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How often d'yer wash yer balls?

Stickleback

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Joined
12 Nov 2009
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184
Location
Vietnam
Hi

How often do you rinse you bio balls, or whichever bio media you are using?

How often do you replace your bio media?

Does anyone else use their old bio media as mechanical media. I have just started doing this as I have 3 filters and media is quite expensive. Seems like a sensible idea in this age of austerity unless anyone knows of any problems?

Cheers

R
 

Tom

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8 Sep 2007
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Kawanabe, Kagoshima, Japan 鹿児島県南九州市川辺町
I never replace any media, either bio or mech. A good rinse does the trick. Every so often a quick rinse out of the bio, and a squeeze of the mech and it's all good. I've got a load of unused bio in storage, which would just get a rinse and then go back in a filter if needed

Tom
 

PM

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15 Dec 2007
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Location
London
I should clean my filter once a month, but it ends up being about once every three months, which is generally spurred on by the fact that I can't stand to look at that filthy algae covered lily pipe any longer! So I disconnect the lot and clean.

Oh and the only media I replace is the fine white filter pad as it gets very clogged.
 

ghostsword

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19 Nov 2009
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Cape Town, South Africa
I just rinse the media on tank water every two or three months.. So far so good, no issues.

What I replace then is the activated carbon, and the filter wool.

This time I will replace the activated carbon with coco husks in a filter bag.
 

a1Matt

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10 Mar 2008
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2,489
Location
Bromley
clean the filter wool and foam between 2-6 weeks (depending on laziness).
sponge pre filter every 1-3 months (also depending on laziness).
Since adding a sponge pre filter to the inlet I no longer need to clean the bio balls or sintered glass at all.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I never replace any media, either bio or mech. A good rinse does the trick. Every so often a quick rinse out of the bio, and a squeeze of the mech and it's all good. I've got a load of unused bio in storage, which would just get a rinse and then go back in a filter if needed
Same with me. I've had the same ceramic rings and "Poret" foam sponges for over 10 years. I only use plain ppi10 sponges and ceramic rings on the tanks, although I've got sintered glass media and "Alfagrog" left over from the lab, and they are top quality media as well. I used to use "Hydroleca" in the over-tank trickle filters, and one advantage of that was that they very rarely needed cleaning (possibly because the organic matter was much more fully oxidised in a very O2 rich environment).

I've bought a couple of second hand filters that had bioballs or plastic media included, and they seem fine as well.
I'd only throw away a sponge or ceramic ring if it had totally disintegrated.

I do the same rinse as every one else every few weeks, and about once a year I microwave the ceramic rings (in batches).

cheers Darrel
 

Mark Evans

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13 Jun 2008
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newark notts.
I may be in danger of embarrassing myself here, but should you use sponges in a filter?

I've not used them in a couple of years now :oops: just bio media.
 

JamesM

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17 Apr 2008
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The BIG End, South Wales
I wash my balls daily. Media on the other hand is a different story. Sintered glass I rinse about every 6 months, and sponges get a squeeze every month or so. No need for sponges Bob! :thumbup:
 

flygja

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12 Mar 2008
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Penang, Malaysia
Twice a day mostly! :lol:

I also rinse my filter media once a month, or whenever it gets extra clogged due to me messing with the tank. I use a mixture of generic ceramic rings and JBL MicroMec. Once the media gets too brown, I'll soak them in bleach for a day and it'll clean right up. My filter then gets a batch from my storage - rotated everytime I need to bleach my balls.

About sponges, the last time I didn't put sponges in, my tank water was really dirty... lots of debris floating everywhere. Sponges and fine filter wool helps to catch those.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
but should you use sponges in a filter
Doesn't matter what you use, all biological media perform the same role, how efficient they are depends upon how heavy the bioload is and the gas exchange capacity of your system.

The actual volume of biological media you need to support the bacterial community is surprisingly small, what limits biological filtration in a lot of systems (particularly in canister filters) is that the water flow is slowed by the media and becomes de-oxygenated before it has penetrated very far into the canister, in these cases removing a lot of the media and increasing flow speed may actually enhance biological filtration.

So back to the sponge, I use 100% ceramic rings in canister filters because they are cheap to buy, physically stable and the large central hole means clogging is unlikely. I do use sponge, but as a mechanical/biological filter on the intake of the canister filter (I use "Eheim Classics" for the same reasons, cheap, reliable and fulfil the central requirement of being a "pump in a bucket") or connected to a power-head. Images below.

maxi-jet_diy_sponge.jpg
eheim_sponge.jpg

maxi-jet_attachment.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I should also have said that the other advantage of having the sponge as a pre-filter is for ease of cleaning.
cheers Darrel
 

Garuf

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Joined
30 Oct 2007
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5,099
Location
Copenhagen
Not so much related to foam but I found I could induce a bacterial bloom and staghorn by removing the filterwool from my old ehiem, I wouldn't suggest it's vital but I think when the bioload was high, when I discovered this I had 2 x 36w power compacts over a 18x12x12 tank, the bacteria levels where just enough to cope and removing it destroyed most of the bacteria or the area where the most of the bacteria where.
 
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