04-01-2013, 11:52 PM
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The beneficial biology functions best when the colony is not disturbed and water flows more slowly across and through it. I rarely do anything to my dedicated bio-filter. Some medias may require rinsing a few times a year, you'll just have to inspect and make a judgement call.
Some time ago as I became interested in advanced water filtration/purification my research led many places but also to 3rd world sand filters. They pour in foul, polluted water and draw off crystal clear drinking water. This caused me to think if we expanded the bio-filter capacity in the aquarium all sorts of pollutants would be processed (more than just ammonia and nitrites) making the water more pure.
I hear chichlids are really rough on plants. Perhaps some others can advise on plants that may hold up.