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Old 03-11-2004, 03:31 AM   #1
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musings on filtration

I'm at 6 months into this hobby. At first, the new HOB filters with their elaborate bio-wheels and tide chambers seemed indispensible. After tiring of the noise however I decided to switch, cold. Guess what. No ammonia spike, zero. The entire inside surface area of an aquarium is covered with bacteria. Frankly on a large tank (that isn't overstocked) I see very little reason to worry much about biological filtration. Am I way off base here? Of the three types of filtration; biological, mechanical, and chemical, it seems the only one I really need a filter for is mechanical. With a little current the surface area of the substrate, driftwood, and rocks in the tank are more than adequate for bacterial consumption of ammonia and nitrite (assuming a cycled tank of course). Chemical filtration is unnecessary except on the rare occasion when meds need to be filtered out. That leaves mechanical. So I bought an Aquaclear because of the large surface area and the ability to pack it with floss. Apparently this thing hasn't changed in 20 years, and it costs a fraction of an emperor or tetratec or magnum etc. etc.

Are all these new-fangled HOB filters really necessary or are they just a way to bring in business with all the hype?
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Old 03-11-2004, 10:32 AM   #2
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I think the HOB filters are very good *filters*. Easy to clean, a good place to put charcoal (if needed) and mine is quite. I agree with you that their value as a biological filter is somewhat limited.
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:12 AM   #3
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Your Marineland filter with a biowheel was noisy?


are you sure the impeller was seated right?


Cause I own several Biowheel HOBs, and the only noise they make is the sound of the water falling back into the tank.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:05 PM   #4
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If your tank is not over stocked and its been 6 months then I'm not surprised at all. Bio Wheels are very efficient biological filters but the fish hobby wasn't in shambles before they came along. Bio Wheels are most effective for over stocked tanks cause they simply can process a large portion of your bio load effeciently. With an over stocked tank (as many of us have) you would have seen a spike. You can also gravel vacum your whole tank and not worry about sucking up too many of your bacterial friends.

Personally I like the Bio Wheel because it gives me more of a sense of control in that I know where my primary bacterial colony is. It's not all over the tank but instead in the little spinning wheel.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:44 PM   #5
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I completely agree that the biowheel is not a requirement. I have a canister filter on my 55 and there is no biowheel present, yet when I moved my Eheim from that tank to another and got a Filstar for the 55, there was no ammonia spike or other event that resulted from removing the entire filter and contents, starting over fresh. The tank was established and the bacteria is present everywhere.

However, they are not all hype. They are insurance.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:55 PM   #6
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Biowheels are also a convenience.

You already have a old, established tank with a biowheel, and you set up a new tank.


Bio-Spira?

Who needs it! You got a mature biowheel right there, just throw it on the new filter on the new tank, and put the new biowheel on the old tank, instant cycle on the new tank, and the old tank is mature enough that it won't feel theeffect of missing the biowheel and can recolonise it without problem.


Plus, as was mentioned before, you don't have to be as careful with gravel vacs and everything else, since you know your biowheel has all the bacteria you need, you can vac the entire tank and take time and detail without wory of killing off all that good bacteria.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:00 PM   #7
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Bio Wheels aren't needed. Bacteria is everywhere.. Not to mention, Aqua Clears hold more bacteria than the Bio Wheels could hope too.. Its a shame that Bio Wheels are so over rated and Aqua Clears are under rated.. Must have something to do with the fact that people can't believe that something that is so simple can be actually good.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:12 PM   #8
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I used to run aquaclears, I had good reason to switch.

The water is cleaner, and I don't have to worry about the filters just dying for no good reason, or loosing their prime without cauise.

Something I delt with quite a bit with the aqua clears. I still have one, and it looses its prime, or just stops working atleast once a week. And before you say it, yes they are all clean, bolts fascend, nuts tightend, ect ect.


[ Bolts and nuts are an expresion just FYI, in other words.. everything is double checked and jsut as it should be ]
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:17 PM   #9
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Funny.. Mine last for years and never any probs. Hmm. maybe I've been lucky or you were just unlucky.. I myself had bio wheels that had a tendecy to crap out. So I gave them the boot.. Too avoid any other discrepencies. I think both filters have their plus and minuses and its just a matter of preference. I'll leave it at that.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:24 PM   #10
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I've never had that problem with them either, or anyone I know for that matter. One person I know has actually had his for 11 years
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