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View Poll Results: What Bio Filter Medias are you using?

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  • Biohome

    67 36.61%
  • Eheim Substrat Pro

    56 30.60%
  • Mr Aqua CR

    20 10.93%
  • Power House

    5 2.73%
  • DAZ CR

    0 0%
  • Seachem Matrix

    43 23.50%
  • ADA Bio Rio

    16 8.74%
  • Others

    16 8.74%
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Thread: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

  1. #61
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

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    Qn 1 : From what i've read, Eheim Lava Rocks is harder than the normal Lava Rocks, so it won't break apart or disintegrate as easily over the same period of usage.

    Qn 2 : Eheim Mech is made for mechanical filteration purposes while the Lava Rocks is for biological filteration. But having said that, lava rocks can also be used as a mechanical media on top of being a biological one. It's just that because of the physical structure of the lava rocks, when you pour them together into the filter compartment, they'll be more compact as compared to the Eheim Mech and will therefore cause the flowrate of water to slow down further especially when you take into considerations your other bio-medias in the filter. And since you should already have enough surface area from your other bio-medias for the BBs in your other filter compartments, it doesn't make sense to further “clog up” your filter with the lava rocks.

    That's why it is good to get bio-medias that not only provides very large surface area for the bacteria but yet have physical structures like the Eheim Substrat Pro, Biohome or Mr Aqua CR that will not slow down the flowrate of the filter as much as if you were to use bio-medias like the ADA Bio Rio or the Eheim Substrat.
    Admiring my Fishes calm the Beast within me

  2. #62
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    Given that most bacterias are micron size, if the pores in media are too small, it is hard to colonize in pores. So even manufacturers stated high number of surface area, effective area will be less than that.
    Rearing L-numbers : 3 x semi adult L333, 7 x Adult L66, 1 x 10" L190, 1 x 4" L027 XP, 10 Adult L46, 2 adult L273
    Filtration : 1 x Eheim 2075, 1 x Eheim 2032
    Media : Substrat pro, Mech pro, Bio mech pro, Biohome, Matrix, ehfi lav

  3. #63
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    What you're saying is true.... The below is taken from Seachem's website ~

    For biological filter media, specific surface area (measured as surface area per gram of material, or surface area per some specified volume of material) is very important. These products provide surface sites for bacteria to attach and do their work. The greater the surface area per gram of medium, the greater the number of bacteria that can attach. Thus a high specific surface area is desirable.

    There is a second consideration, and that is the size of the pores in the medium. Generally, with very large pore diameters, we have smaller specific surface area, so that is not good. This generally rules out pores above 10 microns in diameter. But we can go too far in the other direction. If we have a very large number of very, very small pores, then our specific surface area number will be phenomenal, but the medium will not work very well as a biological medium. This is due to physical limitations, specifically too small a volume to support bacterial growth, and the decreasing efficiency of fluid transport (necessary to carry nutrients to the bacteria and waste away from the bacteria) with very small pore sizes. (Small pores still play important roles in physical and chemical processes, such as adsorption.)

    Practically all the specific surface area of both Substrat Pro and MicroMec are in the range of pore diameters to be biologically useful, while some of the surface area of Matrix is in pores that are reserved for physical and chemical processes, not biological processes
    .

    The issue for us is at what total amount of surface area does some of that surface area then become not biologically useful and are reserved for physical and chemical processes ??

    If you look at the surface area of Biohome which has 5840sq ft and Matrix's 7535sq ft, both these 2 medias claim to be able to colonise both Nitrifying and Denitrifying Bacterias. But from Seachem's research, "Although the surface area that is taken up in pores too small to be biologically useful is a little more than half the total, Matrix still has available for biological processes a greater surface area than either Ehiem Substrat Pro and JBL MicroMec." Unfortunately in Biohome's case, we're not able to determine what's the exact amount of surface area that is availiable for Biological/Nitrification processes after you minus off the surface area for Denitrifying processes. Anyway, the link is here if you're interested http://www.seachem.com/support/SpecificSurface.pdf
    Admiring my Fishes calm the Beast within me

  4. #64
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    Actually this whole surface area theory can be marketing strategy. But so far seachem provided some research papers about this. But there are other alternates such as HMF filter which very low cost yet effective. I already moving out of canisters for smaller tanks with hmf. Still operating two eheim pro 3 and ecco pro filled with eheim media.
    Rearing L-numbers : 3 x semi adult L333, 7 x Adult L66, 1 x 10" L190, 1 x 4" L027 XP, 10 Adult L46, 2 adult L273
    Filtration : 1 x Eheim 2075, 1 x Eheim 2032
    Media : Substrat pro, Mech pro, Bio mech pro, Biohome, Matrix, ehfi lav

  5. #65
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Whether it's marketing strategy a not, when you compare and ask questions before buying, you'll have a rough idea whether some of these claims are genuine a not. For brands like Mr Aqua CR whose claimed surface area is (S-size) 6458sq ft, (M-size) 5382sq ft and yet do not claim to have Denitrifying capabilities despite it's very high surface area, can we than take it to mean that all that sq ft is only for the colonization of Nitrifying bacterias ?

    IMHO the answer would likely be Yes cos unlike the fully cyclindrical and round-shaped structure of Biohome and Matrix, Mr Aqua's Ring-shaped physical structure limits or prevents the colonization of Denitrifying bacteria. I would also like to highlight that for Mr Aqua CR or PowerHouse CR to have that high amount of surface area, the media will likely or need to be porous both in it's internal and external Ring-shaped structure, just like Biohome and Matrix but unlike Biohome and Matrix, it's difficult for any Ceramic Rings to have the Denitrification capabilities.
    Last edited by aquarius; 6th Jul 2012 at 01:06.
    Admiring my Fishes calm the Beast within me

  6. #66
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    "Nitrifying" and "Denitrifying" are not the same
    One is the reverse process of the other.
    Last edited by dc88; 6th Jul 2012 at 08:26.

  7. #67
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Correction. Nitrification is to turn NH4+ into NO2 then NO3
    Denitrification is to turn NO3 into N.
    Not entirely "reverse".

    The brand of bio media you mention is it "nitrify" or "denitrify" that was mentioned?

  8. #68
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Biohome and Matrix can have both Nitrifying and Denitrifying bacteria but for Mr Aqua CR, PowerHouse CR or any other brands of CR, it is very likely that they can ONLY HAVE Nitrifying bacteria due to their physical structure.

    Sorry to confuse you cos after reading my post again, i realised that it's rather confusing to understand what i'm getting at
    Admiring my Fishes calm the Beast within me

  9. #69
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Just to elaborate further....... we cannot assume that just because Mr Aqua and PowerHouse ceramic rings both of which have surface areas comparable to Biohome and Matrix, it does not automatically mean that they can also have both Nitrification and Denitrification capabilities because the physical structure of ceramic rings prevents or does not fully allow it to happen.
    Admiring my Fishes calm the Beast within me

  10. #70
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    It also depends on your filter flow rate and o2 saturation levels in your water.

    Bio rings can also have denitrifying zones. A few mm thick is all it needs for aerobic bacteria to use up most of the oxygen. The anaerobic area will be at the center of the material thickness.

    Np bio pellets are usually less thick than bio rings and there's cases of hydrogen sulfide in bio pellets

    It would be unfair to say bio rings do not support denitrifying area
    Last edited by madscientist; 6th Jul 2012 at 14:07.

  11. #71
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Hi,

    I just got myself a Eheim 2224 which comes with the Eheim Mech. I was wondering if it is ok to swap it with Mr Aqua "S" size CRs which I have some leftovers. It still allows water to flow through based on the hollow centre of the CRs and should function similar to the Eheim Mech if not better(due to surface area for BB to grow) right?

    I don't have the full amount to fill up the tray, but probably it will be 50% Mr Aqua CRs and 50% Eheim Mech in the same tray meant for mechanical filtering media since I'm not planning to buy anymore bio media for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
    Qn 2 : Eheim Mech is made for mechanical filteration purposes while the Lava Rocks is for biological filteration. But having said that, lava rocks can also be used as a mechanical media on top of being a biological one. It's just that because of the physical structure of the lava rocks, when you pour them together into the filter compartment, they'll be more compact as compared to the Eheim Mech and will therefore cause the flowrate of water to slow down further especially when you take into considerations your other bio-medias in the filter. And since you should already have enough surface area from your other bio-medias for the BBs in your other filter compartments, it doesn't make sense to further “clog up” your filter with the lava rocks.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberkinetic View Post
    Hi,

    I just got myself a Eheim 2224 which comes with the Eheim Mech. I was wondering if it is ok to swap it with Mr Aqua "S" size CRs which I have some leftovers. It still allows water to flow through based on the hollow centre of the CRs and should function similar to the Eheim Mech if not better(due to surface area for BB to grow) right?

    I don't have the full amount to fill up the tray, but probably it will be 50% Mr Aqua CRs and 50% Eheim Mech in the same tray meant for mechanical filtering media since I'm not planning to buy anymore bio media for now.
    Eheim mech is thinner, smaller, hence more space for more media than aqua crs. For canisters, flow is not much of concern as canister is designed to force water through the stages.

  13. #73
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Hi madscientist,

    yup, noticed that. Primarily, as what I understood about the use of the Eheim mech is that the hollow structure allows for water flow properly, so as not to restrict the water movement through the filter. Thus I figured if i use the Mr Aqua CRs, should serve same purpose with the added bonus of having more surface area for BB to grow(anyway, have some lying around so why not?).

    Anyway, think I will go ahead and try this setup and see how it goes. Guess it shouldn't be too much of an issue I suppose. Thanks.

  14. #74
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberkinetic View Post
    ...I don't have the full amount to fill up the tray...
    Quote Originally Posted by madscientist View Post
    ...For canisters, flow is not much of concern as canister is designed to force water through the stages.
    Just fyi, I completely (even the empty space at the very bottom of the canister) fill up my 2224 with media & the flow rate is severely affected. But it's al right with me as I require the slow water flow (unless it gets even slower).

  15. #75
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    @ralliart12 ~ by doing what you did, you'll need to do more filter maintainence as compared to if you were to restrict the flowrate by using the outlet control valve and slowly adjusting the flowrate higher as the filter gets clogged up with debrise. My philosophy in fish keeping is to keep things as simple and effective as possible so that you can spend more time admiring your aquascapes or fishes instead of constantly meddling/washing your equipments.

    Actually you don't need to use alot of bio-medias to breakdown the same amount of waste into less toxic substances if you have medias that have very large surface area..... it is when your bio-medias don't have enough surface area to cope with the waste load that you need more of them.

    @cyberkinetic ~ It should be fine but you need to understand that biological medias are usually placed in compartments of the filter whereby clean water flows through it and not dirty/debrise filled water flowing through it. The reason is so that debrise won't clog up the very fine pores of the bio-media thereby preventing it from performing at it's optimum level. Doing so will render Mr Aqua CR into more of a mechanical filter media first and than a biological media second. However if you're comparing it to the Eheim Mech, Mr Aqua's CR will probably house more BBs than the smooth surfaced Eheim Mech in the mechanical filter compartment.

    The issue is, Will Mr Aqua CR be able to provide the optimum level of BBs if in the future you decide to use them for only biological purposes? The reason is because the fine pores of the bio-CR would have been very clogged up to make it useful for a large amount of BBs to be able to live in it.

    I'm wondering whether is there any good and effective way of "reconditioning" clogged up bio-medias to it's original state/condition instead of changing them after a period of time as recommended by manufacturers?
    Admiring my Fishes calm the Beast within me

  16. #76
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Hi bro aquarius,

    thanks for the explanation. I'm just thinking since I have some Mr Aqua's CRs lying around, I might as well use it with the Eheim Mech compartment. I understand this part of the filter will be the mechanical filtration area and the CRs won't be efficient for bio filtration. But as you've said, it will still give more surface for BBs to grow. With time, it will likely downgrade to be more of mechanical only, but I'm ok with that. Biological filtration is not on the top of my mind putting them there. It's more of a bonus for initial since Mech and Mr Aqua are round cylinder-like. Without affecting water flow, i can get some bonus BBs.. fair deal i suppose.

    Cheers.

  17. #77
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Hi bro ralliart12,

    slow is ok, I just hope the reduction in flow would not affect the motor by it having to operate harder than usual. But then unlikely since normal conditions with dirty/clogged media, the same restricted flow is experienced as well. Or will it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ralliart12 View Post
    Just fyi, I completely (even the empty space at the very bottom of the canister) fill up my 2224 with media & the flow rate is severely affected. But it's al right with me as I require the slow water flow (unless it gets even slower).

  18. #78
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    Question Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    Quote Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
    @ralliart12 ~ by doing what you did, you'll need to do more filter maintainence as compared to if you were to restrict the flowrate by using the outlet control valve and slowly adjusting the flowrate higher as the filter gets clogged up with debrise...
    Yes, you are right, I have to perform more filter maintenance. But for this specific setup of mine, I have to, as my biolaod is extremely high. I'm viewing it from another perspective: if the net result of both choices is a reduction in flow rate, why not gain something along with the reduction, i.e. increased bio-media?

    Quote Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
    @ralliart12 ~ ... My philosophy in fish keeping is to keep things as simple and effective as possible so that you can spend more time admiring your aquascapes or fishes instead of constantly meddling/washing your equipments. ...
    Very true; I have this habit of being obsessed about every single details of my setups, overcomplicating things, & giving myself more chores to do than admiring my scapes. But then again, I am quite new to all these, so my scapes aren't much to look at.

    Quote Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
    @ralliart12 ~ ... Actually you don't need to use alot of bio-medias to breakdown the same amount of waste into less toxic substances if you have medias that have very large surface area..... it is when your bio-medias don't have enough surface area to cope with the waste load that you need more of them...
    I'm not sure whether my bio-media has adequate surface area, as I do not know how to determine surface-area-per-unit-of-bioload? My canister is composed of 2 full trays of Biohome+, the empty space being filled up with one bag of Eheim Mech (ceramic rings that arrived with the stock 2224), & then some generic-branded ceramic rings that came with my ol' Eden 501.

    Quote Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
    ...I'm wondering whether is there any good and effective way of "reconditioning" clogged up bio-medias to it's original state/condition instead of changing them after a period of time as recommended by manufacturers?
    Actually, can we rinse & then soak them in boiling water to ''reset'' them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberkinetic View Post
    Hi bro ralliart12,

    slow is ok, I just hope the reduction in flow would not affect the motor by it having to operate harder than usual. But then unlikely since normal conditions with dirty/clogged media, the same restricted flow is experienced as well. Or will it?
    Can't give you a definite answer on this; I shall wait for the veterans to comment, if they do.

  19. #79
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    Re: What is your Favourite Bio Filter Media

    ralliart12 ~
    I assume that you're using your 2224 for a 2ft tank with fishes that do not eat alot and poop alot? Though i don't know how to determine the surface-area-per-unit-of-bioload, i believe that as long as you don't keep fishes like plecos and african cichlids than it's safe to say that it should be ok even if you have just one tray of Biohome.

    BTW I just had an idea that we can soak the old clogged up medias in hydrogen peroxide for about 15-20mins to unclog it !! After that rinse the media over running water to clear out the ramnent waste that is still in the pores of the medias. From my understanding from my mom who is a retired nurse, they use hydrogen peroxide to clean difficult to clean wounds which have alot of puss like bed sores or sores due to diabetes and she says that it is very effective in clearing up the puss from the wound. I believe the solution should be able to do the same for our biomedias and somemore, the solution is safe for our fishes.
    Admiring my Fishes calm the Beast within me

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
    ralliart12 ~
    I assume that you're using your 2224 for a 2ft tank with fishes that do not eat alot and poop alot? Though i don't know how to determine the surface-area-per-unit-of-bioload, i believe that as long as you don't keep fishes like plecos and african cichlids than it's safe to say that it should be ok even if you have just one tray of Biohome.

    BTW I just had an idea that we can soak the old clogged up medias in hydrogen peroxide for about 15-20mins to unclog it !! After that rinse the media over running water to clear out the ramnent waste that is still in the pores of the medias. From my understanding from my mom who is a retired nurse, they use hydrogen peroxide to clean difficult to clean wounds which have alot of puss like bed sores or sores due to diabetes and she says that it is very effective in clearing up the puss from the wound. I believe the solution should be able to do the same for our biomedias and somemore, the solution is safe for our fishes.
    Yup, hydrogen peroxide or citric acid should do the trick

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