. Plus the sponge catches muck and acts as a mechanical filter as well.

Same concept applies to a bag of bio-media. A handful of ceramic/sintered glass bio-rings or pumice stones will have an enormous amount of total surface area , both external and internal, due to their porous nature.

That is why in this thread the blue plastic "bio-grid" was removed for all examples. I felt there were many examples of other media that could replace it and do a better job.
I love this thread. My TopFin FL20 is all beefed up with an intake sponge, 2 bags of rocks and a quarantine tank diy filter piece cycling in it now. Thanks so much for the awesome info
 

wd67

Member
On my marineland hob, I took off all the gunk on the stock filter and use the frame to hold back my filtration. I am using three of the different spunges I have, course, medium and fine. Both sides are the same. Also have a prefilter on the intake. All I do is every two weeks wash them in Tank water and put them right back. Been using this for almost a year now and I haven't had to replace anything other than the intake prefilter. My fish like that prefilter because of the food it collects. After awhile the filter gets chewed up and needs replacement. Its funny that they don't do that so much with the canister prefilter. Weird fish...
 

Kobiashi3

Member
Islandvic said:
This is a write-up on some methods and options for using DIY media in your HOB filter. My goal is to condense in one thread, easy and cheap methods of improving the filtration in your HOB filter while making it more cost effective. I enjoy the hobby and especially the DIY aspect of it.

Have you become frustrated with replacing HOB cartridges and crashing nitrogen cycles? Is your filter not keeping up with the bio-load of your fish stock? Do you want to hot rod the stock filter your tank came with? Are you on a budget? Do you like or want to attempt some easy DIY projects that offer great results with minimal effort? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you should be interested in this thread.

The following lists some DIY media options for adding coarse/fine mechanical filtration and for adding extra biological media to your HOB filters. It will work for 10 gallon betta tanks, 75 gallon cichlid tanks and anything in between.

I will focus on mainly the Top Fin Silenstream series of HOBs and also give some examples using Aquaclear filters. The Top Fin Silenstream filters are included with the majority of Top Fin aquarium kits from Petsmart. They are prevalent in our hobby and very cheap to buy separately. Aquaclear filters are on the other side of the spectrum of HOB’s. Between these two models of filter, most people will probably be able to use this guide to get ideas for the brand of filter they own with some minor tweaking.

This is not an all-inclusive list, but a general guide to give you ideas for cost effective, readily available and easy to use media for your HOB filter.

I will include specific media I have used in my personal HOB’s. There are many brands and variations of media available at different price points, for certain applications and specialty use. I can not list every brand/model of HOB filter or media. Again, this is a general guide to point you in the right direction.

What I demonstrate in this thread may not be applicable to your situation and needs. Sometimes experimentation is required in the amount/placement/type combination of DIY media to balance the flow rate, effectiveness of filtration and adjust to the tank’s biological load. You may tailor the DIY media to fit your specific needs and application.

Before I begin, I must thank everyone here on the Fishlore forum. I have gained a lot of information from a lot of good people. Everyone here wants to advance the hobby and are always available to give some advice or share their experience in a positive. Therefore I want to contribute back and share what I have learned.

I also want to mention some YouTube resources I have come across with valuable information that help to advance our hobby. These hosts are also genuinely passionate about our hobby and I have learned a lot from them as well: Richard from Pondguru channel, Cory from Aquarium Co-Op channel and Joey from King of DIY channel. There are many more great aquarium hobby channels on YouTube, but I cannot list them all.


Basics of Filtration:

Throughout the guide, the flow of water follows the same basic pattern through the media. It can apply to whatever your filter and media you choose.

Water enters the filter and flows through the media in this order then back out into the tank:

1st: Coarse mechanical filtration

2nd: Fine mechanical filtration

3rd: Biological filtration.


Water enters the filter where larger suspended particles gets trapped by the coarse mechanical filtration and smaller particulates gets trapped by the fine mechanical filtration. Then the biological media (where the beneficial bacteria colonizes) will facilitate the nitrogen cycle.

In this guide I purposely did not give options for chemical filtration, though if you choose to use it, I recommend it being the last thing the water touches before it flows back into the tank. I did not want to get into debates of the validity or specific times of when/when not to use chemical filtration.



Top Fin Silenstream filters and other cartridge based HOB’s:

The first example of using DIY media in a HOB will be for the Top Fin Silenstream series of filters. The Silenstream shares many design characteristics with other brands of HOB’s, so the DIY media mods listed below are easily adapted for use in other brands of HOB’s.

It’s a basic HOB filter design using a plastic bio-grid and a replaceable cartridge. They have a telescopic intake tube with a very handy adjustable knob that lets you adjust the flow rate. The knob turns a restrictor in the intake tube limiting the water flow that feeds into the impeller housing.

Top Fin is Petsmart’s in-house brand and the Silenstream filter is included with most of their Top Fin aquarium kits ranging from 10g-55g. Although considered an entry level HOB filter, with the right mods it can be made into a very reliable and effective filter. The following lists the gph ratings of the models. Although not indicated in the literature or online, I assume the gph ratings is for flow at the impeller assembly without media installed. Your actual gph flow may vary, especially when using different combinations of media.

Top Fin Silenstream 10 85gph

Top Fin Silenstream 20 100gph

Top Fin Silenstream 30 150gph

Top Fin Silenstream 40 200gph

Top Fin Silenstream 75 400gph



Models 20, 30 and 40 share the same filter body, intake tube and reservoir. The only difference is the gph ratings due to differences in the impeller/pump. The model 10’s reservoir is not as wide but has the same design as the 20-40 models. The Silenstream 75 model basically has 2 reservoirs joined together side-by-side with a stronger impeller/pump assembly rated for higher flow. Sharing the same basic design elements, the DIY media mods featured here can be tweaked for use in the 75 model also.

I own the Silenstream 20 model and it’s used in the following pictures. Although originally included with my 20 gallon Top Fin aquarium kit, it was re-purposed for use on my 10 gallon and I find it to be a very effective filter in this application.







Thanks for the DIY ideas! I have a Top Fin Silenstream 30 and I put together what you can see in the pics earlier today. I cut the foam in half so it would fit and used a pre-washed Fluval carbon filter media bag to add with my current stock filter. 3 questions though... 1. My stock filter needs to be replaced so is it still needed at all now or should I just rinse it with tank water during my next WC and put it back in? 2. Do I need to keep the plastic blue bio filter in as well because I don’t see them included in your photos. 3. Is this order the best for success or should anything be rearranged?
 

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Islandvic

Member
Kobiashi3 , I'm glad the thread gave you some ideas on how to mod your filter.

To answer your questions.....

1. So really it's up to you. If you can swish it around in a bucket of tank water and it cleans it off, then sure you can reuse it. You could also cut out the white felt looking material from the cartridge and place it back into the filter. All the beneficial bacteria on the felt pad media would then be retained. Or just toss the cartridge altogether.

2. In my opinion, the blue plastic contraption takes up space. Other media can be placed in the reservoir in lieu of it.

3. I would try to place the bag of carbon so it's the last media the water passes through before exiting the filter. Somehow place the sponge first. The sponge block is more coarse and will trap the larger muck.

When I get home tomorrow when I'm off shift, I will take a pic of how my Silentstream 30 is running on our 10g and post it. It's set up slightly different compared to the examples I originally posted.

It will take some trial and error, but after a couple of variations you will come across what works best for you and the tank.

As long as water is passing through the media, it will all be good in the long run !

**edit**

Here is a pic...


20200409_230023.jpg



20200409_230123.jpg


The filter has a Top Fin sponge attached to the intake, just like the one shown toward the beginning of the thread. A block of foam sponge is placed toward the right of the reservoir, so water exiting the impeller assembly shoots through that and then into some Polyfil and a small bag of bio-media that's about 2 years old. This setup + a sponge filter has kept the little 10g tank healthy. This year I've added the Golden Pothos ivy for some natural filtration. The Pothos has been doing well, so it must be sucking up some ammonia and nitrates.
 

Kobiashi3

Member
Dope! I cut the felt off the disposable stock filter and stuffed it back into the canister with the sponge, and BioMax bags. I have one regular and one with activated carbon in right now. Tomorrow I am going to get some Poly-Fil to add as well and I ordered a sponge filter and foam for my impeller on Amazon that will be delivered tomorrow or Sunday. It’s already in the state so I’m hoping they come tomorrow. I hope with the extra sponge filter and added bio filters I can clear my water and keep the perimeters good. As of my test today my tests all look good but my tank is still horribly cloudy. I vaccummed my gravel on Tues night and last Sat was my last 50% WC. I’m not sure if it’s a Bio Bloom or just not getting trapped by the filter media? I added Clarity earlier this evening so we shall see what it does. Fingers crossed.
 

FeeshieSymfiny

Member
Islandvic said:
Aquaclear HOB Filters:

All of the media I mentioned above can be used in the Aquaclear series of filters. They differ from most HOB’s because of their removable media baskets and their water flow enters from the bottom of the reservoir and flows upward then out the discharge chute back into the tank.

I have included pics of one of my AC30’s and my AC110. For simplicity, I have not included my other AC30 and AC70. They are set up slightly different, but follow the same principles of the flow of water through the media that I outlined toward the beginning of the thread.

The media basket in the following pics are from one of my AC30’s on my 20g. Although not shown, it uses the green Top Fin sponge as a pre-filter on the intake that I mentioned earlier in the thread. I cut down the stock sponge in the media basket to free up additional room for other media.

On top of the sponge is a layer of Polyfil, then a layer of filter media pad cut from a bulk roll, a 100-micron filter pad, then finally a bag of Seachem Matrix bio-media.








Next are some pics of my AC110. It uses the ATI Filter Max III shown earlier in the thread. I also cut down the stock sponge in the media basket to allow for additional media. Above the sponge is a huge layer of Polyfil, 2 layers of bulk filter media pads, then 3 bags of bio-media (Matrix and Bio-Max).

Here is a link of a write-up I did on the AC110 that I posted here on the forum (LINK).







The media baskets on Aquaclear HOB's are rather larger, even for the AC30. There is an infinite amount of combinations of DIY media that can be used for these filters. As far as I know, Seachem Tidal filters are the only other HOB's that utilize a media basket.

I hope this guide for using DIY media in HOB filters can be used as a reference and starting point for other members and their own DIY projects. I have had the idea for starting a thread about it for awhile now.

Many times I see people post questions in different sections of the forum, asking about filter media, alternatives to cartridges, how to add biological filtration etc. The subject of being on a budget comes up frequently, so I chose methods that have both worked for me and were inexpensive.

My goal was to post some cheap and easy ways to hot rod up your HOB filter and enjoy a DIY project that anyone can do themselves.

If anyone wants to post their own DIY media used in their filters, please do so. Descriptions and pics of your set ups are welcome.

If anyone here gets some ideas from the thread and mods their filters, again please post your results.

Thanks!
This post is truly pertinent. Thank you for this. You increased my knowledge and option input.
 

toomanyfishtanks

Member
Okay so I have read most every post on this thread, extremely helpful by the way, and I am looking for just a little bit more clarity. So, I have the Aquaclear 20 on my 10 gal and Aquaclear 70 on my 30 (I like to over filter). Based on what I have read/watched here, I should never be removing the sponge the filters come with unless they are just completely falling apart, correct? Also, should I ever be changing the biomax insert? I think I read that I shouldn't, just rinsing, but I just wanted to clarify! Lastly, do you recommend using the activated carbon filter it comes with, or should I be using a less corse/fine sponge in that section of the filtration process? Any help would be much appreciated! Like I said, I am extremely grateful to come across this thread!
 

FeeshieSymfiny

Member
dottiemae said:
Okay so I have read most every post on this thread, extremely helpful by the way, and I am looking for just a little bit more clarity. So, I have the Aquaclear 20 on my 10 gal and Aquaclear 70 on my 30 (I like to over filter). Based on what I have read/watched here, I should never be removing the sponge the filters come with unless they are just completely falling apart, correct? Also, should I ever be changing the biomax insert? I think I read that I shouldn't, just rinsing, but I just wanted to clarify! Lastly, do you recommend using the activated carbon filter it comes with, or should I be using a less corse/fine sponge in that section of the filtration process? Any help would be much appreciated! Like I said, I am extremely grateful to come across this thread!
I removed the original sponge, cut it in half length-wise to add another sponge (also halved) with it... I wanted two different 'pore' types to work for me. But that was during installation of the aquaclear filters in my tanks, in your case I would agree, don't remove the sponge filter unless it's 'falling apart' (you can tank water rinse it every 6mos or 1yr if you'd like, I do that every 8-12mos 'gently'). And I don't change the 'biomax pre-filter' inserts (I replace a few pieces here and there if they're too clogged even after a slight rinse). I don't use carbon, I instead have more 'biomax' inserts (I use the Eheim media) in a 180 micron media bag (to keep them cleaner) in place of the carbon bag. If I ever need to remove medication from the tank I temporarily exchange the media bag for a new carbon bag for about 2-4 days (I store the removed 'biomax' media bag in an aerated tank water in a bucket during that time). I also use cut-to-size polishing cloths in between the bags and at the entry point (those I can remove to replace and discard). But that's just me, there are experts here who might have better advice for both of us imo.
 

FeeshieSymfiny

Member
FeeshieSymfiny said:
I removed the original sponge, cut it in half length-wise to add another sponge (also halved) with it... I wanted two different 'pore' types to work for me. But that was during installation of the aquaclear filters in my tanks, in your case I would agree, don't remove the sponge filter unless it's 'falling apart' (you can tank water rinse it every 6mos or 1yr if you'd like, I do that every 8-12mos 'gently'). And I don't change the 'biomax pre-filter' inserts (I replace a few pieces here and there if they're too clogged even after a slight rinse). I don't use carbon, I instead have more 'biomax' inserts (I use the Eheim media) in a 180 micron media bag (to keep them cleaner) in place of the carbon bag. If I ever need to remove medication from the tank I temporarily exchange the media bag for a new carbon bag for about 2-4 days (I store the removed 'biomax' media bag in an aerated tank water in a bucket during that time). I also use cut-to-size polishing cloths in between the bags and at the entry point (those I can remove to replace and discard). But that's just me, there are experts here who might have better advice for both of us imo.
I also have one of those sponge filter heads on the end of the aquaclear tubes (I rinse that every week or when I see that it's clogging). Hope all this helps.
 

toomanyfishtanks

Member
FeeshieSymfiny said:
I also have one of those sponge filter heads on the end of the aquaclear tubes (I rinse that every week or when I see that it's clogging). Hope all this helps.
It does, thank you for your response! After seeing this thread, I want to put a sponge on the intake of the filter! Do you recommend any different sponges than already mentioned here?
 

FeeshieSymfiny

Member
dottiemae said:
It does, thank you for your response! After seeing this thread, I want to put a sponge on the intake of the filter! Do you recommend any different sponges than already mentioned here?
I just use these on all my filters Amazon.com : Zanyzap Pre-Filter Sponge 12 Pack for Fluval Edge Aquarium : Pet Supplies) I find them cheap enough to throw away if need be, I also just use a small sized black rubber band to hold them to the tube in case I'm doing a PWC so they won't slip off (I've used a yellow rubber band to show what I mean); those tiny black rubber bands blend in. But when I am cleaning these, I actually just wash them completely in tap water (I have two filters on each tank and internal sponge bubble types so my beneficial bacteria remains safe when I clean one filter at weekly or monthly intervals) and squeeze out every bit of the tap water.. then I swirl them in dechlorinated water before reuse.
I even use them on my aquaclear 70 but they're tricky to put on (tube is wider), still they fit snugly.. so you might need a bigger size than mine for the 70 instead of what/how I use mine but I'm sure there are some to buy in bulk on Amazon.
 

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toomanyfishtanks

Member
FeeshieSymfiny said:
I just use these on all my filters Amazon.com : Zanyzap Pre-Filter Sponge 12 Pack for Fluval Edge Aquarium : Pet Supplies) I find them cheap enough to throw away if need be, I also just use a small sized black rubber band to hold them to the tube in case I'm doing a PWC so they won't slip off (I've used a yellow rubber band to show what I mean); those tiny black rubber bands blend in. But when I am cleaning these, I actually just wash them completely in tap water (I have two filters on each tank and internal sponge bubble types so my beneficial bacteria remains safe when I clean one filter at weekly or monthly intervals) and squeeze out every bit of the tap water.. then I swirl them in dechlorinated water before reuse.
I even use them on my aquaclear 70 but they're tricky to put on (tube is wider), still they fit snugly.. so you might need a bigger size than mine for the 70 instead of what/how I use mine but I'm sure there are some to buy in bulk on Amazon.
Okay, thank you so much! I'm heading so Amazon right now!
 

FeeshieSymfiny

Member
FeeshieSymfiny said:
I just use these on all my filters Amazon.com : Zanyzap Pre-Filter Sponge 12 Pack for Fluval Edge Aquarium : Pet Supplies) I find them cheap enough to throw away if need be, I also just use a small sized black rubber band to hold them to the tube in case I'm doing a PWC so they won't slip off (I've used a yellow rubber band to show what I mean); those tiny black rubber bands blend in. But when I am cleaning these, I actually just wash them completely in tap water (I have two filters on each tank and internal sponge bubble types so my beneficial bacteria remains safe when I clean one filter at weekly or monthly intervals) and squeeze out every bit of the tap water.. then I swirl them in dechlorinated water before reuse.
I even use them on my aquaclear 70 but they're tricky to put on (tube is wider), still they fit snugly.. so you might need a bigger size than mine for the 70 instead of what/how I use mine but I'm sure there are some to buy in bulk on Amazon.
My tanks are planted, rock'd up, decor'd and/or have driftwood so tubes or airlines are camouflaged. I hope I've helped, good luck (your research style is to be applauded)!
 

Fishowner24

Member
Islandvic said:
Aquaclear HOB Filters:

All of the media I mentioned above can be used in the Aquaclear series of filters. They differ from most HOB’s because of their removable media baskets and their water flow enters from the bottom of the reservoir and flows upward then out the discharge chute back into the tank.

I have included pics of one of my AC30’s and my AC110. For simplicity, I have not included my other AC30 and AC70. They are set up slightly different, but follow the same principles of the flow of water through the media that I outlined toward the beginning of the thread.

The media basket in the following pics are from one of my AC30’s on my 20g. Although not shown, it uses the green Top Fin sponge as a pre-filter on the intake that I mentioned earlier in the thread. I cut down the stock sponge in the media basket to free up additional room for other media.

On top of the sponge is a layer of Polyfil, then a layer of filter media pad cut from a bulk roll, a 100-micron filter pad, then finally a bag of Seachem Matrix bio-media.








Next are some pics of my AC110. It uses the ATI Filter Max III shown earlier in the thread. I also cut down the stock sponge in the media basket to allow for additional media. Above the sponge is a huge layer of Polyfil, 2 layers of bulk filter media pads, then 3 bags of bio-media (Matrix and Bio-Max).

Here is a link of a write-up I did on the AC110 that I posted here on the forum (LINK).







The media baskets on Aquaclear HOB's are rather larger, even for the AC30. There is an infinite amount of combinations of DIY media that can be used for these filters. As far as I know, Seachem Tidal filters are the only other HOB's that utilize a media basket.

I hope this guide for using DIY media in HOB filters can be used as a reference and starting point for other members and their own DIY projects. I have had the idea for starting a thread about it for awhile now.

Many times I see people post questions in different sections of the forum, asking about filter media, alternatives to cartridges, how to add biological filtration etc. The subject of being on a budget comes up frequently, so I chose methods that have both worked for me and were inexpensive.

My goal was to post some cheap and easy ways to hot rod up your HOB filter and enjoy a DIY project that anyone can do themselves.

If anyone wants to post their own DIY media used in their filters, please do so. Descriptions and pics of your set ups are welcome.

If anyone here gets some ideas from the thread and mods their filters, again please post your results.

Thanks!
If I wanted to do what you did on the AC110 but on a AC50 what size of the cartridges would I need so I can fit 3 of them on the top?
 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
Aquaclear sell 3-packs of replacement foam blocks, which may be stacked.

From what I recall, 3-pack replacements are available for the AC30, AC50 and AC70. The AC110 foam block is so large it only comes as a single replacement in the package.

Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart, Ken's Fish etc all sell them.

If you live near a PetSmart, then the cashier will price match the Chewy website.

3-pack foam blocks for AC50's shoilf run no more than $5 on line.

An alternative is to buy a sheet of 3" thick 20ppi foam from the brand Aquaneat from Amazon. It is a close match to the porosity of the Aquaclear foam and can be cut to fit the filter basket.

Aquaneat also sells 30ppi foam which is a bit denser.

In one of our AC70's, I run the stock foam block and then added a layer of Aquaneat brand 30ppi foam on top.

PPI stands for pores per inch. The lower the ppi count the more coarse the foam/sponge.

The higher the ppi count, the more fine it is.
 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
Fishowner24

Aquaclear sell 3-packs of replacement foam blocks, which may be stacked.

From what I recall, 3-pack replacements are available for the AC30, AC50 and AC70. The AC110 foam block is so large it only comes as a single replacement in the package.

Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart, Ken's Fish etc all sell them.

If you live near a PetSmart, then the cashier will price match the Chewy website.

3-pack foam blocks for AC50's shoilf run no more than $5 on line.

An alternative is to buy a sheet of 3" thick 20ppi foam from the brand Aquaneat from Amazon. It is a close match to the porosity of the Aquaclear foam and can be cut to fit the filter basket.

Aquaneat also sells 30ppi foam which is a bit denser.

In one of our AC70's, I run the stock foam block and then added a layer of Aquaneat brand 30ppi foam on top.

PPI stands for pores per inch. The lower the ppi count the more coarse the foam/sponge.

The higher the ppi count, the more fine it is.
 

Fishowner24

Member
Islandvic said:
Fishowner24

Aquaclear sell 3-packs of replacement foam blocks, which may be stacked.

From what I recall, 3-pack replacements are available for the AC30, AC50 and AC70. The AC110 foam block is so large it only comes as a single replacement in the package.

Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart, Ken's Fish etc all sell them.

If you live near a PetSmart, then the cashier will price match the Chewy website.

3-pack foam blocks for AC50's shoilf run no more than $5 on line.

An alternative is to buy a sheet of 3" thick 20ppi foam from the brand Aquaneat from Amazon. It is a close match to the porosity of the Aquaclear foam and can be cut to fit the filter basket.

Aquaneat also sells 30ppi foam which is a bit denser.

In one of our AC70's, I run the stock foam block and then added a layer of Aquaneat brand 30ppi foam on top.

PPI stands for pores per inch. The lower the ppi count the more coarse the foam/sponge.

The higher the ppi count, the more fine it is.
Ok and what size of Matrix, BioMax pellets and BioMax rings should I get if I want 3 of them on the top layer like you did for the AC100 if I wanted to do it for the AC50?
 

tfreema

Member
Here is an interesting insert for aqua clear.

 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
Fishowner24 , the Aquaclear 50 media basket is only about an inch wider than the AC30. You wont be able to stuff a lot of bio-media in its basket.

In my opinion, if you double up the foam blocks and just add the little sack of included Bio-Max, it will be all you nee for your AC50.

If you prefer to use a traditional bio-media, then the most cost effect would be the 500g Fluval Bio-Max bulk refill.

I believe they are under $6 on Amazon. You will need a media bag to put it in.
 

Fishowner24

Member
Ok I have a question do you need to put stress and zyme in your aquarium after you clean it and does your fish tank need salt?
 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
If you are referring to API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme, I dont use those products so I can't really give advise on that.

My water changes usually consist of a 50% - 75% change and the only thing I add is Seachem Safe dechlorinator. I temperature match the water and the fish dont really appear stressed afterwards.

Regarding your question about salt, I think in most cases salt isn't needed. Some people use salt to treat Ich or in other specific tanks for certain species of fish.
 

Fishowner24

Member
Islandvic said:
If you are referring to API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme, I dont use those products so I can't really give advise on that.

My water changes usually consist of a 50% - 75% change and the only thing I add is Seachem Safe dechlorinator. I temperature match the water and the fish dont really appear stressed afterwards.

Regarding your question about salt, I think in most cases salt isn't needed. Some people use salt to treat Ich or in other specific tanks for certain species of fish.
Ok and how often do you clean the tank?
 

NevermindIgnoreMe

Member
Hi, I am planning an equalities day filter build for a forty gallon goldfish tank, I'm using a growbed, and I think I'll have enough media for the plants to sit in (in net pots, it's Matrix btw) but I don't have any for the bottom, I need enough to cover the bottom of a 36x7.77 flower box, under 20 dollars. Suggestions? Something nice and porous, but not to expensive.
Thanks :)
 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
I am not sure what a "equalities day filter" is.

If you're looking for porous media for a planter box, consider buying bulk pumice stone from .

They offer pumice stones for hydroponics in different sizes and 20lbs runs between $16-$18. I think 20lbs equates to around 11-13 liters from what I recall when I was looking into buying some.

It's more than likely the same type of white pumice that Seachem sells as their Matrix and Pond Matrix. Seachem sells 4 liters for about $30, so the hydroponic pumice is a lot more cost effective.

It also comes from the Hess Mine, the largest pumice mine in the United States. So you dont have to worry about some cheap Chinese sourced pumice that emits radon, like the Chinese granite and drywall did back in the early 2000's housing boom.
 

NevermindIgnoreMe

Member
Thanks so much, that's exactly what I was looking for!
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
This thread is so cool. I want to try some stuff on my filter now.
 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
Fishowner24 , so asking how often I clean my tanks is hard to answer.

I try to do water changes every 7-10 days. I use an old credit card or a Mr Clean Magic eraser to wipe the inside glass whenever its needed.

I remove the glass lids and wipe them down in my shower once every 2-3 weeks. While the lids are off, I wipe down the inner plastic lip of the frame of tank.

I dont vac the sand substrate at every water change, mainly because not much detritus and uneaten food collects on the bottom. My tanks have multiple filters and there is usually enough current in the tank to blow some of what's settled on the substrate around so it gets sucked up by the filters. I will usually do a quick vac of the sand twice a month with a siphon gravel vac and bucket.

My canister filters get cleaned once every 1-3 months, or whenever I see diminished flow.

The sponge pre-filters on the intake tubes get removed and rinsed off maybe twice a month.

I pull the media basket from my Aquaclears out maybe 1 or 2 times a month to give the foam blocks and other media a rinse. It really just depends because the pre-filter on the intake tubes cactch a ton of muck allowing me to extend the interval between cleaning the main media in the Aquaclears.

My sponge filters that run off air pumps get cleaned every 2-3 months maybe.

So to sum it all up, I clean manly tank on an as-needed basis.

Dont get caught up with trying to clean the entire tank all the time.
 

Fishowner24

Member
Islandvic said:
Fishowner24 , so asking how often I clean my tanks is hard to answer.

I try to do water changes every 7-10 days. I use an old credit card or a Mr Clean Magic eraser to wipe the inside glass whenever its needed.

I remove the glass lids and wipe them down in my shower once every 2-3 weeks. While the lids are off, I wipe down the inner plastic lip of the frame of tank.

I dont vac the sand substrate at every water change, mainly because not much detritus and uneaten food collects on the bottom. My tanks have multiple filters and there is usually enough current in the tank to blow some of what's settled on the substrate around so it gets sucked up by the filters. I will usually do a quick vac of the sand twice a month with a siphon gravel vac and bucket.

My canister filters get cleaned once every 1-3 months, or whenever I see diminished flow.

The sponge pre-filters on the intake tubes get removed and rinsed off maybe twice a month.

I pull the media basket from my Aquaclears out maybe 1 or 2 times a month to give the foam blocks and other media a rinse. It really just depends because the pre-filter on the intake tubes cactch a ton of muck allowing me to extend the interval between cleaning the main media in the Aquaclears.

My sponge filters that run off air pumps get cleaned every 2-3 months maybe.

So to sum it all up, I clean manly tank on an as-needed basis.

Dont get caught up with trying to clean the entire tank all the time.
Ok what would the flow look like when diminished? Would it look not as smooth? And how do you know when the sponge filter is dirty?
 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
It really takes letting the tank run for a while and monitor everything. Keep an eye on it everyday and you will start to notice when the filter starts to get dirty.

Every tank is different, every filter is different, and everyone has varying fish stocking and feeding routines.

It's hard to pinpoint when exactly to clean a filter.

As time goes by, you will get a better feel for how your tank runs.

Regarding sponge filters specifically, they can go a long time before they need to be cleaned. Usually a month or two, or more.

To clean them, just get a 5 gallon bucket half filled with tank water and swish it around some and smack it against the side. Give it another swish and smack against the wall and it's good. You dont want to get them 100% clean. If you do, you will remove the beneficial bacteria. For the most part, sponge filters are a "set them and forget them" type of deal.

I think you're on the right track for a successful tank. Asking a lot of questions now saves you from mistakes in the future.

Consider starting new a thread if you have specific questions, that way your question is more exposed to members on the forum. You will get a lot more responses from a wider range of fishkeepers.
 

Fishowner24

Member
When shou
Islandvic said:
It really takes letting the tank run for a while and monitor everything. Keep an eye on it everyday and you will start to notice when the filter starts to get dirty.

Every tank is different, every filter is different, and everyone has varying fish stocking and feeding routines.

It's hard to pinpoint when exactly to clean a filter.

As time goes by, you will get a better feel for how your tank runs.

Regarding sponge filters specifically, they can go a long time before they need to be cleaned. Usually a month or two, or more.

To clean them, just get a 5 gallon bucket half filled with tank water and swish it around some and smack it against the side. Give it another swish and smack against the wall and it's good. You dont want to get them 100% clean. If you do, you will remove the beneficial bacteria. For the most part, sponge filters are a "set them and forget them" type of deal.

I think you're on the right track for a successful tank. Asking a lot of questions now saves you from mistakes in the future.

Consider starting new a thread if you have specific questions, that way your question is more exposed to members on the forum. You will get a lot more responses from a wider range of fishkeepers.
when should I replace my sponge for the sponge filter?
 
  • Thread Starter

Islandvic

Member
They generally don"t need replacing. They can last years and years.

About the only types of media that ever has to be replaced is chemical filtration (carbon, zeolite, etc) and fine floss/Polyfil type media.

Sponges, foams and bio-media (pumice, sintered glass, ceramic, etc) usually never have to be replaced.
 

Fishfriendof315

Member
Excellent write up!! I had aquired an AC 110 and didn't realize water ran bottom to top. Thought it ran in through the holes in sides of the basket.
 
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