Homemade Filter media

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Eskielvr

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If I wanted to make my own homemade filter media, what are the best products to use? Looking through my Foster and Smith catalog, I see so many different kinds. Some take out ammonia and phosphate, some do nitrate, Purigen does all of it. For my planted tank, I see some that say they won't remove the trace elements, which sounds good, but then will I overdose with trace elements since I'm supposed to add it twice a week? Renew claims to do better than carbon and not add phosphates.

So, for my 20 gallon planted tank, which products do you recommend? And, for my 5 gallon non planted, which would work best? I may add a Java Fern to that tank though.
 

Terry

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Hi Eskielvr. Not quite sure what you're asking. Are you considering mixing different available media together to make your own blend? That's the only thing I can think of as I'd have no idea how to make a filter media from scratch. I'm not sure about the trace element question, but I think you'd still have to add what you have been (or maybe less if you switch from a media that does remove them, to a media that doesn't. But you'll probably need to replenish at least some during a water change. Not a very good answer, but the best I can do. Maybe someone else can add better comments than I can.
 

Butterfly

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Sponges make the best filter media as far as I'm concerned. They rinse out good and seem to last forever. This is what I use and cut down to fit the smaller filters.

The rest of my filters are aquaclears and they come with sponges.
Carol
 
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Eskielvr

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Ok, so that's what I'll use for the filter media. Now, what about the carbon? Should I use regular carbon, or other things like the Renew (that supposedly doesn't remove your trace elements), Purigen, nitra-zorb, etc? Which brand/type of carbon should I use, or I should ask, which is the best?
 

Butterfly

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I don't use carbon except to remove meds.
Carol
 

Terry

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Hi. Now that I know what you're trying to do maybe I can add more. I'm not sure what kind of filter you have, but if you get the sponges and get both course & fine sponge type filters, the course filter is usually first in line for the water flow, followed by whatever media you may want (Renew, etc.), followed by a fine filter. At least that's how the cannister types are set up. The big particles are first removed by the course filter, then the water flows through the biological and/or chemical media, and last through the fine sponge type filter to remove small particles. There are also charcoal pads that could be cut to size. In the case of the charcoal pads, these are placed last in my cannister filter - since charcoal is only good a week or two this makes it easy to remove the charcoal without taking everything else out of the filter. Hope that helps.
 
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Eskielvr

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Ok, thanks! That helps a lot.
 

atmmachine816

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I don't use charcoal at all, and it isn't advised to be used in planted tanks as it removes elements necessary to the plants. I just use basic filter floss/fiber in my filters then squeeze it out and it works great, though i recently bought a aquaclear and wiill try using sponges also with the filter fiber like Butterfly does. I simply stuff some in my filter and my plants still grow fine, link in my sig. There's a DIY way on plantgeek also if you lilke using filter pads, but i think butterflys way is more than effective.
 
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