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I remember someone mentioning there to be two generally accepted bio matter that is considered to be the top two but I can't remember what they were.


Glenn

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1. Eheim Substrat pro

2. Seachem matrix

3. JBL micro mec

What makes these superior to any other biomedia, Taksan?

Surface area .... Substrat pro for example ...

One small handful of it has more surface area then 3000 bioballs

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David's correct.

Not to mention that the amount of beneficial bacteria in the filter will depend on the bioload of the tank or pond, as the bacteria only have so much food to go around. You don't need crazy extensive surface area, but you do need enough to support the tank or pond. This is one of the few cases where it is better to have more over having less at what people believe to be a 'higher quality.' You need enough biomedia to cover the area that the water passes through, ensuring that all of the water hits the media and is therefore biologically filtered. Anything that doesn't will go back into the tank only strained, essentially rendering that little handful of high-surface-area media useless.

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And 3000 bio balls will filter far more fish waste than a handful of microporous media.

Rubbish

Not rubbish. And there is no need to talk like that. David is a well respected member and breeder.

I would much rather have 3,000 bio-balls then a handful of microporous. What if you dropped the handful In tap water? Uh oh, no more cycle. But if you had 3,000 bio balls. Oops only a few, not a big deal; I have thousands that are cycled!

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David's correct.

Not to mention that the amount of beneficial bacteria in the filter will depend on the bioload of the tank or pond, as the bacteria only have so much food to go around. You don't need crazy extensive surface area, but you do need enough to support the tank or pond. This is one of the few cases where it is better to have more over having less at what people believe to be a 'higher quality.' You need enough biomedia to cover the area that the water passes through, ensuring that all of the water hits the media and is therefore biologically filtered. Anything that doesn't will go back into the tank only strained, essentially rendering that little handful of high-surface-area media useless.

Who says a handful ?....

I have about 40 liters of Matrix and Substrat in my filter ..... you would need literaly a semi tralier load of bioballs to even come close to the surface area in my filter.

Under 2500 gph flow it could (theoreticaly) handle about 16500ppm ammonia ..... which is about 1000 large comet goldfish.

40 liters of bioballs under the same flow could only handle about 240-270 ppm.

I'm just telling you the facts ... as they are.

Modern sintered glass ceramic media absolutely destroys bioballs for biological efficiency .... it just costs a lot more.

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And 3000 bio balls will filter far more fish waste than a handful of microporous media.

Rubbish

Not rubbish. And there is no need to talk like that. David is a well respected member and breeder.

I would much rather have 3,000 bio-balls then a handful of microporous. What if you dropped the handful In tap water? Uh oh, no more cycle. But if you had 3,000 bio balls. Oops only a few, not a big deal; I have thousands that are cycled!

It IS rubbish ... what you would rather have is irrelevent

The facts remain the facts ....

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David's correct.

Not to mention that the amount of beneficial bacteria in the filter will depend on the bioload of the tank or pond, as the bacteria only have so much food to go around. You don't need crazy extensive surface area, but you do need enough to support the tank or pond. This is one of the few cases where it is better to have more over having less at what people believe to be a 'higher quality.' You need enough biomedia to cover the area that the water passes through, ensuring that all of the water hits the media and is therefore biologically filtered. Anything that doesn't will go back into the tank only strained, essentially rendering that little handful of high-surface-area media useless.

Who says a handful ?....

You did
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And 3000 bio balls will filter far more fish waste than a handful of microporous media.

Rubbish

I would like to remind us all that the forum rules require us all to carry on discussions civilly without attacking each other.

Disagreements can often happen, but they need to carry the discussion going instead of just stating that someone's one post is rubbish. If you disagree, could you please indicate why, etc?

Thank you.

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And 3000 bio balls will filter far more fish waste than a handful of microporous media.

Rubbish

I would like to remind us all that the forum rules require us all to carry on discussions civilly without attacking each other.

Disagreements can often happen, but they need to carry the discussion going instead of just stating that someone's one post is rubbish. If you disagree, could you please indicate why, etc?

Thank you.

Thank you, Alex. Excellent post. :)

Let's all be civil, please.

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David's correct.

Not to mention that the amount of beneficial bacteria in the filter will depend on the bioload of the tank or pond, as the bacteria only have so much food to go around. You don't need crazy extensive surface area, but you do need enough to support the tank or pond. This is one of the few cases where it is better to have more over having less at what people believe to be a 'higher quality.' You need enough biomedia to cover the area that the water passes through, ensuring that all of the water hits the media and is therefore biologically filtered. Anything that doesn't will go back into the tank only strained, essentially rendering that little handful of high-surface-area media useless.

Who says a handful ?....

I have about 40 liters of Matrix and Substrat in my filter ..... you would need literaly a semi tralier load of bioballs to even come close to the surface area in my filter.

Under 2500 gph flow it could (theoreticaly) handle about 16500ppm ammonia ..... which is about 1000 large comet goldfish.

40 liters of bioballs under the same flow could only handle about 240-270 ppm.

I'm just telling you the facts ... as they are.

Modern sintered glass ceramic media absolutely destroys bioballs for biological efficiency .... it just costs a lot more.

I was using your comparison in post #6 when I made my statement.

Yes, you are telling me the facts as they are in regards to the extensive surface area of the media. However, I am replying with this simple thing: In a standard filter for a standard aquarium or small pond, this is why that media is not necessary and why it would be useless to spend all of that money for it, over something cheaper and just as effective for the bioload like bioballs.

For example: You take 300 bioballs and 300 pieces of the glass ceramic media and put them in a filter set to filter moderately-stocked backyard ponds with the same size and number of fish in each. Since beneficial bacteria only keep multiplying until they reach an equilibrium with the available food supply, the 300 bioballs and the glass ceramic will each have roughly the same size colony of bacteria living on them. Both will have wasted surface area, but the glass ceramic media will have significantly more of it than the bioballs.

As fishkeepers, one of the things we pride ourselves in is the practicality of what we use. This is what makes us able to forego the 'latest and greatest model of filter' for a DIY filter that we built ourselves that doesn't look as snazzy but does the same job. For practicality's sake, why would it be necessary to spend a significant amount of money to have a huge amount of surface area on a tiny piece of ceramic, if you could never hope to use it to its capacity?

Edited by ChelseaM
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Very good points, Chelsea. I always get a laugh out of how koi people keep upgrading to ever more expensive filters for their "greater efficiency". As long as ammonia and nitrite read zero in the tank/pond, ammonia, not oxygen or surface area, is the limiting factor in nitrification.

Do people really use bioballs in an aquarium filter? They are really designed for a large, slow flowing pond-type filter.

Likewise, I hate to hear that someone has spent a small fortune filling a pond filter with ceramic rings. Unless one has excellent prefiltration, the pores on these quickly clog, making the effective surface area the equivalent of pebbles of the same size.

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Bio balls have a given surface area as well as the microporous media. The problem is the microporous media can only handle so much biofilm before it becomes clogged with extra cellular debris of the bacterial cells and oxygen/nutrition becomes limiting.

The bio balls have many areas that as they collect Organic material become new surface area and a ecological matrix of both heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria forms actually expanding the capacity of the media.

I can filter 6x 125 gallon tanks with by koko's standards, very heavy biological loads in just 3 cubic feet of bio balls. There is no way you could achieve the same result with a similar surface area of a microporous media. Even if you took a similar volume of these media, I suspect they would become clogged and anaerobic in no time with the considerable amounts of solids if you were to go to the theoretical ammonia capacity of s biological surface.

The other issue is being able to remove the solids from the media, simply agitate and rinse bio balls and they are ready to go again.

Fine media does not clean so easily once it is clogged with detritus especially deep in its structure.

Taksan? How many fish (individuals, grams etc) are you maintaining on this media?

Bio balls were developed for use in aquarium trickle filters, they were adapted for pond use.

Nitrogenous waste, alkalinity/pH, surface area, thin biofilms and oxygen are all limiting factors for biofiltration.

Edited by Ichthius
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