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Old 06-22-2010, 02:50 AM   #1
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NU-Foam densified batting- used as filter material?

I just came across some stuff in the quilting department of a local craft shop called "Nu-foam" that appears to be a possible filter material. It is labeled as "densified batting" and made of polyester. I have been researching it online, and the general opinion is that it is mildew resistant because it does not retain water (in other words it is not treated with anything for that purpose). Some people are using it as mechanical filter material, but not as biological material.

Anyone here using it? Based on it's appearance, I would think it would be a great biological filter so I do not understand the thinking there. I went to the manufacturer's website and found this comment...

Question : Can I use NU-Foam® for an aquarium filter?

[COLOR=#1b6c9e !important]Answer : [/COLOR]We do not recommend using NU-Foam® in an aquarium filter because it is made from 100% polyester. Aquarium filters should be made from 100% polypropylene.

Polypropylene? What? I thought polyester was used all the time? Or am I confused?

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Old 06-22-2010, 04:06 AM   #2
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Bio filters need water to pass through them consistently. A thick fibrous material will clog up quickly and become useless as biological medium.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Crepe. Anything nontoxic that resides in an aquarium for a while will become a biomedia. Some materials support more bacteria that others. The stuff sold as biomedia is engineered to have incredible amounts of surface area per volume and more surface are equals more bacteria.

Filter sponges support huge quantities of bacteria. That's why you're not supposed to replace any filter media if you can help it. The sponge just doesn't support as much bacteria per volume as engineered biomedia.

Biofilters work most efficiently in a highly oxygenated environment. This is the idea behind biowheels and wet-dry filters. Keeping the media only partially submerged and exposed to the air allows the bacteria to access more oxygen and work faster. However, bacteria submerged in a filter will still process ammonia and nitrates. If the water is completely stagnant, i.e. little to no dissolved oxygen, the nitrifying bacteria will die off. If your filters reach this stage, you've got major problems because you've neglected the tank or overstuffed it severely.

Many media bags are made of polyester. I don't see a problem with using it in a filter.
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filter, foam

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