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How much media?

This is a discussion on How much media? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have had two Eheim canisters running since 1996, and added a Rena (same basic design) 3 years ago. I use the ceramic disks ...

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Old 02-27-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
 
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I have had two Eheim canisters running since 1996, and added a Rena (same basic design) 3 years ago. I use the ceramic disks in the first basket, then the "biological" hard media in the second (and third on the largest), plus the various pads. All three do trap stuff, evident when I rinse them out. Of course the pads are the heaviest, since they capture the very fine matter and clog first.

You can save money by buying less expensive media, like Fluval. The ceramic disks are identical to Eheim and Rena, and the Fluval BioMax works well as the second stage "biological" hard media. I never replace any of this, just rinse it under the tap regularly.

As for your initial question of how much media, I have the baskets about 1/2 to 2/3 full I think. I don't worry about all this, since with live plants they are doing (or should be doing) the majority of the biological "filtration."

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Old 02-27-2013, 12:03 PM   #12
JDM
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
No, EFMech (I think that's what they call it) used in the first filter stage is a smooth ceramic ring used as mechanical filtration media and should not be confused with porous ceramic bio-media.
Hmmm, I wasn't clear on what exactly that layer was then, as soon as anyone mentions ceramics, porosity comes to mind... otherwise there is no good reason to even consider ceramics. OK, so the ceramic is sealed, if compared to using a course sponge... just an expensive less effective first filter layer.

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And just a further correction is that the porous bio-media used after mechanical and optional chemical media does not really require water to flow through the pores. Much like live rock in SW, the material cavities (pores) allows for the proliferation of beneficial bacteria that would simply not exist in a smooth surface media. It's not a gimmick.
OK. If it is not intended to have water flow through, which it will not anyway, then it is totally useless as a bacterial water treatment media. I will agree that the pores will likely house bacteria but the bacteria are not motile and will not be of any advantage unless water can flow past them. Seeing as it is accepted that the bacteria are on the glass, then a smooth surfaced media would still house bacteria on it's outer surface. In fact, the bio balls that I threw out are a smooth plastic ball that would work better than ceramics as they are hollow and slotted so water can flow through them.

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However, there may be some room to debate the overal effectiveness of say ceramic bio-media and a basic open cell foam as both would provide significant surface areas to support BB colony(ies).
The issue is not the colony support, it's the necessity of having water flow past the colonies.

I actually did the math on surface area of sponge material vs ceramic vs sand vs gravel. Ceramic was the best but the flow pressure issue negates any benefit, which makes it the worst unless you crushed it up... resulting in ceramic sand. Sand was next but flow through in the substrate is not as great as in the filter... sand filters would be ideal but there are issues with sand and pumps. Course sponges and gravel are similar, gravel has the same substrate flow issue as sand. Sponges stacked in decremental pore sizes are the best filter media setup for the money as both mechanical and biological filtration.

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:52 PM   #13
 
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OK. If it is not intended to have water flow through, which it will not anyway, then it is totally useless as a bacterial water treatment media. I will agree that the pores will likely house bacteria but the bacteria are not motile and will not be of any advantage unless water can flow past them. Seeing as it is accepted that the bacteria are on the glass, then a smooth surfaced media would still house bacteria on it's outer surface. In fact, the bio balls that I threw out are a smooth plastic ball that would work better than ceramics as they are hollow and slotted so water can flow through them.
Although the filter provides a constant flow of water/food, the velocity is so great that a rough, porous material facilitates the colony development as it would be much more difficult on a smooth surface.
I think Bio balls are intended for wet/dry setups which is very different than inside a filter.


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The issue is not the colony support, it's the necessity of having water flow past the colonies.
Well, flow past is not flow through, but still, I don't think so. Actually the substrate is an excellent bio-filter and far more bacteria live there than in any filter and water merely permeates the substrate but does not flow through like a filter. As a matter of fact, bio filtration is most often best served by slower water movement in and around the colony than the rapid flow rates of most filters.
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