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oliver_black

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Can anyone recommend an inexpensive bio-filter media I can use in my DIY pond filters?

I'm looking for something inexpensive easy to find/buy. I already have some bio-filter balls, but need something that provides more surface area and bulk.

Oliver

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i have read and heard that the best bio balls are the ones with the lil spikes on them. they give the best flow through and stack the best without losing surface area. if you want to go cheap.....go with nylon scrubbing pads. i know, sounds funny, i laughed too, but think of the flow through. now, think of all the little holes or pourous surface that the bb can colonize. im not talking about the ones for showering, it is not as tight as the scrubbers. you will find them cheap, readily available, and will last quite a long time. just squeaze them out (gently) in a bucket of the pond water if they accumulate a lot of gunk and toss it back in. but, it is not best to use a mechanical filter, so have some sort of pre filter before it gets to them. like, if you want to go cheap again.....felt. can work as a pre filter and will still hold a ton of bb! just clean them the same way. best places are the dollar type stores for the scrubbers, but found everywhere. hope this helps.

thought of some more....

sponges

replacement mopheads

yarn

scrubbing pads

will add more when i think of some, or read about more. oh, make sure that all cleaning supplies are unused, and free of any type of chemical reside or antibacterial stuff as it will kill the fish. also, if you use felt or yarn or anything else make sure that it is color fast or that you presoak all the dye out of it or ya might have different colored water. this sounds like something for tip ot the month doesnt it lol. good luck and let me knoe how it works out which ever way you go

Edited by emptywallet
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Our waterfall came with lava rock specifically sold for ponds, and the pond has stayed nicely cycled, so I suppose the beneficial bacteria like it. Some say that after a while the pores get filled up, and aren't good after maybe a year. I don't know myself, since it's a new pond.

I do wonder about yarn, if it ever was able to get into the pond. If the fish ate it, my thought is that it would harm their digestive system. I remember once on this site someone was talking about their fish who died being full of some kind of fibrous material (unknown source, but maybe rock wool that they grow aquatic plants in?)

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My boyf and I build DIY filters, too. You want to make sure that you get a few different types of media in the filter.

For coarse mechanical filtration, we bought a cut-to-fit filter pad at the LFS. I actually wouldn't use a household sponge, mophead, or scrubber, as they are often treated with chemicals. You can buy all sorts of filter pads online for very cheap.

For biological filtration, we have used bioballs and used gravel. The best stuff is ceramic or lava rock, but if you're looking for cheap, look to used gravel.

For fine mechanical filtration, we use and LOVE filter floss! You can buy fish-specific floss, or just use pillow/quilt stuffing. Make sure it is 100% pure polyester. That stuff practically polishes the water... it sucks floating green algae right out!

Emptywallet has some great ideas, too, but I am going to give an even stronger word of warning: never put anything into your filter that could potentially harm your fish. All manner of things we use everyday are coated in chemicals or dyes that could kill your fish. If in doubt, skip it. You can also get bulk filter media online, which is considerably safer and still inexpensive. We have collected a large assortment of specific-sized filter pads for different types of filters that we indiscriminately stuff into other filters. Look to what's on clearance.

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thought of some more....

sponges

replacement mopheads

yarn

scrubbing pads

Thanks... I thought about a replacement mop head as well. I think they are cotton. The big problem is finding stuff that has not been pre-treated with some sort of chemical - for example, there isn't one type of scrubbing pad in our local supermarket that doesn't have the warning "NOT FOR AQUARIUM USE" on it.

oliver

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Cheap hair rollers from the dollar store - I have used those for years with no problems. For 10 bucks, you can have a ton of media. :)

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Cheap hair rollers from the dollar store - I have used those for years with no problems. For 10 bucks, you can have a ton of media. :)

Forgive my ignorance, but are you talking about those plastic cylinders (ranging from 1/2 to 2 inches with a clip to hold them in place?

Oliver

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Yep, Joy, those are the ones. :thumb: Actually, all kinds of plastic hair rollers will do. The last ones I bought were black, so they aren't as visible in the filter than those girly pink ones. I don't think my hubby wants to get caught using pink hair rollers. :rofl3

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