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kiro

Help with filter media?

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So, after research and what felt like every review available in the internet, I have decided to go with two Fluval fx6 canister filters for my 500 liter (132USG) tank.

They just work better for me than the Sunsuns/Aquatop that I also considered, because I saw quite a few videos/reviwes saying Sunsuns can easily loose 45% of their GpH power when they are filled, and I calculated that even if Fluvals will loose as much (so that both units would be working on 55% of claimed GpH), the Fluvals would still go over the 7x GpH circulation recomended for the canister filters of my tank size, while at 55% the SunSuns wouldn't reach even the minimum of 5x. So they just work for me and my tank size.

 

The filters come with some media in already, like sponges around every media tray, coarser(?) sponge pads and (what I think is) decent amount of ceramic rings. (all shown here along the filter parts, as in most of the unboxing videos I saw).

 

I don't think this is enough media for the filters though, and would like some opinions on what to get in addition. Would move ceramic rings do it? Or should I get something else? There are so many options they feel quite overwhelming. 

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End of the day the amount of media required for a tank is determined by the stocking of said tank.

Example a 4litre ccontainer of ceramic media and say 3 goldfish of average to large size is probably proportional to the amount of bbs sustainable.

But say you have 2 fx6 (i think theyre approx 15-20L of media space each?) And have the same stocking level of 3 fish.

There wont be enough waste etc to completely utilize the amount of media you will have.

Not to say the filter wont fill with waste etc. But the sustainability of good bbs wont be enough for all the media.

It may well end up a breeding ground for bad ???

Another thing. I know everyone is big on 10x or 7x filtration etc.

But you must also consider just how its done.

alot of the goldfish that are imported from china/japan/Indonesia etc have very little current or filtration. They usually have alot more larger/frequent water changes.

through them into a tank/pond with HUGE filtration currents and they overstress.

2 fx6's may be like throwing your fish into a jacuzzi.

So a softer water return may be needed.

This is why i like sponge filters so much. Theyre cheap easy to clean and maintain and don't have the huge current for fish that aren't the best swimmers.

I usually select a reasonable canister filter and then assist it with one or 2 sponge filters.

I prefer the course sponge so they're more just a bio-filter and not so much a mechanical filter. I leave that to my canister and or water changes.

There are several different types of spinge filters on the market the traditional round cylindrical one that sits on the bottom of the tank. Or glass/side mounted ones that can be positioned out of the way.

The advantage of a sponge filter is that in case of a power-out a cheap battery operated air pump can be utilized to keep the tank filtered etc until power is restored.

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Thank you, this was very informative.

 

I have a question about the sponge filters if I may?

The most hobbyist I have talked to (in Finland) have always advised me against using sponge filters, the reasoning being that even paired with canister or other kind of filter, the internal filter keeps the bad stuff in the water, and you'd want it off there. What're your thoughts on this?

 

I will definitely think about the current, though I hope to get uk bred fish if at all possible. I obviously don't want my fish getting pushed around or having hard time swimming.

Edited by kiro

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The "bad stuff" is still in the system with any filter, until you clean it.

Its just with a sponge filter or internal filter its still in the tank.

Its also why i said to get a course sponge. It traps less material and is more of a bio filter.

Most breeders or lfs use sponge filters. Some entirely run on them.

Reason? Theyre the cheapest filter option around. And there is very litle current yet you still get the required filtration.

My fish room runs almost entirely on air (sponge filters mainly) i have a few very small hobs as back ups on very overstocked tanks. But all main filtration is via sponges.

I just use a small syphon hose and gently lift the sponge from the bottom of the tank and syphon the waste from around it. Very quick and easy to do.

And the "bad stuff" is out of the system quicker than a powered filter which may have it still for upto a month before you clean it?

My large tanks all run a canister filter and atleast one sponge filter (some also have a K1 moving bed filter)

It stops the tank from having a whirlpool effect from too big a current.

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I love sponges, too.

As for the canister I fill them with the most media they can take. Empty space is a waste of filtration capacity.

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If 2 fluval fx6's is your final choice try to get some sort of spillway setup as the return so the water doesn't deturn from filters as a 2" stream. But rather a 2 or 3 foot wide or more (if possible) sheet of water ie. A waterfall etc.

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There wont be enough waste etc to completely utilize the amount of media you will have.

Not to say the filter wont fill with waste etc. But the sustainability of good bbs wont be enough for all the media.

It may well end up a breeding ground for bad ???

 

 

 

No problem.  We build pond filters 1/10 the volume of the pond.  The filter is just a part of the system where fish don't go.  All the critters that make up the filter ecosystem live there because they "eat" fish waste or eat things that eat fish waste.  What kind of "bad" things might grow in a filter?

 

I have a question about the sponge filters if I may?

The most hobbyist I have talked to (in Finland) have always advised me against using sponge filters, the reasoning being that even paired with canister or other kind of filter, the internal filter keeps the bad stuff in the water, and you'd want it off there. What're your thoughts on this?

On this forum, I have often seen people say a sponge filter is inadequate for goldfish other than small fry. However, I've never seen anyone say why.  When I go over the the Site for Goldfish Keepers, a forum mainly for breeders and those who show fish,  many of these people "grow out" their fish in tubs with just an airstone or a sponge filter and 100% water changes.  They may be feeding 10 times a day, so they get lots of waste.  They argue that it makes more sense to have a sponge filter that gets visibly dirty to let you know when it needs cleaning than to hide the debris out of sight in a HOB or canister filter.  

 

I bought a sponge filter once to try it, but I just couldn't stand the noise of the air pump.

 

edit: Wow.  I was twice sniped.

Edited by shakaho

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Bad anaerobic bacteria. Same as that in aquarium gravel build up from inadequate cleaning/overfeeding etc.

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I think it quite difficult to get anaerobic conditions in water flowing through a filter unless the tank water  has very little oxygen.  Anoxic conditions might occur, and that would allow for denitrifying bacteria to dispose of the nitrate.  I get lazy about flushing my pond filters, and they can get pretty gunky, but never anaerobic (and the nose knows).

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On this forum, I have often seen people say a sponge filter is inadequate for goldfish other than small fry. However, I've never seen anyone say why.  When I go over the the Site for Goldfish Keepers, a forum mainly for breeders and those who show fish,  many of these people "grow out" their fish in tubs with just an airstone or a sponge filter and 100% water changes.  They may be feeding 10 times a day, so they get lots of waste.  They argue that it makes more sense to have a sponge filter that gets visibly dirty to let you know when it needs cleaning than to hide the debris out of sight in a HOB or canister filter.  

I bought a sponge filter once to try it, but I just couldn't stand the noise of the air pump.

 

edit: Wow.  I was twice sniped.

 

Thank you, you are always wonderful source of information. I guess the visible dirt makes sense, in a way.

But if the sponge filters are pretty loud I think I won't go that way, since I already opted out for the HoBs for that exact reason; the tank is just behind the door from our bedroom and we're both very light sleepers, so obviously we want the filtration to be as quiet as possible.

 

If 2 fluval fx6's is your final choice try to get some sort of spillway setup as the return so the water doesn't deturn from filters as a 2" stream. But rather a 2 or 3 foot wide or more (if possible) sheet of water ie. A waterfall etc.

I will have to look into modding the output, then. It seems my love had decided to suprise me and bought me the filters as homecoming gift, because I had talked about getting them before... the one time he decided to actually listen to my tank ramble :P

Do you think output of long "tube" with several holes drilled into it would cut it? I am not sure waterfall type would be good choice because the tank is very close to our bedroom and we're light sleepeds, and I know from experience the noise (falling water) from HoB filters bother my sleep.

 

I love sponges, too.

As for the canister I fill them with the most media they can take. Empty space is a waste of filtration capacity.

I will look into filling the canister with media then. Have I understood it right that there is really no need for chemical filtration, so I could fill the last stage with more biological media like ceramic rings/nuggets or sponge?

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The sponge filter is silent, but my air pumps are not.  If you use an airstone in your tank you already have the air

pump and can just hook it to the sponge filter.

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I prefer to use large canister filters since they can hold more debris, which extends the amount of time I can go without cleaning them. I am always busy and not having to clean my filters very often is a plus for me. Regarding want type of biological media you should use... Hard to say. Ceramic has more surface area for the bacteria to grow on, however it also clogs faster and it does break down over time. Bioballs do not have as much surface area, but the do not break down and they do not clog. Each has pluses and minuses.

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Just a quick note about air pump noise from my own experience: I use cheapy Tetra "Whisper" ones that DO NOT whisper. They used to drive me crazy with that awful buzzing/vibrating sound, and my tank is in my office so it wasn't easy to ignore. Then I eventually tried putting it on a dense foam-ish yoga block. Now I never hear it. Ever. Unless for some reason it gets moved off of the brick.

 

Of course, this might not work for everyone, and once the Tetra starts to crap out or a hose comes loose, I do hear it. But when it is functioning properly, yoga blocks are magic. Needless to say, wooden yoga blocks would not work. 

Edited by QandD

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My sponge filters aren't loud. However I use a high quality air pump and it makes a difference. The cheap ones wear out and get loud much more quickly than the Fusions.

As do chemical filtration, healthy aquariums generally don't need it, except possibly a layer of aragonite to buffer the tank and raise the ph a bit. I just add extra ceramic rings or volcanic rocks to be colonized with beneficial bacteria, after the course and fine filter pads.

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Thank you for your input, everyone. I really appreciate it.

Now I feel bit bad that I will have two canisters (like I mentioned earlier, my love decided to buy them as surprise to me after I had mentioned I might buy them), but I guess I can see about maybe selling the other one.

 

My sponge filters aren't loud. However I use a high quality air pump and it makes a difference. The cheap ones wear out and get loud much more quickly than the Fusions.

As do chemical filtration, healthy aquariums generally don't need it, except possibly a layer of aragonite to buffer the tank and raise the ph a bit. I just add extra ceramic rings or volcanic rocks to be colonized with beneficial bacteria, after the course and fine filter pads.

I don't know if my water needs altering etc yet. I will be moving on Sunday, so that's when I will be able to test the tap, at earliest. So many exciting things to do once the boring move stuff is all done.

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My sponge filters aren't loud. However I use a high quality air pump and it makes a difference. The cheap ones wear out and get loud much more quickly than the Fusions.

As do chemical filtration, healthy aquariums generally don't need it, except possibly a layer of aragonite to buffer the tank and raise the ph a bit. I just add extra ceramic rings or volcanic rocks to be colonized with beneficial bacteria, after the course and fine filter pads.

Arctic Mama, what exactly is your high quality air pump? I'm also looking for suggestions on a good air pump. Thanks. 

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Fusion is my favorite brand, hands down. It remains the quietest and strongest I've used, and hadn't needed replacing of any parts on either my smaller or larger models.

http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/FusionPumps.html

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Solidgold on youtube uses air driven sponge filters only. She has really beautiful goldfishes.

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