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Old 04-15-2008, 10:29 PM   #1
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Substitute bio filter media for HOB?

Hi everyone, I'm new here, obviously, and am getting back into fish after a few years. I've set up a 20 gal fresh tank and have a cycled 5-15 Aqua-tech hanging in it...I know it's not enough, which leads me to my question. I was also given another 5-15 along with a 10-20, both like new except that the bio filter media is gone. Seeing as these are essentially Walmart filters, I can't seem to locate replacement parts. Ideally, I'd get a bio media piece for the larger filter and then put a sponge filter on the intake as well. I simply don't have the cash for much at this point in my life though I could possibly spring for another, better filter like a Whisper perhaps. Any thoughts on substitutes for media, or would it simply make more sense to get something a little better? It will just be a community tank with your everyday tetras etc. I've already done salts, Eheims, big tanks etc so I don't need to impress myself but just need serious bang for the buck!!!

Btw, my last name is really 'fish'...seriously!!
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA! Glad to hear you are getting back into fish. I'm not too familiar with Aqua tech filters but instead of the store bought filters with carbon, you could purchase some filter floss (pure polyester pillow batting from walmart, no hypo allergenic stuff) and cut it to fit inside the filter. I have a HOB that is a no name and that is what I use. I put 2 pieces in and change them at alternate times.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response - just for clarification, you're using polyster batting exclusively to provide bio filtration? If that's what you mean that's great, just what I'm looking for
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:02 AM   #4
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In my HOB filters that don't accomodate a sponge like my Aqua clears do. For my aqua clears I use sponge and filter floss, for my cannisters I use plastic pot scrubbers and floss. I have 2 HOB filters that have no room for "permanent" media so I use the floss only and trade it out opposite times. Usually a month apart but that will depend on your stocking and how dirty they get.

If the aqua tech allows it plastic pot scrubbers are very cheap, I get 3 for a buck and they are great as long as they don't have anti bacterial agents in them.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:18 AM   #5
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Pot scrubbers

Brilliant! What a great idea!!
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:25 AM   #6
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No problem. I have a lot of tanks and needed cheaper methods and got the idea from some other aquarists.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:34 AM   #7
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A green scrub pads would work for biomedia for the Aquatech. the plastic pot scrubber do work in the AquaCleat HOB's.

I don't use the filter replacement cartriges made for the HOB's I've used that are similar to Aquatech 10-20 because they're expensive. Instead I used a frame from Whisper filter media and use HBH pads on the whisper frame. It won't hold carbon but you could alternate with whisper or aquatech filter media.

With the money you save on media you could buy a AquClear. They're really nice filters and you can use a variety of filter media in them. They're also quiet and have good surface movement without a lot of slashing noise.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:25 PM   #8
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Even more good advice...3M pads, they'd fit right in. Does everyone use charcoal anyway? I was told years ago not to, that it's not good for the water overall so I've never used it, not to mention it's expensive.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:47 PM   #9
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I used charccoal until I put live plants in my tank because it's contraindicated with plants. Now I'd use it for a few days when there's way to much tannins from new driftwood that PWC's won't take care. I soak my driftwood for days or weeks so that's not much of a problem.

A fish only tank is harder to keep balanced. Charcosl is only effective for a short period of time. May not be effective as long as long as the mechanical fitration (pad).
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:03 PM   #10
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Again I learn soooo much on this site - thanks
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:08 PM   #11
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I only use carbon to remove meds when and if I need them. Other than that I never use it.
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