Mechanical media question

Discussion in 'Filters, Filtration and Pumps' started by vauxhallmark, 30 Oct 2008.

  1. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Messages:
    569
    How much and what mechanical media do people use?

    I've been running a Tetratec EX600. When I set it up in September I used what they gave me, which was (bottom to top, the flow direction (I think!)) ceramic tubes, coarse foam || bioballs || coarse foam, carbon in a bag, thin floss sheet.

    I've changed that a bit since - I got rid of the carbon and put in 100g purigen, and today I replaced half the balls with ehfisubstrat (I hated them, they floated, made maintenance a pain). I'll replace the other half in a month.

    But both setups seem to have absolutely minimal mechanical filtration. The ceramic tubes wouldn't trap anything much smaller than a crypt leaf (which wouldn't get through the strainer on the intake anyway), the two bits of foam are incredibly coarse, wouldn't stop much smaller than a grain of rice, and the little floss sheet at the top is only 5mm thick - it obviously does work though, but it's very fragile - seems I'm meant to buy new ones all the time which I'm not too keen on.

    When I do a water change I do try and fluff things up a bit, and do figures of eight with a fine net to try and capture what particles I can, but with ADA aquasoil I don't want to stir it up too much (or uproot the plants).

    The tank looks fine, it has a minimal amount of small fish (nothing bigger than the two ottos) in it, and unless I really swoosh things up (as above) it doesn't look at all dirty. The shrimp get in all the nooks and crannies and help it to look good. But it's only 7 weeks old, and as it matures, I want to avoid a build up of stuff that could decay in the tank.

    So what do you do? Does the current filter setup sound OK? Or do people like to have more mech media (eg I could put the purigen down a basket into the biological basket, ditch the coarse foam from the top one and fill it and with floss, or try and cut a finer sponge)? Or are people using filters with these kinds of media longer term happy with them?

    Any thoughts/ideas welcome! :D

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    The corse foam does trap quite a bit, due to the fact that the holes aren't all inline. Not sure about the ceramic hoops in the bottom. I still use mine on my EX700 and EX1200. I suspect you could probably get rid and move the foams down a level and make room for even more bio media.

    I'd also ditch the fine pad and use filter wool. If you can get the sheet roll of filter wool it's even better. Cut to shape, easier to remove etc :)
     
  3. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    Ceramic rings are for colonisation of bacterial-filtration (IMO).
    Inlet sponge works well (over inlet strainer, in tank) and is easy to clean, without breaking into the cannister :D

    HTH, Cheers, Mick B

    PS, The thin pad, I buy large pad of Koi matting, cut to size and split-off a thin section, cheap and easy :D
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Nah, these ceramic hoops are specifically for disrupting flow of water to make it easier for particls to be caught. They're not good for bio media (pretty solid). They aren't bio ceramic hoops.
     
  5. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I use all the media at the mo that was originally supplied except for the carbon and the filter floss sheet. the former for obvious reasons and the latter because it got clotted and I couldn't be bothered to replace it. No problems with water clarity though. When I do disturb the substrate and get cloudy water I just put some wilko filter wool in my spare Fluval3+ internal and stick it in the tank for a few days before removing it and leaving the tetratec to do its job again.

    I assume because the water is clear that something in there is removing enough otherwise I'd have particles and/or cloudy water all the time.

    AC
     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Those ceramic hoops are pretty good passive mechanical filtration. What they do is slow water by having a huge surface which sets up lots of boundary layers where the water flows and particles settle out. They are also colonised by quite a few bacteria and other microbes which will begin to process some of the waste.

    Basically if your tank is clean then all is well!!! I use a big sheet of floss for koi ponds too and cut them down to the size of the Ehiem pads. A bit fiddly but a LOT cheaper!
     
  7. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Messages:
    569
    Thank you, everybody, for all the input. Sounds like I should chill out, and buy some koi pad floss.

    Nice one :!:

    Mark
     
  8. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I ended up with polyester stuffing from ebay. Thought I'd mention it in case you can get it cheaper than the Koi stuff :)
     
  9. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    In both my EX700's and my EX1200 I've removed the crappy plastic bio balls and replaced them with sintered glass. I've also removed most of the coarse foam sponges as 6 in each is far too much :lol: 1 is plenty.
     
  10. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Always saying it but if I ever need to remove some cloudy water due to disrupting the substrate a little then Wilko Supawool for 79p is what I use. No cutting into shape, I just stuff it in, spread it and then cover with one of the foam pads.

    AC
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    I use 66% coarse foam and 33% fine foam (i.e. two coarse, 1 fine) seems to work, cheaper than ceramic media too, which Ive never understood the point of.

    Sam
     

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