Modifications To Filter

COHiker

My HOB filter has 3 layers. first a 2 inch thick by 5 inch long sponge. next a small charcoal bag, then a bag of fluval beads. The chap in the store mentioned he liked the filter because eventually he just fills it with all fluval beads.

Because I have a 70 gallon filter on a 20 gallon, I added a sponge over the intake pipe to protect the fishies.

Proposed modifications. If I cut the filter down to half the thickness, mostly as a seperation barrier, remove the carbon and then triple the amount of fluval, would that be bad? I'd just add the carbon back if the tank started getting darker tannins build up?

Assuming bacteria grow on all surfaces without biofilm, is the sponge modification just a trivial adjustment?
 

david1978

I have always ran them pretty much how they come. But without the carbon and sometimes I add filter floss between the sponge and beads to catch the tiny particles. I have cut my sponges in half just so their easier to clean.
 

JenC

I don't think all beads (biological media) is a good idea as the tank should have some mechanical filtration. Sponge/foam grabs physical particles and waste from the water. I wouldn't underestimate the importance of that part of the filtration process. I'm frequently amazed by the gunk I squeeze out of my sponges during water changes.

You could remove the carbon and double both the sponge and the bio media. That's what I keep in my two Aquaclears, plus pre-filters on their intake tubes.
 

COHiker

You could remove the carbon and double both the sponge and the bio media. That's what I keep in my two Aquaclears, plus pre-filters on their intake tubes.

Any issue sans carbon? How long have they been running that way? Thanks
 

JenC

Any issue sans carbon? How long have they been running that way? Thanks
I never use carbon except temporarily after using medications to help pull them out of the water. Many people don't use chemical media.

If you have a reason to use it (say super dark tannins from driftwood, and you don't like the aesthetic) then do it if it helps, but otherwise I say ditch it. It's an added expense, it has to be replaced every 3-4 weeks, it could pull needed fertilizers away from plants, and it takes up room that could house mechanical or biological media.
 

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