Is this enough biomedia?

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Tristen

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Dunk2 said:
Bio balls
Matrix
https://www.seachem.com/matrix.phpDo I need to put the Seachem matrix in a small nylon bag?
In my opinion, I’d suggest you not use the bio balls. Instead, use the ceramic rings, Seachem matrix or both. As I said, the rings and Matrix do the same thing, I simply think that Matrix is better.

All that said, don’t stop using your current rings if your tank is cycled. Just add to them.
 

johnbirg

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Plastic bio balls from my experience are pretty much useless and I really don't know why some filter manufacturers include them as media.
In order of ability to house nitrifying bacteria 1 biohome, 2 Matrix and 3 ceramic rings. Number 4 is substrate believe it or not. I use Seachem pristine at every water change. It contains specialised bacteria which live in the substrate and actually clean it. Between the pristine and the plants I have found that I don't have to vacuum the gravel anymore as it is clean.
 

Cichlidude

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Actually these are the actual numbers from many discussions and math from this site with the help of JayH . The more surface area the better.

BioMediaComparisionnotes1-6.jpg


Notes:

1. From Manufacturers Web site, independent test and email from Seachem labs. Minimum and maximum are noted since Matrix is a natural high quality pumice that varies in size.
2. From Manufacturers Web site and email from Great Wave Engineering.
3. From Manufacturers Web site.
4. From independent test here:
5. Information gathered here (best estimates):
6. Supports Denitrifying bacteria to help reduce Nitrates.
 

JayH

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Bit of an old and somewhat tired topic, but I've never been clear on exactly what product is being referred to as "pot scrubbies". There are two different types I've seen used and both could be called "pot scrubbies", though the density, and therefore the surface area, of them is quite different. There are the ones similar to the Scotch-Brite scouring pads, which, while thin, are a quite dense mesh. I've seen these used in DIY pond filters, shingled in multiple layers. These type are rather expensive on a volume basis.

Then there are the plastic mesh scrub pads that look like tight netting rolled up into a ball. These are much cheaper per square foot, but they aren't remotely as dense. Just eye-balling the material they look to me to be considerably less dense than 10 PPI filter foam, which Swiss Tropicals lists as being 274 sq ft per cu ft.

So it doesn't look like 370 would be a good number for the plastic mesh scrubbies. That suggests it's referring to the Scotch-Brite style scrub pad, but those are so expensive I can't see how they would be remotely competitive as a filter media. So either the number is bogus or this is a DIY media for those who can't do math.

I should add, in one of the videos I watched the guy spent a lot of time threading nylon pads over the inlet pipe so they'd stay anchored in place, using those to hold other pads in place, repeating this three or four times. It must have taken him half an hour to get it all set up. I can't imagine what he'd go through when it came time to clean them. I couldn't help thinking he could have bought one sheet of 2" filter foam, cut a hole in the center, dropped it over the pipe, and been done with the whole mess. And when it came cleaning time, lift out one piece of foam, hose it down in the driveway, and you're good to go. It seemed like he probably didn't save much at all on the cost and increased his labor many times.
 

GuppyDazzle

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I've had box filters, HOB filters, and currently sponge filters. As long as I had water movement through the filter media, the only problems I've ever had with tank maintenance was related to not enough water changes.

I'm trying to understand why it would help my tanks if I used some better media if all the lesser media I've used all these years did a fine job. This is a sincere question. I just don't understand why a better media would filter the water better. Does the bacteria grow stronger? Does the bacteria colony grow larger? What is the biological benefit of having "better" filter media?
 

johnbirg

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Firstly, it's not about "better" media. The question was about bio balls. Which really are useless at supporting sufficient BB. You said you have used sponge filters and they're good. Hob's are good but you obviously haven't tried them with plastic bio balls and you're missing the point that BB need somewhere to attach to and live in sufficient quantities to do their job. The Next step is that in using " better" media you can achieve a complete nitrogen cycle which includes removing nitrates from the system as I have in my tank. For this to happen you need media that has many micro pores to support anaerobic bacteria which require slow water movement to convert nitrates to nitrogen and oxygen.
Try doing that with plastic bio balls.
 

GuppyDazzle

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johnbirg said:
Firstly, it's not about "better" media. The question was about bio balls. Which really are useless at supporting sufficient BB. You said you have used sponge filters and they're good. Hob's are good but you obviously haven't tried them with plastic bio balls and you're missing the point that BB need somewhere to attach to and live in sufficient quantities to do their job. The Next step is that in using " better" media you can achieve a complete nitrogen cycle which includes removing nitrates from the system as I have in my tank. For this to happen you need media that has many micro pores to support anaerobic bacteria which require slow water movement to convert nitrates to nitrogen and oxygen.
Try doing that with plastic bio balls.
I'm still confused. You say it's not about "better media," then you talk about using better media. LOL!

I'm "missing the point that BB need somewhere to attach and live in sufficient quantities to do their job?" Really? What drew you to that conclusion?
 

johnbirg

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GuppyDazzle said:
I'm still confused. You say it's not about "better media," then you talk about using better media. LOL!

I'm "missing the point that BB need somewhere to attach and live in sufficient quantities to do their job?" Really? What drew you to that conclusion?
About 50+ years of experience in keeping aquariums.
 

GuppyDazzle

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johnbirg said:
About 50+ years of experience in keeping aquariums.
Oh my goodness! I'm very impressed!
 
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