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Feeling like I should have been able to find this listed somewhere in the lit but so far I haven't. I've got two new Eheim 2078s which I think are also referred to as 700s and I'm trying to determine how much of the Mech and Substrat Eheim media I need to get for them. The manuals show the bottom tray to be filled with Mech and the other three to be filled with Substrat. Found a deal for 5 liters of mech for 80 bucks which seems like a good deal when compared to the by the liter price, and if I'll eventually use it then seems worth it. But if 5 liters is way too much then I'd rather save the money.

Any advice?
 

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They should come with the filter media if you bought them new.

If not, go with foam, course, medium fine and floss to create a graduated filter bed. Bio-something, if you need it, on top with a fine final scrubber layer.

Everything except the bio crap is to remove particulate of various sizes so foam of various sizes works just as well as expensive options.

Cleans easily, re-useable for some time and cheaply replaced as needed.

Jeff.
 

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Frankly, I wouldn't bother with the hard ceramic rings that Eheim recommends in the first stage (I think they're the only ones that do). This is just a really course material to trap large particles. In theory, this will allow finer media to last longer by not plugging as quickly. But with decomposition and [water flow] erosion, these particles are going to make the trip.
Anyway, in that first stage I would simply use coarse sponge material (as previously mentioned) OR (and here's a thought) go to a dollar store and get some nylon pot scrubbers and pack as many in as will fit. Then in the next stage go with sponge, followed by some bio-media like bio-max or Matrix/De*nitrate, then in the last stage some [filter floss] polyester fiber (Walmart in the crafts section used to stuff pillows) as this will 'polish' the water just before returning to the tank. Overall this will provide excellent filtration at a much lower cost....and with the exception of the inexpensive polyester fiber, will last nearly forever.
 

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...(and here's a thought) go to a dollar store and get some nylon pot scrubbers and pack as many in as will fit....
Well, there's a cool idea. I have empty trays in my filter, might as well have something in there.

The trays themselves have narrow slots that already serve to trap larger (plant leaves) matter in the bottom sump area of the filter canister.

Jeff.
 

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Well, there's a cool idea. I have empty trays in my filter, might as well have something in there.

The trays themselves have narrow slots that already serve to trap larger (plant leaves) matter in the bottom sump area of the filter canister.

Jeff.
Actually a 'stolen' (er borrowed) idea. I picked up somewhere that several fish keepers with sumps were using inexpensive nylon pot scrubbers in sumps for wet/dry instead of much more expensive bio-balls. It just seems to me that they would work equally well trapping larger particles as the smooth surface ceramic rings do.
I've found similar advantages in the polyester fiber (Wallymart) and dollar store versions of scotch brite pads.
 

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Well, there's a cool idea. I have empty trays in my filter, might as well have something in there.

The trays themselves have narrow slots that already serve to trap larger (plant leaves) matter in the bottom sump area of the filter canister.

Jeff.
u mentiuon the nylon pot scrubbers, ive heard of some of them having a anti bacterail coating or something on them since they sit around in a drawer or on the sink edge when not in use. think it was in some diy sump article i read a while back cause if you get the sponges espcially they have a damp feeling to them safe to assume thats the antibacterial whatever?
 

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u mentiuon the nylon pot scrubbers, ive heard of some of them having a anti bacterail coating or something on them since they sit around in a drawer or on the sink edge when not in use. think it was in some diy sump article i read a while back cause if you get the sponges espcially they have a damp feeling to them safe to assume thats the antibacterial whatever?
I was speaking of NYLON (hard plastic) pot scrubbers - I'm sure there is no coating applied or that would stay attached.

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...It just seems to me that they would work equally well trapping larger particles as the smooth surface ceramic rings do....
The idea behind the ceramic rings as a "bio-media" is that the porosity of ceramic material allows a very large internal surface area for the growth of nitrifying bacteria. The problem is that it is mostly a gimmick, marketing. Some will argue against this but in order to take advantage of the internal surface area the water must pass through the ceramic material... not around it. This won't happen when the rings are just piled as the water will go around the ceramics, (path of least resistance). A closed ceramic tube with pressurized water flow would do it but that is not happening in any regular canister system.

So the ceramics are a waste of space... they don't actually filter anything that gets through the filter tray screening. A course sponge has more useable internal surface area as the water can be forced through it at the very low pressures we use in a canister filtration system.

If you have a planted tank, even if they did work, they wouldn't be needed anyway.

u mentiuon the nylon pot scrubbers, ive heard of some of them having a anti bacterail coating or something on them since they sit around in a drawer or on the sink edge when not in use. think it was in some diy sump article i read a while back cause if you get the sponges espcially they have a damp feeling to them safe to assume thats the antibacterial whatever?
The dollar store ones won't be treated... but some scubbers are, usually the sponge ones. I buy cheap ones in a four pack for the kitchen, green, yellow, red and blue I think. An elastic band holds it in shape, pretty cheap.

Oh, AD posted a pic.

Jeff.
 

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The idea behind the ceramic rings as a "bio-media" is that the porosity of ceramic material allows a very large internal surface area for the growth of nitrifying bacteria. The problem is that it is mostly a gimmick, marketing. Some will argue against this but in order to take advantage of the internal surface area the water must pass through the ceramic material... not around it. This won't happen when the rings are just piled as the water will go around the ceramics, (path of least resistance). A closed ceramic tube with pressurized water flow would do it but that is not happening in any regular canister system.
No, EFMech (I think that's what they call it) used in the first filter stage is a smooth ceramic ring used as mechanical filtration media and should not be confused with porous ceramic bio-media.

And just a further correction is that the porous bio-media used after mechanical and optional chemical media does not really require water to flow through the pores. Much like live rock in SW, the material cavities (pores) allows for the proliferation of beneficial bacteria that would simply not exist in a smooth surface media. It's not a gimmick.
However, there may be some room to debate the overal effectiveness of say ceramic bio-media and a basic open cell foam as both would provide significant surface areas to support BB colony(ies).
 

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I have had two Eheim canisters running since 1996, and added a Rena (same basic design) 3 years ago. I use the ceramic disks in the first basket, then the "biological" hard media in the second (and third on the largest), plus the various pads. All three do trap stuff, evident when I rinse them out. Of course the pads are the heaviest, since they capture the very fine matter and clog first.

You can save money by buying less expensive media, like Fluval. The ceramic disks are identical to Eheim and Rena, and the Fluval BioMax works well as the second stage "biological" hard media. I never replace any of this, just rinse it under the tap regularly.

As for your initial question of how much media, I have the baskets about 1/2 to 2/3 full I think. I don't worry about all this, since with live plants they are doing (or should be doing) the majority of the biological "filtration."

Byron.
 

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No, EFMech (I think that's what they call it) used in the first filter stage is a smooth ceramic ring used as mechanical filtration media and should not be confused with porous ceramic bio-media.
Hmmm, I wasn't clear on what exactly that layer was then, as soon as anyone mentions ceramics, porosity comes to mind... otherwise there is no good reason to even consider ceramics. OK, so the ceramic is sealed, if compared to using a course sponge... just an expensive less effective first filter layer.

And just a further correction is that the porous bio-media used after mechanical and optional chemical media does not really require water to flow through the pores. Much like live rock in SW, the material cavities (pores) allows for the proliferation of beneficial bacteria that would simply not exist in a smooth surface media. It's not a gimmick.
OK. If it is not intended to have water flow through, which it will not anyway, then it is totally useless as a bacterial water treatment media. I will agree that the pores will likely house bacteria but the bacteria are not motile and will not be of any advantage unless water can flow past them. Seeing as it is accepted that the bacteria are on the glass, then a smooth surfaced media would still house bacteria on it's outer surface. In fact, the bio balls that I threw out are a smooth plastic ball that would work better than ceramics as they are hollow and slotted so water can flow through them.

However, there may be some room to debate the overal effectiveness of say ceramic bio-media and a basic open cell foam as both would provide significant surface areas to support BB colony(ies).
The issue is not the colony support, it's the necessity of having water flow past the colonies.

I actually did the math on surface area of sponge material vs ceramic vs sand vs gravel. Ceramic was the best but the flow pressure issue negates any benefit, which makes it the worst unless you crushed it up... resulting in ceramic sand. Sand was next but flow through in the substrate is not as great as in the filter... sand filters would be ideal but there are issues with sand and pumps. Course sponges and gravel are similar, gravel has the same substrate flow issue as sand. Sponges stacked in decremental pore sizes are the best filter media setup for the money as both mechanical and biological filtration.

Jeff.
 

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OK. If it is not intended to have water flow through, which it will not anyway, then it is totally useless as a bacterial water treatment media. I will agree that the pores will likely house bacteria but the bacteria are not motile and will not be of any advantage unless water can flow past them. Seeing as it is accepted that the bacteria are on the glass, then a smooth surfaced media would still house bacteria on it's outer surface. In fact, the bio balls that I threw out are a smooth plastic ball that would work better than ceramics as they are hollow and slotted so water can flow through them.
Although the filter provides a constant flow of water/food, the velocity is so great that a rough, porous material facilitates the colony development as it would be much more difficult on a smooth surface.
I think Bio balls are intended for wet/dry setups which is very different than inside a filter.


The issue is not the colony support, it's the necessity of having water flow past the colonies.
Well, flow past is not flow through, but still, I don't think so. Actually the substrate is an excellent bio-filter and far more bacteria live there than in any filter and water merely permeates the substrate but does not flow through like a filter. As a matter of fact, bio filtration is most often best served by slower water movement in and around the colony than the rapid flow rates of most filters.
 
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