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Old 12-04-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
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what to insert into external filters?

lets say you get rid of those premade filter pads that some external filters come with, what combination of stuff is the best thing to insert into the filter? and in what order/layout?
ive been experimenting on things in many different arrangements using purigen, filter floss, polyfilter, bagged activated carbon, ceramic media, matrix, etc... but i havent found the best solution thats most efficient for external power filters (for bio, mech, and maybe chem).
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #2
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I've been trying different things too.

One thing that really does make a difference is to have a pre-filter on the uptake tube so that my main sponge doesn't get so clogged up with debri. I cut a slot in an aquaclear 20 sponge so it fits over the uptake tube, works like a charm.

You have to be careful with filter-floss as too much gets a bit compacted and impedes filter flow. But it does clean the water very nicely! I have that at the very top, where the water comes out.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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Filter Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by liberator123 View Post
lets say you get rid of those premade filter pads that some external filters come with, what combination of stuff is the best thing to insert into the filter? and in what order/layout?
ive been experimenting on things in many different arrangements using purigen, filter floss, polyfilter, bagged activated carbon, ceramic media, matrix, etc... but i havent found the best solution thats most efficient for external power filters (for bio, mech, and maybe chem).
Hello lib...

Aquarium fish require pure water conditions to thrive, no surprise there. So, you need a filtration system. The best is the large, weekly water change. If you change a lot of tank water and do it often, you don't need high end filtration. The equipment is simply turning over water that's already clean. What you do need is bacteria to handle the wastes the fish and to some extent the plants produce between water changes. This is called biological filtration. You need a home for the microscopic bugs that feed on the waste. Polyfiber pads, pieces of lava rock, driftwood, plants, pea sized gravel, or anything else that's porous and fit for aquarium use will work.

A good polyfiber padding is all I use in my filter system. HBH and Acurel make a very good product. The mechanical and chemical media that trap large waste particles and reduce odors are done by performing the weekly water change and if needed, vacuuming the substrate, so a separate media isn't needed. Everything that goes into the tank water will eventually dissolve. So, by removing and replacing the water weekly, you remove the waste material. The wastes that are left in the tank are diluted in all the new, treated tap water and used by the bit of good bacteria living on lava rock, driftwood and whatever porous material is in the tank and made nontoxic to the fish.

Short story made a bit long, but there you have it.

B
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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I used a sponge and ceramic pebbles and biomedia from AquaClear. Otherwise in my smaller 10 g filters i use sponges and slate peices.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:58 PM   #5
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Hello lib...

Aquarium fish require pure water conditions to thrive, no surprise there. So, you need a filtration system. The best is the large, weekly water change. If you change a lot of tank water and do it often, you don't need high end filtration. The equipment is simply turning over water that's already clean. What you do need is bacteria to handle the wastes the fish and to some extent the plants produce between water changes. This is called biological filtration. You need a home for the microscopic bugs that feed on the waste. Polyfiber pads, pieces of lava rock, driftwood, plants, pea sized gravel, or anything else that's porous and fit for aquarium use will work.

A good polyfiber padding is all I use in my filter system. HBH and Acurel make a very good product. The mechanical and chemical media that trap large waste particles and reduce odors are done by performing the weekly water change and if needed, vacuuming the substrate, so a separate media isn't needed. Everything that goes into the tank water will eventually dissolve. So, by removing and replacing the water weekly, you remove the waste material. The wastes that are left in the tank are diluted in all the new, treated tap water and used by the bit of good bacteria living on lava rock, driftwood and whatever porous material is in the tank and made nontoxic to the fish.

Short story made a bit long, but there you have it.

B
So what I hear you saying is: all you need is biological filtration + weekly water changes and you are good?
So i might as well get rid of my external filter and pop in a sponge filter?

A little off topic but: whats better to use as biological filtration? polyfiber pads, sponges, ceramic media, or other medias (name it)?
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:35 PM   #6
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Tank Filtration Media

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Originally Posted by liberator123 View Post
So what I hear you saying is: all you need is biological filtration + weekly water changes and you are good?
So i might as well get rid of my external filter and pop in a sponge filter?

A little off topic but: whats better to use as biological filtration? polyfiber pads, sponges, ceramic media, or other medias (name it)?
Hello again lib...

The "Water keeping" hobby isn't an exact science. There are many ways to succeed. This is what I do. But, I'm a water change fanatic. I change a lot of tank water and I do it weekly. If you can too, then you only need a home for a little beneficial bacteria to use the small bit of dissolved waste that's left from the water change and there will be a little. You can't remove all of it. The small bit that's left after the water change is minimal and won't harm the fish.

I use a dense poly fiber. It's cut to fit, so it will work in most filter equipment. It's very porous and a perfect home for the good bacteria. When it gets a bit dirty, I squeeze out the goop and rinse it in some of my old tank water. It will last through several water changes.

The more water you change and the more often you change it, the healthier the tank inhabitants. Hopefully, you have decent tap water.

B
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