Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by str8shooter, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. str8shooterValued MemberMember

    I was wondering if I can use ceramic rings, bio balls.... in a HOB filter. I was also wondering how a spong filter works if you hook it up to a air pump. If the airs coming out of it, how does it filter. Also when makeing your own filters what should I look for when deciding on what filter bag to get. Also what should I put in it. I know its somewhat up to the person and what they want it to do but I was wondering what Common things are used in them. Also a little off topic but should the sponge be in front of the filter so all the big particles are taken put before it goes through the filter. Thank you all.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  2. Fishy Friends

    Fishy FriendsWell Known MemberMember

    Hi straightshooter & welcome to Fishlore!

    I am not familiar with HOB filters except the Fluval C2 & C3 I have. They are designed to hold a sponge, small ceramic rings & a small bag of charcoal or whatever else you could contain in that aloted space. Perhaps if you looked at one in a store or in line it could give you ideas of how to adapt yours.

    I know I have seen several home made sponge filters on this forum - one used one of those large cichlid caves as I recall. Try a Search Fishlore near the top right of the page (I don't recall seeing it on phone app).
  3. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    All filters are based on the same process.
    Stage 1 is to remove all the large particulate matter
    Stage 2 is supposed to be chemical filtration, but many swap out the charcoal for different media
    Stage 3 The most important stage, is the bio- media section for your Beneficial Bacteria.
    If you have the room in your HOB, I would configure thus
    Stage 1 - Foam or wool media
    Stage 2 - Bio balls ( these will hold a little BB, but the main purpose of them is to break water flow and carry oxygen into stage 3 )
    Stage 3 - Ceramic Rings ( these are special designed media for holding BB ) There large surface area in comparison to size, as well as the porous structure will hold massive amounts of BB
    I hope this helps a little

  4. Jim

    JimWell Known MemberMember

  5. OP

    str8shooterValued MemberMember

    What would you put the bio balls/ceramic rings in?

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app

  6. Jim

    JimWell Known MemberMember

    You can use "media bags". Google Amazon or Just remember to look at the sizes that you would need to fit your filter
  7. OP

    str8shooterValued MemberMember

    But would you put the ceramic rings in the media bag?

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  8. Jim

    JimWell Known MemberMember

    I know that you are using an HOB an Eheim canister, the water enters from the bottom, first hits the ceramic rings which breakeps up large dirt pieces and diverts water into every direction. Next comes the course sponge which grabs the larger broken dirt pieces. Then comes the bio balls which has Benny bac as does the ceramic rings to a degree. Finally comes the finer filter material, Purigen, or your personal preference.----but that's a canister.
  9. psalm18.2

    psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

  10. Jim

    JimWell Known MemberMember

    IMO, no, because the large pieces will not be broken down by the rings, and that is my opinion of which there are 300,000,000 in the USA alone.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  11. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    WADR to Jim, the ceramic rings should be used as the bio filter media in any filter that they are inserted into.
    This is why they are designed like a large piece of Penne pasta.
    The design incorporates the following features specifically designed to hold the BB.
    A) A very large surface area to size ratio
    B) large bore to stop any possible clogging and to aid water flow
    C) A textured surface to trap and hold a large amount of BB
    D) last but not least, they are made of porous material, which allows for even more BB to be held inside them
    Wool or pads are used to trap the larger pieces of stuff entering the filter - This is what is called the Mechanical Stage of filtration.
    As for putting the ceramic rings in bags - your choice, it really doesnt matter, as they should not be disturbed once placed in a filter.
  12. Jim

    JimWell Known MemberMember

    I was under the impression, from using my Eheims, that the first stage to get hit with water coming into the filter was the ceramic noodles which did two things - diverted water in many directions so it would hit many parts of the above course sponge filter and to break up larger pieces of debris. I would imagine that they could also serve as bio holders but the Eheim's are smooth rather than porous.
    The second area to get the filtered water is the first course sponge and then the bio-balls which are ultra porous. I would imagine there is some bio support from the noodles but just not as much as in the bio balls. What do you think?
  13. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Bio balls are used to break water stream because they have an open design to dissipate the water and prevent clogging
    Yes they will hold some BB, but a minute amount compared the the rings, because they have a small contact area and are a smooth textured surface.
    Ceramic rings are definatly for the BB factory, and the surface should resemble sand paper, and large pieces if debris are caught by the first stage coarse wool / pads, after that should be more bioballs to break water flow and oxygenate the water prior to the final ceramic ring stage
    But hey ! , if your filters are working to there full efficiency and you have no issues, why change things ?
  14. Jim

    JimWell Known MemberMember

    I think we are going to agree to disagree on this one......
    From the Eheim site..
    ...Eheim shows the noodles as purely mechanical with a bit of biological capacity....
    MISSING LINK - as pointed out in post #16. Deleted EBAY link, dang grand kids!

    While the same site shows the bio balls (now bio almost squares) as biological with a bit of mechanical ability.......
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  15. Paul1792Valued MemberMember

    No. Factory C-Nodes used for bio filtration are not ceramic. I have two C3's and a C4 currently using the factory stuff in the bio section but I plan to switch gradually to ceramic if I can find some small enough. Has anyone else done that?.

    The factory instructions say to switch out 50% of the C-Nodes (bio-max in AquaClears) every six months .... which most people seem to ignore. However, it does clog with "gunk" and partial replacement is in fact in order.

    I use all custom media in my C's ..... I find cut to fit polishing pads are fantastic and I use Seachem Purigen in the chemical chamber in lieu of carbon. My water is uber crystal clear.

    For anyone interested, here is a link to my HOB filtration photobucket pics:

  16. Harlebleondora

    HarlebleondoraWell Known MemberMember

  17. WhiteWulfe

    WhiteWulfeValued MemberMember

    Are you referring to these ones? They're ceramic rings, but Eheim lists them as mechanical filtration:  
  18. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    These rings must be a different kind of ceramic ring to the " norm " which have been developed by Eheim for the purpose of water flow disruption.
    If they are for Mechanical Filtration, they will trap large particles of waste material and hold it until it is released by washing out / cleaning or some thing.
    The key word is " filtration " .
    Do they do that ? if not, that is not a mechanical filter, but just a water flow disruptor that is wrongly labelled IMO
  19. Ben3721Well Known MemberMember

    Lets say you have a 10 inch long solid pvc pipe. You put a tiny air tube half way down it and let bubbles flow up. The bubbles push and pull water up with them. Now cap the bottom of that tube and drill holes on the bottom half and put sponge over it and you have a sponge filter. While they have ways to use power heads to use sponge filters (they are quiet) the air tube design is super cheap and therefor popular among breeders. They are very gentle on fish fry or other tiny fish since they wont suck them up.

    Each HOB filter is different, some have a ton of room for that stuff. Others are poorly designed and clearly were not created by a fish keeper. I have a top fin 150gph and it lacks much bio sponge space so I have ceramic balls in it. Ive seen some people who make their own media from sheets for their hob filters too. Good luck and have fun!

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