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Old 03-17-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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While We're Hot on the Topic of Filters...A Question About the AC110's BioMax...

With all the talk we've been doing in the Filtration thread in this section, it got me thinking about something I was pondering since the last time I picked up some "replacement" media for my AquaClear 110...

Okay -- so as most of you know, my last 60 gallon goldfish setup came down with a nasty bacterial infection from poor water maintenance on our part (at the time) and some other factors, the least of which wasn't a new Red Cap Oranda attacking our two other fantails to the point open sores developed on their backsides letting the infection in and ultimately killing them (this is the Red Cap you see in my latest pictures of the new tank, seemingly doing well and growing), and when I cleaned that tank out and started over, neutralizing the infection, the same tank cracked a couple of weeks later and flooded our house.

But before that happened, I had thrown away ALL the media that was residing in the Aqueon HOB filter and AquaClear filter that ran on this 60 gallon for fear it was also simmering in the bacterial infection; I bought new cartridges for the Aqueon and also purchased a new sponge block and BioMax for the AquaClear. Here's the thing, though -- when I first got my AquaClear 110, inside the box was the sponge, the carbon pouch and a pouch of large BioMax noodles that are designed to go into the net bag Hagen provides with the filter...when I went to Petsmart to find the replacement BioMax pellets after I set everything up again, I found that even though the box of the pellets said it was for the 110 model, inside were much smaller BioMax pieces than before, and now Hagen supplied two very small mesh bags to put these in...as opposed to the large BioMax rings and large net bag that came with the filter...

My question has always been...is it pretty much doing the same thing -- that is, offering available space for bacterial growth -- these two small pouches I'm running now with the much smaller BioMax rings as the previous large rings and larger bag? And why did Hagen decide to do this with "replacement" media? Why change to two small pouches with small BioMax pieces as compared to the large rings and large net bag?

I did make sure the packaging for this replacement BioMax media stated it was for the 110 model...



This is what it looked like:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

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Old 03-17-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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I'm not sure why the ceramic media changed in size and quantity; but yes, it should be doing the same thing. If you were to weigh the old amount with the new, I bet you're getting more colonizing space now. That's good. Most bio-media work the same. In fact, you don't even have to use the bio-max from Hagen. Most biological media from other manufacturers will suffice.

They recently revamped their marketing on the boxes. The AquaClear box now says Fluval and it has a different look to it. Perhaps this is all tied in?

David
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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I'm not sure why the ceramic media changed in size and quantity; but yes, it should be doing the same thing. If you were to weigh the old amount with the new, I bet you're getting more colonizing space now. That's good. Most bio-media work the same. In fact, you don't even have to use the bio-max from Hagen. Most biological media from other manufacturers will suffice.

They recently revamped their marketing on the boxes. The AquaClear box now says Fluval and it has a different look to it. Perhaps this is all tied in?

David
Hello, David -- and thank you for the prompt reply! It's greatly appreciated...

Indeed, I noticed that Hagen recently repackaged their AquaClear stuff to read "Fluval" on the boxes, and this maybe had something to do with it -- but I bought this replacement media long before they decided on this marketing strategy...

I understand what you're saying about the surface area addition with the two smaller sacks of BioMax; I just wanted to know if running these two small packs versus the old large one with the much larger BioMax pieces was okay and will yield similar filtering results, which I believe you answered...

So, what I'm running is this: The foam block on bottom and the two small BioMax sacks on top...this is alright? When I first got the 110, it came with a large net bag to hold the very large BioMax rings...now, they're two small bags with small BioMax pieces...all is okay still?

I, too, am at a loss as to why Hagen supplies the replacement BioMax this way...
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:40 PM   #4
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So, what I'm running is this: The foam block on bottom and the two small BioMax sacks on top...this is alright? When I first got the 110, it came with a large net bag to hold the very large BioMax rings...now, they're two small bags with small BioMax pieces...all is okay still?
That's fine. That's the great thing about AC filters: you can work any filtering combination according to the needs of the livestock. In other words, you have flexibility. If you think about it, it's a canister filter that hangs on the back.

On some AquaClears I don't even use ceramic bio-media. For example, I have an AC50 running 3 foam blocks.

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Old 03-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #5
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That's fine. That's the great thing about AC filters: you can work any filtering combination according to the needs of the livestock. In other words, you have flexibility. If you think about it, it's a canister filter that hangs on the back.

On some AquaClears I don't even use ceramic bio-media. For example, I have an AC50 running 3 foam blocks.

David
And the fact that these are now smaller pellets as compared to the large rings that came stock with the filter is alright?
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:45 PM   #6
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I'm not sure what you mean by "pellets." Can you post a picture of the two medias?

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Old 03-17-2013, 10:56 PM   #7
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Look very carefully at this image; this is what they look like:

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Old 03-18-2013, 12:44 AM   #8
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Yeah, that's the media I'm familiar with and is what the AquaClears I have purchased in the past come with. Can you post a pic of the larger rings?

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Old 03-18-2013, 12:50 AM   #9
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HERE'S what the old, larger rings looked like, and which came with my 110, inside the box:



Notice the size difference? They were also in a larger, one-piece net "sack" (that you had to kind of put together yourself with the little red snap thing you see there when you first open the box to your new AquaClear filter) as opposed to the dual small bags that are provided with the replacement rings as I cited above...
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:10 AM   #10
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That's interesting. Perhaps the larger AC110s are coming with the larger ceramic rings, which have a center hole, and thus probably holds more nitrifying bacteria. It is perfectly fine to mix the two together.

The next time I'm at the LFS I'm going to open an AC50 box as well as an AC110 to see if there's a difference in the BioMax media.

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