So I guess you only need to change or clean the bio media if it gets clogged. Don't you need special substrate and fertilizer for plants. And I guess there are certain plants that do better with cichlids? And thanks for all the great info I will probably lean on you again as I get closer to build time hope to have tank up and running by Xmas. Posted via Mobile Device
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.