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Old 01-18-2014, 09:27 PM   #1
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bio-media for HOB

Had no idea that bio-media existed until I started reading about filtration. I currently have a 29 gallon tank in an early cycle. Have an aqueon quiet flow HOB filter with the "standard issue" carbon filled sponge currently in the tank.

After doing a bit of reading and asking questions here, I know that I need to improve this set up.

Please tell me if this is a good plan

I plan to get a pre-filter sponge to place over the intake to capture large particulate matter. I plan to stuff the left inside compartment of the filter with pillow batting to capture additional, smaller particulate matter (thanks to Threnjen for these 2 recommendations). The right side of my filter currently houses the manufacturer's carbon filled filter. I plan to replace this with some sort of biomedia. I have read that porous, rough ceramic rings are better than the plastic balls that are sold. Can these be used in an HOB filter or are they too heavy? Would I just place them in a mesh bag down into the right side of the filter?

If all of this sounds reasonable, would it be wise to keep the current filter pad in the tank for a while to "seed" the bio-media (even though I am barely even registering ammonia at this time)?
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:28 PM   #2
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Are you fish-in cycling or fishless cycling? If you're fishless cycling you should dose 4ppm of ammonia. A very detectable amount.

You can put whatever you want in any HOB filter, as long as you do it right. Don't let there be any bypass of the biomedia. Don't stuff it in the bottom right corner of the filter. It has to fill the filter basket from bottom to top. You can have it taking up 3/4 of the filter box on the side opposite where the water flows into the filter, and you can put reticulated foam or filter floss between the in-flow and the biomedia as a mechanical filter.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:48 PM   #3
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Fish-in unfortunately. Have since learned of fish-less.

a few clarifications if you don't mind

1) So you are saying that the bio-media should fill the vertical space of the right side ("outflow") portion of the HOB?

2) And this is so that water has to flow through the media instead of over/around it if I just set the media in the bottom of the filter?

3) Are the small ceramic rings a good option; better than the plastic balls as I have read? Too heavy for a HOB?

4) Can I keep them in the mesh bag and fit them into the basket meant to hold the manufacturer's sponge/carbon cartridge that I am discarding?
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:05 PM   #4
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1) So you are saying that the bio-media should fill the vertical space of the right side ("outflow") portion of the HOB?

I'm not familiar with your filter, but I do know that in HOBs that use cartridges, the water flows in from either the left or right side, depending on the position of the motor. You want mechanical filtration before the water hits the biomedia. A piece of coarse or medium foam followed by a piece of filter floss would not be a bad choice.

2) And this is so that water has to flow through the media instead of over/around it if I just set the media in the bottom of the filter?


Water must flow through the media evenly


3) Are the small ceramic rings a good option; better than the plastic balls as I have read? Too heavy for a HOB?

You can use any biomedia. Ceramic media with a coarse surface has the most surface area for bacteria to colonize. It's not particularly heavy. I wouldn't worry about using it in a HOB.

4) Can I keep them in the mesh bag and fit them into the basket meant to hold the manufacturer's sponge/carbon cartridge that I am discarding?

Yes but make sure you're mechanically filtering the water first
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:30 PM   #5
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thank you
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