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Filtration

This is a discussion on Filtration within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Pop, GPH ratings aren't what a lot of people think they are. They are all rated empty. In reality, we aren't talking about the ...

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Old 03-27-2014, 05:06 PM   #31
 
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Filtration

Pop, GPH ratings aren't what a lot of people think they are. They are all rated empty. In reality, we aren't talking about the actual filter GPH but the VOLUME of media such a filter holds. Same as when a 55 gallon tank is recommended - it's not because the fish needs 55 gallons of water, but because a 55 is a standard size that denotes a 4 foot long tank.


And i agree, airstones are annoying and ugly
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:38 PM   #32
 
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Simple, having more then one filter does increase filtration. And not just from a mechanical one but a biological one. The more surface area you give bacteria grow the more beneficial your tank becomes. This is why I prefer to have two filters. my canister filter is best for this job. It holds more surface area (bio max) and I can add more surface area if needed by selecting what I want to put in it. It holds more water which allows for more biological to filter the water before it enters back into the tank. As far as the GPH rating, who knows how they relly comes up with that number, and I don't think it really matters. My intent was to get my tank at 10 x the volume an hour and the only way was by adding another filter. Now with that, I feel that I have good water quality and lots of places for bacteria to grow. Just sayin
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:25 PM   #33
 
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Filtration

The companies generally do state that it's an empty flow rate. Fluval fx5/6 states both filled and empty flow rates.

Like many many things, the law of diminishing returns applies here too. You can get more bacteria by adding more surface area, to a point. Most well filtered tanks are no where near their capacity as far as bioload goes.

Last edited by jaysee; 03-27-2014 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:29 AM   #34
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Good morning Friends;

I made a wild guess that gph was a useless rating for filtration and is a valuable tool for marketing filters.


The point that beneficial bacterium exist in the filter media is made. Can it be possible that non beneficial bacterium also exist in the filter? Can I establish the bio-filter in the substrate and forget mechanical filtration altogether.


The notion of diminishing returns applies to mechanical filters the greater the gph the less efficient the filtration. So by having two mechanical filters you increase the existing diminishing returns to a state of limited return.


Are bio-balls an aspect of mechanical filtration?


The idea of using filter media impregnated with beneficial bacteria to cycle a tank is often suggested so I get the notion that advice givers do not consider the possibility of cross-tank contamination nor consider the possibility that two identical aquariums next to each other may have two different ecologies in terms of bacterial colonization.


I am not trying to change any one’s mind or suggest their particular approach should be changed. This is a friendly talk.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:54 AM   #35
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
Good morning Friends;

I made a wild guess that gph was a useless rating for filtration and is a valuable tool for marketing filters.


The point that beneficial bacterium exist in the filter media is made. Can it be possible that non beneficial bacterium also exist in the filter? Can I establish the bio-filter in the substrate and forget mechanical filtration altogether.



By non beneficial do you mean detrimental, or just bacteria that is not part of the cycle?




The notion of diminishing returns applies to mechanical filters the greater the gph the less efficient the filtration. So by having two mechanical filters you increase the existing diminishing returns to a state of limited return.



You have to specify what it is you mean by filtration. Filtration is a combination of volume of media and circulation.

The greater the GPH the lower the concentration of ammonia entering the filter....so yes that makes the bacteria less efficient when looked at from a particular point of view. However, one place you DO NOT want your bacteria to be is maxed out efficiency wise. That doesn't provide any room for growth.

The differentiation between mechanical and biological filtration is a moot point.





Are bio-balls an aspect of mechanical filtration?



If there is no mechanical media to trap waste, then yes, they would function as both, though it would be a very poor choice. Personally, when waste enters my filter I want it to stay there.





The idea of using filter media impregnated with beneficial bacteria to cycle a tank is often suggested so I get the notion that advice givers do not consider the possibility of cross-tank contamination nor consider the possibility that two identical aquariums next to each other may have two different ecologies in terms of bacterial colonization.



Transferring media is absolutely the best way to start a new tank. Contamination is not a concern unless you have problems in the donor tank. I know I've started close to 20 tanks that way.

Tanks don't need to be equal to transfer media. You only have to get *some* bacteria in the new tank for it to be a successful transplant.





I am not trying to change any one’s mind or suggest their particular approach should be changed. This is a friendly talk.
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I'm always happy to expound
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:17 AM   #36
 
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I surely do cross "contaminate" my cloned tanks ... With BB of course. I control my tanks and I know their health ... I don't seed from my QT tanks .. I seed from my show tanks that are well controlled.


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Old 03-29-2014, 07:06 PM   #37
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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’.

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.

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.


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 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.


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.

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Old 03-30-2014, 01:31 AM   #38
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
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.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:57 AM   #39
 
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Filtration

Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
A very interesting post my friend,
.

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

You can clean your filters as often as you like.. As long as you're not sanitizing your media you will not disturb the biological process .



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Last edited by Agent13; 03-30-2014 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:16 PM   #40
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Hello JaySee and Friends;

I see you have chosen to use red type-face am I in trouble? Does this mean I won’t get a gold-star today?


It is nice that we agree that it is possible for a “variety of life forms living in the filter” is it ok think that these same various life forms that live in your canister filter will also in reside in my canister filter or can there be some other manifestation of these various life forms different from your canister filter.

Since we have reached consensus that filtration includes particular capture and removal. You have a practice of cleaning of the canister a couple of times a year. What a surprise I thought I was to only one who would admit to cleaning the filter a couple of times a year.

Why do some folks feel that the tank water should flow through the filter ten times an hour? What is the advantage of such a strong water movement a little over 9 gal a minute in a 55 gal tank, while a lot of tropical fish prefer little to almost no water current?


“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.” Is this because the bio-filter is located in the filter? What will happen when the bio-filter is solely located in the substrate? Is there an increase of ammonia because of reduced current?

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