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no name canister filter on ebay... for a 55 gallon cichlid tank!

This is a discussion on no name canister filter on ebay... for a 55 gallon cichlid tank! within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Well, im assuming, that we all change our water regularly and that takes out the excess as well making the aquarium not so closed ...

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no name canister filter on ebay... for a 55 gallon cichlid tank!
Old 04-11-2011, 02:09 PM   #31
 
Well, im assuming, that we all change our water regularly and that takes out the excess as well making the aquarium not so closed an environment. We dont grow plants in septic tanks, but some water treatment centers do use some plants to help absorb pollutants in wastewater.

Also, i never replace my sponges and ive never really noticed them clogging except when entire leaves of a plant gets sucked into it and the fibers end up coating it like a floss net.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:46 PM   #32
 
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Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
Well, im assuming, that we all change our water regularly and that takes out the excess as well making the aquarium not so closed an environment. We dont grow plants in septic tanks, but some water treatment centers do use some plants to help absorb pollutants in wastewater.

Also, i never replace my sponges and ive never really noticed them clogging except when entire leaves of a plant gets sucked into it and the fibers end up coating it like a floss net.
Like I said, 'Just my $.02'.
At some point I believe the pores in bio-ceramics will plug with smutz and require cleaning that simply rinsing won't resolve. Although a high pressure spray may do the trick with or without the acid bath.
But of course, you're entitled to your beliefs as well.
I will look at routinely swapping mine out, replacing some with new or rejuvenated media. Of course this will be staged, ensuring sufficient on-going bio-filtration.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:27 PM   #33
 
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Originally Posted by mamatoulouse View Post
hello everyone i have a 55 gallon tank that is currently empty but i want.....
The cheaper no name may look attractive, but I see you could get a Fluval 305 for $117 on Amazon.
That looks better to me - just saying
(Again, sorry we all high jacked your thread).
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #34
 
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Have to disagree with Abbeys Dad!! Sorry but that is what these forums are for. I have been using the same ceramic for years. Both the round noodles!! and the smaller rock type, never had a problem with either one.. This is what makes the hobby so good, we all do it a little different. Great to learn what others do. (all ehiem fiters and filter material except for some floss)
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:29 PM   #35
 
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Have to disagree with Abbeys Dad!! Sorry but that is what these forums are for. I have been using the same ceramic for years. Both the round noodles!! and the smaller rock type, never had a problem with either one.. This is what makes the hobby so good, we all do it a little different. Great to learn what others do. (all ehiem fiters and filter material except for some floss)
I'm sorry, I was speaking of bio max ceramic rings. There are other types of bio-ceramic designs that do not claim that they contain at least 100 square feet of surface area due to their pores. Other types of bio-ceramics rely strickly on surface area which does not change with shmutz.
Regardless, you're entitled to an opinion.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:33 PM   #36
 
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> Bacteria does not/can not break organic waste down to nothing.
Example 1: I make a lot of compost for the garden largely from leaves and grass clippings. When the compost is finished, I'm left with a black (gold) earth like material.
Example 2: I live in the country so I have a septic system. Although the material in the tank breaks down, there is sludge that must be pumped out every couple of years. Failure to do so would eventually cause the leach field to plug (on a much larger scale, this is a good comparison to the pores in bio-ceramics). Eventually the pores in bio-ceramic will plug such that water will not pass through, making them far less effective.

> The mechanical filter, if a cartridge is used really can't also be considered bio, if/when the cartridge is tossed say monthly. The use of a cartridge filter is effective at mechanical filtration, but offers very little for biological. Actually, what would be ideal (prolly out there) is a HOB like my AC70 that has a removable cartridge as mechanical, then a good chamber for bio-media. This way the solids can be removed regularly (without tearing the filter apart) and the bio just chugs along, not requiring any attention for 2 or 3 months or so.)

> You poo poo my idea of having a mechanical filter separate from a bio-filter...but that is pretty much what you have with your canister and internal filters. Perhaps the only difference is you don't pre-filter the water going to the canister. You have convinced me to reconfigure my AC70 as follows:
Sponge, bio-max, bio-max, sponge. (AC70 sponges are thick) So our discussion has caused me to re-think bio-ceramic in conjunction with sponges, with one caveat (see below)*.
Also based on our discussion, I took a good look at the Fluval 305 canister and like what I see. If I am not happy with the AC70 operation/performance, it may be in my future.

> * It seems to me that the pores in bio-ceramics will plug (as per above) making the media far less effective. However, I think the used bio-ceramic media could be rejuvenated. We could replace with new, but I'd suggest another set of bio-ceramics for the filter to replace existing every few months. The used material could then be cleaned by soaking in white vinegar or bleach, then washing in the dishwasher (NO SOAP) or with a power sprayer. These two sets of bio-ceramics could then be rotated in the filter nearly indefinitely to provide superior performance.
Although open cell foam would likely remain open longer, one might take a somewhat similar approach for rejuvenating bio-sponge media.

I appreciate our "point, counter point" sounding board discussion as it helps to clarify.

Regards,
-Mike

Exactly, if some tiny particle does get stuck in there its likely organic. It will break down. Not completely but enough for most of it to get carried out. I have a septic too and its whole point is to break down wastes. As you know with the septic if properly maintained your field never gets clogged even after 20-30 years of use. Ceramics could get clogged if you say put them as the first stage of filtration. I've never seen anyone do that though. There are generally sponges before the ceramics collecting at least some of the larger debris. If one was truly worried about ceramics clogging they could just place them after the filter floss. As most have been telling you, ceramics can be used for years and don't show any signs of clogging.

All media is bio media IMO. I don't think you realize how fast our filter bacteria colonize a surface. Your "mechanical" filter is a biofilter. Even if you are replacing sponges monthly they will still be getting colonized by bacteria in that time. Same goes with so called chemical medias like charcoal. If your leave it in there for a month its going to have bacteria on it. Our bacteria work as a whole in the tank, but in their own world they are competing with each other. The reason a filter is colonized is because of the high flow rate of water. It provides lots of food and air that the bacteria need. Now add the fact that their is a set amount of food in the tank, so naturally there is a set amount of bacteria. Our bacteria are constantly reproducing and dying in a short period of time with their natural life cycle. When you replace your cartridges all of a sudden there is a open space free of other bacteria with lots of food and air. Bacteria that get caught on it suddenly have an advantage. So it will become colonized quickly. Especially if its the only filter that is actually catching debris. As I said before bacteria are responsible for waste breakdown, both solid and suspended waste. What you have simply done is limited one filter to only suspended wastes "biofilter' and the other has both available "mechanical". Your bacteria can't tell the difference between a cartridge and a sponge. All cartridges really are, is pretty much filter floss attached to a plastic frame, sometimes with carbon stuck inside. The use of filter floss only is why cartridges tend to clog so quickly, its not ideal at all for mechanical efficiency.

I run only one or zero filters on a tank, there is never a need for two. Currently I have 4 tanks and 2 filters running. My rena XP3 filters my 55 gallon planted that has a very high bioload. How you setup media in a filter is key to that filters performance. My canister is the only filter, both bio and mechanical (not counting the plants). I clean it every two months maybe. When I do I can turn the most crystal clear 5 gallon bucket of water to complete black. I actually can do that 3 times easily. All my media has been running for at least 3 years apart from filter floss. When setting up a filter for efficient bio and mechanical filtration, it is essential to make sure you stage sponges so water flows from course to fine. This is why the expensive HOB cartridges get clogged so quickly, where as properly setup canister doesn't. With the cartridge its one stage, so they use what is equivalent to a "polishing" media. Its way too fine for efficient mechanical. It traps ALL the debris at one spot. In a canister we spread out mechanical capture of debris. Large things get caught in the first stage while small particles pass through, the smallest of which get trapped in the final filter floss.

Plants and algae don't absorb organics from the water. The so called 'nitrogen cycle' does not deal with organics either. Organics are always present in a fish tank obviously. You don't have to remove them. One example would be left over fish food. It contains organics and will eventually be consumed by bacteria if nothing else eats it, the result of this is usually the same as if your fish ate it. All protein skimmers do is remove stuff that can breakdown, before it does break down. If it does break down it then usually enters the Nitrogen cycle, or some form of nitrogen cycle depending on your tank.

All in all, do whatever you want. If you want to keep replacing media monthly, go for it. If one truly cares about filter efficiency that's great an all, especially if a power filter is your main source of waste control. Only my 55 gallon is really dependent on its filter. None of my other tanks rely on the normal bacteria filtration. Its all just plants and more plants. My internal and any other powerheads I use in my other 3 tanks all turn off at night and the tanks sit stagnant. My soil based tank has neither a bacterial filter or a mechanical filter. Its not very clear at all, which in the end is fine. I've yet to find a river or lake as clear as most of our fish tanks. I did 'jokingly' make an addition to my soil tank. The bamboo shrimp, AKA the living mechanical filter. If I add a bunch of them do you think my water will get clearer? lol
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:53 PM   #37
 
One additional point I wanted to make before we all move on to more important things.
Someone suggested that manufacturers of bio-ceramic rings recommend replacement every three months so they can trick consumers into buying more product than they really need.
I think this could NOT be further from the truth. If/when a manufacturer can claim that his product is better, more efficient and/or will last 2-3 times longer than competitors, he captures significant share of market - and that's how the real money is made. In the case of bio-ceramic rings, the manufacturer, through extensive lab and field testing know the effective run life of the product.

The manufacturer recommends an oil change every 6 thousand miles. Joe says "I haven't changed the oil in my car in 4 years and it runs just fine." Joe brags that he's saved $240 not doing oil changes.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:27 PM   #38
 
i dont know about you, but i have never seen one ceramic ring manufacture claim that their rings last longer than anyone elses... they just all say the exact same thing, replace after x amount of time... In terms of filters, im pretty sure the ones that have the best reputation just have good quality items that dont malfunction frequently, are easy to use, and dont make people angry. I have never ever heard anyone say, "lets buy this filter because it can use the best ceramic rings!"
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:36 PM   #39
 
Ugh the point of a filter sponge is to provide a surface for bacteria and to catch debris. Explain to me why a sponge needs to be replaces after X years? What causes it to apparently not preform these two tasks after a set amount of time? A sponge is a sponge. Its not only pointless to replace ceramics, ANY plain old sponge or cartridge lasts years. Their only function is physical, as long as they are not falling apart there is no reason they should not work. Also why do some manufactures recommend changing cartridges every like 3 months when said filter has only one cartridge for the entire tank. IDK how many times I have seen people cycle tanks over and over because they follow manufacturer's nonsense instructions. I'm pretty sure only the really cheap generic filter floss has no replace every X months on the bag. Its usually the shortest lived of all filter media.

I wish your view was true, I honestly really do. Then we would not have all the completely ineffective products that abound in this hobby.

Seriously in the end you just need something to pull water through.... I know lots of people that use pot scrubbers, gravel, legos, pillow stuffing, cloth, ect... in a canister and there tank is as stable as any other tank.

Oil is not filter media...... if anything filter media is the engine, water is the oil
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:10 AM   #40
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
I'm sorry, I was speaking of bio max ceramic rings. There are other types of bio-ceramic designs that do not claim that they contain at least 100 square feet of surface area due to their pores. Other types of bio-ceramics rely strickly on surface area which does not change with shmutz.
Regardless, you're entitled to an opinion.
This is not correct. They all deal in total surface area, not just the outside area. Biomax just happens to have the most surface area per volume. Please provide some examples to back up these claims.

You don't like biomax? Fine, how about seachem matrix? Here's the product description

SeaChem Matrix is a high porosity biomedia that provides efficient biofiltration for the removal of nitrogenous waste. Matrix is a porous inorganic solid about 10 mm in diameter. Each liter of Matrix provides as much surface (<162 m) as 40 liters of plastic balls! Plastic bio-materials provide only external surface area, whereas Matrix provides internal macroporous surface area. These macropores are ideally sized for the support of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. This allows Matrix, unlike other forms of biomedia, to remove nitrate along with ammonia and nitrite, simultaneously and in the same filter. Matrix is completely inert and will not breakdown. It need not be replaced. Use 1-2 Liters of Matrix for each 100 gallons. Since the majority of the bacteria are internal, Matrix may be rinsed when needed without damaging the filter. Matrix is compatible with all types of wet or wet-dry filters. Marine or freshwater use.


You REALLY ought to research some of this stuff.

Last edited by jaysee; 04-12-2011 at 12:18 AM..
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