Making Filter Cartridges, Have a Media Question
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Making Filter Cartridges, Have a Media Question

This is a discussion on Making Filter Cartridges, Have a Media Question within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Hello! I'm new and didn't see my question anywhere on the web or this forum. I plan on using quilt batting around a metal ...

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Making Filter Cartridges, Have a Media Question
Old 03-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
 
Making Filter Cartridges, Have a Media Question

Hello! I'm new and didn't see my question anywhere on the web or this forum.

I plan on using quilt batting around a metal frame with some sort of media in between the layers of batting. I'm not sure if I should use just activated carbon (like this) or API Ammo-Carb (this).

I think what I'm trying to ask is what exactly is the difference? Is one better/worse than the other? I wasn't able to find anyone on the web with my same questions.

Thanks!

(I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong place. )
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSingingTechie View Post
Hello! I'm new and didn't see my question anywhere on the web or this forum.

I plan on using quilt batting around a metal frame with some sort of media in between the layers of batting. I'm not sure if I should use just activated carbon (like this) or API Ammo-Carb (this).

I think what I'm trying to ask is what exactly is the difference? Is one better/worse than the other? I wasn't able to find anyone on the web with my same questions.

Thanks!

(I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong place. )
There is really little difference - carbon helps keep water looking clean the other helps to remove ammonia, and can be a good media to allow benefical baceria to develop on. I'm not looking at the links, I'm just assuming by the name. If it was me, I'd go a couple different products in a mesh bag. Is your tank cycled? What type of filter are you running? You can buy mesh bags and put filter media in those. If you are using the batting, just make sure you rinse it in "old tank" water during each water change. Those can build up lots of gunk, which will not help you keep nitrates low. You can layer your filter stuff, batting to trap the "large debris", and then other products to clean water etc. There are lots of choices. Kind of depends on your filter set up.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
 
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I would avoid a metal frame if possible.
Any corrosion will leach metals into the water which may harm your fish.
i would look at plastic or acrylic myself.
What type of filter are you making your cartridge for?
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
 
I will be running a Whisper 5-15 (looks very similar to
this this
one). I got it from a friend and it didn't come with any cartridges, and being a poor college student making my own made more sense to me.
My tank is not cycled. Even after reading several "how to"s on cycling I can't figure it out so I've given up on that one.

Do you think I could hot glue/sew layers of batting together? I was thinking the metal frame because it was studier than anything else I could think of and I could reuse it without worrying about breakage, however I didn't consider corrosion.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:22 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSingingTechie View Post
I will be running a Whisper 5-15 (looks very similar to this one). I got it from a friend and it didn't come with any cartridges, and being a poor college student making my own made more sense to me.
My tank is not cycled. Even after reading several "how to"s on cycling I can't figure it out so I've given up on that one.

Do you think I could hot glue/sew layers of batting together? I was thinking the metal frame because it was studier than anything else I could think of and I could reuse it without worrying about breakage, however I didn't consider corrosion.

Thanks for the replies.
You don't need a filter cartridge to run that filter. Cartridges are not so great anyways, because they are meant to be thrown out. This isn't so bad if you have a tank that has lots of decorations and has had time to build beneficial bacteria in the tank, but until then, throwing cartridges away can put your tank into a "mini" cycle because you loose your good bacteria that lives in the filter media. If you want to PM me your address, I'll send a small sponge you can cut to fit in the bottom of the filter, and a bag of ceramic chips in a mesh bag. Picture is below. A small bag of the chips will cost you about $5 at Petco/Petsmart. This is a larger bag, but you never have to throw it away. Than you don't have to do anything This will give you the idea, if you later want to make your own bag, and yes, you could sew a mesh fabric together, but don't use hot glue.

I'll send it if you really want to take care of fish. If you don't want to figure out cycling (come on you're a college student ) than I won't bother. Fishless cycling is the way to go. Get fish food, and just put some in the tank everyday. You'll need to buy some kits, which can run some money, so maybe you will decide you aren't that interested in the hobby after all. You need to test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. The cycle goes in this order: ammonia, then nitrites (by product of ammonia being broken down) both deadly to fish, and finally nitrates, which are not deadly if kept at low numbers. This process can take 4-6 weeks, sometimes longer. You decide if this is something you really want to do. How big is the tank by the way?

Gwen
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogre44 View Post
I would avoid a metal frame if possible.
Any corrosion will leach metals into the water which may harm your fish.
i would look at plastic or acrylic myself.
What type of filter are you making your cartridge for?
Really good point
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
 
You have a couple of options better than a homemade cartridge. You could buy one and use it nearly forever....just rinse it out during each water change.
You might also get a filter sponge and cut to fit.

Activated carbon gets a 'bad rap' on the forum(s). It is excellent at adsorbing impurities and has been used in aquariums (and for purifying drinking water) for decades. The downside is that it is only effective for a short time before it is exhausted. It also removes impurities (aka nutrients) that living plants can use. Still, unless you have lots of plants, occasional use of activated carbon can be a benefit.
Then again, if you:
>don't over stock
>don't over feed
>do weekly partial water changes of sufficient volume to keep the water fresh
You won't need carbon - the best purification is replacing used tank water with fresh.

I'm unsure of the difference between activated and AMMO carbon, but if you were to make your own cartridge, I wouldn't bother putting either inside of it.

As for cycling, you don't really have a choice...it's going to happen so learning about it will better ensure your success.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
 
I guess I don't *need* a filter, but there's a place for one? I guess that's a little confusing. When I got it it had an old dried up one in it. I guess I should've mentioned that, to explain why I thought I needed one.

Oh no, I couldn't accept that, but thank you for offering.

I have a single male betta in a 10 gallon tank with a decent amount of decorations - several fake plants, a ship wreck, a hamster tube, and a few other ceramic decorations that came out of my dad's old tanks.

I guess I'll try to figure out cycling again. I like fish and try to do my best with them and when I have more money I'd like to try more/different fish.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSingingTechie View Post
I guess I don't *need* a filter, but there's a place for one? I guess that's a little confusing. When I got it it had an old dried up one in it. I guess I should've mentioned that, to explain why I thought I needed one.

Oh no, I couldn't accept that, but thank you for offering.

I have a single male betta in a 10 gallon tank with a decent amount of decorations - several fake plants, a ship wreck, a hamster tube, and a few other ceramic decorations that came out of my dad's old tanks.

I guess I'll try to figure out cycling again. I like fish and try to do my best with them and when I have more money I'd like to try more/different fish.
I've run a filter like that in a small tank, also without a frame. You can kind of press filter media in. The other thing to do would be to order the part from the company.

Welcome to the forum, there are lots of people here to help you with cycling questions!
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #10
JDM
 
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Here's a good place to start reading.

cycling

Jeff.
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