03-30-2014, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pop
A very interesting post my friend, “By non-beneficial do you mean detrimental or just bacteria that are not part of the cycle?” My thoughts are non-beneficial represents both ‘detrimental’ (I am not sure just what detrimental bacteria would be) as well as ‘just bacteria’.
There is likely a variety of life forms living in the filter - not just the beneficial bacteria.
I have to admit you, jaysee and others have expressed an interesting but different notion of filtration than the way I conceive the idea of what just is filtration. In my world filtration is directly linked to the capture of particulate and the eventual removal of this matter. In some cases this process of capture and removal of particulate matter is accomplished by chemical absorption such as activated carbon.
I have a tendency of seeing things a little differently. I demand that my filters collect waste the same as you And I eventually remove it. Though, I don't use carbon or any other absorbing media. Activated carbon can certainly trap particulate matter, though that may diminish the effectiveness of the carbon to do the job for which it is intended.
As you say “filtration is a combination of volume of media and circulation.” this certainly restricts the concept of filtration to the amount of water moving through the filter media. Others as well as you my friend often speaks of mechanical filtration goal is to provide a suitable environment for the ecology for nitrifying bacteria colonies.
I'm not restricting anything - I'm expanding the concept to be more than just GPH. GPH is simply a measurement - a way to quantify "filtration" for comparative purposes.
I never claim that the goal of mechanical media is to house beneficial bacteria, unless that's the only media being used as with a sponge filter, eclipse filters or as custom media for an HOB filter. The purpose of mechanical media is to collect waste, for removal and also to keep biological media free from debris. Like with the carbon, if the biomedia is all gunked up then it won't function properly.
This is an interesting notion for me “The greater the GPH the lower the concentration of ammonia” makes me want to search for information on how exactly is ammonia diffused throughout the tank. The point here is that you again say that filtration is creating and supporting ecology of nitrifying bacteria.
I should specify that I am not including plants in the system. IMO plants don't aide in understanding the nature of the nitrifying bacteria. In a plant free tank, a lower turnover rate means more ammonia in the water, just because it takes longer to return to the filter and fish are constantly producing waste. Not that it's even a measurable amount. But while your test result may show 0 ammonia, there HAS to be ammonia there since that's what's feeding the bacteria. And there is - very small amounts that are consumed as fast as they are created.
I am not disagreeing with you biological filter is very important and I can understand why these processes are so quickly established in the filter with ample supply of nitrogen, oxygen and real estate. This notion of the purpose of a filter has one drawback for me. There must always be kept a portion of captured organic matter that is the nitrification process for re-colonization (during regular tank maintence) which also continues to pollute the environment through biological break down of organic matter.
I don't clean my filters very often - twice a year. Yes, the waste that is collected continues to break down after it's been collected. When I clean my mechanical media, I thoroughly clean all of it in the sink with warm tap water. the biomedia is clean, even after 6 months, so that gets a quick spray and a shake of the tray.
Because I want to remove decaying matter as soon as possible without disturbing the biological processes I desire to have the bio-filter in the substrate instead of the filter and be free to remove all decaying matter at will. pop
My substrate is also part of the filtration system. Anything that can house bacteria will house it. If you want to prevent the bacteria from colonizing a surface, you'll need to clean it constantly.