Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MOA 01-24-2010 08:03 PM

Turnover Rates for Filters

I have done some calculations regarding the turnover of a filtration system and the size of aquarium on which it is to be placed. A brief discussion of my data can be found here: Filtration Formula Update for FishsheetA7 (MOA's: How Many Fish?, Stocking Freshwater Aquariums)

As always, I appreciate any comments or concerns you may have with regard to my research. Please look it over and tell me what you think.


MOA 01-25-2010 07:00 PM

Anyone? Well, I guess it was a pretty boring read--sorry guys.


iamntbatman 01-25-2010 11:32 PM

Interesting. Do you have any interest in comparing how flow rates compare with media contact time in terms of effective biological filtration? I've noticed a trend toward canister filters with larger media volumes and lower flow rates in order to improve contact time with the media, thus promoting better biological filtration. I'm interested to know if this approach to filtration is really that much of an improvement over the "better flow rate = better filtration" philosophy. I can see how it might be the case that favoring media contact time over flow rate would be beneficial, but I also see the value of having a high flow rate in terms of preventing dead spots in the tank as well as adding mechanical filtration.

Kelso 01-25-2010 11:37 PM

Good read. My friend will find this useful.

MOA 01-26-2010 12:37 AM


Great! BTW, why, in particular, will your friend find this info useful? I am always interested in seeing how people use my research.


Well, as the article stated, the amount of media circulation definitely proved important for Eheim filters--could not account for them without addressing media. As such, I believe that both are major factors in filtration, but many filters are limited with regard to the amount of media time/media flow that they can accommodate. This deficiency means that in most cases the flow rate will take precedence. Of course, canister filters and trickle filters are the major exception.

Personally, I tend to favor flow rate to media in my own aquariums as I tend to use the aquarium itself as the medium--lots of porous decor and lots of plants. Thus, flow rate becomes more functional. At the same time, I know several people that put a lot more trust in the capacity of their medium, though I have never seen significant evidence that supports all of their claims.

Opinions, opinions.


Kelso 01-26-2010 08:11 AM

My friend is somewhat new to this, and doesn't seem to grasp it all as quick as I do. Yeah I use technical aspects when deciding a filter, but to be honest, I usually eye ball it. I just feel what'll be good more or less. So when he asks me questions, which for some reason almost involve GPH, I can't answer them too well. My answer is usually some variation of "canister doesn't flow as much, but more time in the chamber in contact with the media, power filter has less time in contact with media, but it moves more water through. For some reason that's his biggest concern every time we talk about filters. I don't really look at it too much. I usually care more about media capacity, how easy it is to maintain, and noise level.

MOA 01-26-2010 10:23 AM

Interesting--cool :)

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