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Old 09-21-2005, 01:45 AM   #1
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bacteria: ceramic rings vs sponges

The ceramic rings are supposed to be better for biological filtration because they are porous - which increases the surface area. This seems fishy to me. Those pores will clog very easily, removing their extra surface area. And even if they did not clog, there would be very little water flowing through the pores, so they would not make an ideal surface for bacteria.

I'm thinking that these ceramic rings are no better for bio-filtration than good old sponges. And sponges will add more mechanical filtration and cost a lot less.

What does everyone else think?
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Old 09-21-2005, 02:30 AM   #2
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I don't know. I just use them. The scintered glass noodles (eg. Biomax) have more surface than just ceramic rings. Every now and then I bleach the biomax to clean it out. (Not all of the media at once.) There yould be more surface area on the noodles than a sponge, but how effective and for how long I don't know.
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Old 09-21-2005, 04:22 AM   #3
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Re: bacteria: ceramic rings vs sponges

Quote:
Originally Posted by hashbaz
Those pores will clog very easily, removing their extra surface area.
Exactly !!

If you read the instructions of ceramic rings or biomax - it says to replace every 3-6 months because of the clogging.

I recommend using Bioballs (can NEVER clog) or the sponge
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:12 AM   #4
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I think it's like comparing apples and oranges. Sponges are essentially used for mechanical filtration and have the added benefit of extra surface area. Ceramic rings have more surface area (it's porous, overall they have more surface area) but offer little in the way of filtration.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:42 AM   #5
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That's why you put sponges and floss in the flow of water before the biological media to prevent any the clogging.
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:11 AM   #6
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If your bio rings are getting dirty enough to clog up, you're not filtering your water enough BEFORE it reaches the bio rings. I rinse my off every month or so and they're normally very clean.

What type of filter and where do you have the rings?

Thx,

dave
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywg
That's why you put sponges and floss in the flow of water before the biological media to prevent any the clogging.
ding! we have a winner!
it won't 100% prevent clogging, but it makes a huge, huge difference.

FWIW I've never changed the ceramic rings in my XP2, which has been going for 18 months.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:01 AM   #8
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I had bacteria fill the pores of the biomax..... but then they are filled with what you want in them. ......
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:21 PM   #9
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I use Seachem's Matrix as biological media in my Filstar canister filter. I have the coarse and fine sponges on the bottom and then Matrix above followed by the micro-filtration pad on top. I asked Seachem technical support if it was necessary to clean or replace the media and this is the response I got -

"How long Matrix lasts without maintenance depends on how dirty the water passing though it is. If you are not prefiltering the water through some mechanical filter media the pores in the Matrix will become clogged up. This prevents bacteria from growing on it. Rinsing it in dechlorinated water and grinding it against itself will usually reopen the pores up. Some people change out 25-50% of it every 6-12 months. If the water passing through it is already clean of any particles this shouldn't be a concern."
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:42 PM   #10
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Good info Gene! I have my Fluval set up with all the mechanical pads on the bottom and all the rings and balls on the top. I rinse them monthly and I haven't seen any accumulation of detrius on them in any significant amount.
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