You are at The Krib ->Plumbing and Filtration [E-mail]

Filter Media

Contents:

  1. Glass Fiber Noodles ?
    by jartsu-at-vipu.hut.fi (Jartsu) (31 Aug 92)
  2. Cheap alternative to Bio-Balls???
    by plavin-at-caversham.win-uk.net (Paul Lavin) (Mon, 06 Jun 1994)
  3. Cheap alternative to Bio-Balls???
    by bryan.lukoni-at-mindlink.bc.ca (Bryan Lukoni) (Sun, 5 Jun 1994)
  4. (M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media
    by kncarp-at-nicsn1.monsanto.com (24 Jan 92)
  5. (M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media
    by enenkel-at-cs.toronto.edu (Robert Frederick Enenkel) (24 Jan 92)
  6. (M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media
    by shine-at-cbnewsh.cb.att.com (stephen.c.shine) (Fri, 24 Jan 1992)
  7. (M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media
    by pprior-at-magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Paul A Prior) (24 Jan 92)
  8. (M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media
    by wkb-at-cbnews.cb.att.com (wm.keith.brummett) (25 Jan 92)
  9. (M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media
    by jerryn-at-glnserv.UUCP (Jerry Norris) (Mon, 27 Jan 92)
  10. (M) DIY W/D bio media ... thanks
    by gt6441c-at-prism.gatech.EDU ( Jon Edwards ) (26 Jan 92)
  11. cheap filter media
    by hellmann-at-cs.scarolina.edu (Douglas R Hellmann) (10 Apr 92)
  12. Any experiences about Siporax filter media?
    by jartsu/hut.fi (Jartsu) (13 Apr 92)
  13. Foam and Easter grass.
    by Thomas Barr <tcbiii/earthlink.net> (Sun, 04 Mar 2001)
  14. Safe glues, cheap filter medium.
    by Wright Huntley <huntley1/home.com> (Sun, 04 Mar 2001)

Glass Fiber Noodles ?

by jartsu-at-vipu.hut.fi (Jartsu)
Date: 31 Aug 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <shane-310892103147-at-a-mac.psy.uq.oz.au> shane-at-psych.psy.uq.oz.au (Shane Brown) writes:

> G'Day folks .
>     While I was visiting the not-so-local Fish depot, I had my curiosity
> piqued by a new *wonder of science* bio-filtration media they were
> selling. The ad blurb described the media as a type of 
> compressed glass fibre product ...the things looked very much like
> largish ceramic noodles, but seemed to be more porous. The 
> manufacturers claims included the usual ammonia to nitrate cycle stuff
> via bacteria colonization, as well as conversion of nitrates themselves !
>     Great stuff right ? The kick is however, that they were (AUS) $ 49.95
> per 300 grams ( $ 1.00 AUS = approx   $ 0.73 US ). Naturally the 
> product was imported (isn't everything). Now, I know that I haven't
> made this easy for people since I can't remember the name of the
> product (and don't feel like cycling twenty clicks again to find out),
> but has anyone had any experience, or know anything about, these
> things ? The helpful guy in the shop said he had good reports from
> salt freaks, who seemed to be happy with the stuff. His theory was that
> if you put the noodles in a steady, low flow situation, 
> anaerobic action was possible given the porousness of the media.
>     Any backup, refutation or general comment most welcome !

The product is called Siporax. It is made by a German (if I remember
correctly) glassworks factory. Quite expensive, but definitely works,
even in my freshwater setup. 
The cover of the package and all ads tell you that 1 liter of Siporax
is capable of handling 200 liters of water. Maybe true with an ideal
relation between volume, plant quantity and fish quantity, but I would
suggest that you use as much as you can. I have it inside my Eheim
2215 canister, and it is filled with it, only having a few cm's thick
foam block on the bottom to stop mechanical debris.
Well prefiltered, and regularly rinsed, the media is very effective
and easy to maintain. Just keep it in the end of the filtration cycle
to prevent it getting clogged, afterall it is not ment for mechanical
filtration, it is a bio-action only media.
I think it is best in canister filters with a relatively large
mediavolume compared to flowrate. In trickle filters it may work if
you keep it on the bottom completely submerged. It'll definitely work
on trickles any way you put it, but on the top the anaerobic action
may only be a dream...
With a good FW setup you can almost reach the state where water
cahnges become unneccessary. Before using Siporax I had to change one
fifth of the water twice a month to keep Nitrates low. After breaking
in with Siporax I have changed the water only once per few months. I
could completely stop changing water, all values stay well within
limits, no matter how long I leave the tank alone. I only add some
water to compensate evaporation and some Sodiumbicarbonate to maintain
desired hardness. Nitrates stay on 0.
But remember, my tank is very densely planted, and plants make the
bio-action much more stabile.

> p.s. Me, buy these things ? Hell, I still use a UG     8).

Well, you can always turn it to RUGF and use canister with it...

--
* Jari Lehto     * Voice 90-387939    *   Email Jari.Lehto-at-hut.fi   *
* Tenavatie 19 A * Fax +358 0 8735916 * fwd -> s37837k-at-saha.hut.fi  *
* 00760 HELSINKI * "There is always room for music (Gospel & synth) *
* Finland	 * and for love & friendship. And of course Atari." *


Cheap alternative to Bio-Balls???

by plavin-at-caversham.win-uk.net (Paul Lavin)
Date: Mon, 06 Jun 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,alt.aquaria

 
In article <aschengCqyA3H.y8-at-netcom.com>, Ed Cheng (ascheng-at-netcom.com) writes:
>I'm building my own filter for a small pond and was wondering if anyone
>has any suggestions for a cheap alternative to Bio-Balls 

Yes!

Plastic shotgun cartridge wads!  They work great!  Just trundle along
to your nearest gun shop and pretend that you are reloading enough
twelve bore cartridges to rearm some third world country.  The wads
are cheap and have lots of surface area.  Lately, though, the green
folks have been militating for fibre wads that bio-degrade so I
don't know that has had an impact on availability - I bought mine
years ago.

Paul Lavin 



Cheap alternative to Bio-Balls???

by bryan.lukoni-at-mindlink.bc.ca (Bryan Lukoni)
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,alt.aquaria

In article <aschengCqyA3H.y8-at-netcom.com> ascheng-at-netcom.com (Ed Cheng) writes:

>I'm building my own filter for a small pond and was wondering if anyone
>has any suggestions for a cheap alternative to Bio-Balls (you know, those
>funny looking things with lots of surface area on them for the bacteria
>to grow on).  A bag at the local fish store costs $20 and via mail order
>I've seen a price of $45 per cu. ft.  My filter's being made out of a
>half-whiskey barrel, and consequently, I'm going to need quite a bit of
>this stuff.  One suggestion I saw in a book was plastic hair rollers ...
>seems like a good option; anyone have any other ideas???

>Signed,

>A Frugal Fish Lover

Consider using shotgun wadding from your local sporting good store.  Use 24 
gauge and make sure that the colour is clear, the coloured stuff may leach out 
into the water.  I have been using the wadding for 6 months with no ill 
effects.  The stuff is dirt cheap.


(M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media

by kncarp-at-nicsn1.monsanto.com
Date: 24 Jan 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

>>Now that my DIY W/D is *almost* finished, I need to get the media
>>to put in the tower.  Looking through mail order catalogues, the 
>>cheapest bio-balls type media runs for about $13 a gallon, and twice
>>that much at local pet shops.  DLS is less expensive, but I don't really
>>want to use it.
> 
>>I've got boxes full of those little polystyrene(??) packing noodles sitting
>>around.  Are these safe for a marine tank?  Has anyone ever used them?
> 
>>What else could I use?  A while back there was a discussion about using 
>>cut up lengths of drinking straws, how did that turn out?
> 
>>Any ideas or experiences with "DIY" bio media would be greatly appreciated,
>>thank you for your time.
> 
>>Jon


Jon - I believe I saw a hint in a recent FAMA about making DYI filter material
out of plastic milk jugs.  If I recall, the author cut the jugs up into inch
square pieces and then added them an a cup of water (for lubrication?) into
a blender.  Ran the blender for abit and ended up with "plastic stuff" that
seemed to be the right consistancy.  I would think you might be able to use a
large paper cutter to speed up the cutting process of the jugs.

Oh well, hope that helps.

Kevin Carpenter
kncarp-at-nicsn1.monsanto.com


(M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media

by enenkel-at-cs.toronto.edu (Robert Frederick Enenkel)
Date: 24 Jan 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

>gt6441c-at-prism.gatech.EDU ( Jon Edwards ) writes:
>
>>I've got boxes full of those little polystyrene(??) packing noodles sitting
>>around.  Are these safe for a marine tank?  Has anyone ever used them?

I know the zoo in Toronto uses them in a submerged biofilter for their
octopus tank.  But someone on the net a while ago said they tend to get
waterlogged.  I've never tried them myself.  Robert Enenkel


(M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media

by shine-at-cbnewsh.cb.att.com (stephen.c.shine)
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1992
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article Dustin Lee Laurence) writes:
>gt6441c-at-prism.gatech.EDU ( Jon Edwards ) writes:
>>I've got boxes full of those little polystyrene(??) packing noodles sitting
>>around.  Are these safe for a marine tank?  Has anyone ever used them?
>
>>What else could I use?  A while back there was a discussion about using 
>>cut up lengths of drinking straws, how did that turn out?

Surface area (for the bacteria to live on) is the most important factor in 
selecting W/D media.  You can use bowling balls, for example, but you're 
gonna have to have a LOT of 'em to support a decent bacteria population.
I'm not sure how the noodles would compare with other media.

I posted some stuff on chopped-up drinking straws a while back.  They
have at least as much surface area as some of the more expensive plastic
media thingies.  It does take several hours to cut up the straws, so
they aren't entirely "free".  I calculated 32.3 sq ft of surface area 
per gallon of straws.  If anybody would like to see my complete posting,
email me.  I'll repost it if there's more than a handful of requests.

From FAMA (3/91, p 14), here's how some other media fare:

FAMA>   Media          Sq ft/gal
FAMA> ===========     ===========
FAMA>  BioBlock          28.8
FAMA>  Bioball           22.0
FAMA>  Bio Max           20.0
FAMA>  Bio Pak           10.8
FAMA>  <some other not-so-hot stuff omitted>

I have not done any studies on "void" space (for degassing properties).
I did play around with some channeling experiments for the straws,
and could not detect any significant channeling.

>Since PVC pipe is so cheap, you might try cutting off lots of
>little PVC rings.  If you want to finish this in your lifetime,

PVC would work, no doubt, but you may need a LOT of it.  You may want
to calculate how much surface area you get per gallon of PVC media 
before doing this.
-- 
Steve Shine
AT&T Bell Labs    (908)949-8517
att!hoqub!shine    att!cbnewsh!shine


(M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media

by pprior-at-magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Paul A Prior)
Date: 24 Jan 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <1992Jan24.103256.3756-at-nicsn1.monsanto.com> kncarp-at-nicsn1.monsanto.com writes:
>>>Now that my DIY W/D is *almost* finished, I need to get the media
>>>to put in the tower.  Looking through mail order catalogues, the 
>>>cheapest bio-balls type media runs for about $13 a gallon, and twice
>>>that much at local pet shops.  DLS is less expensive, but I don't really
>>>want to use it.
>> 
>>>I've got boxes full of those little polystyrene(??) packing noodles sitting
>>>around.  Are these safe for a marine tank?  Has anyone ever used them?
>> 
>>>What else could I use?  A while back there was a discussion about using 
>>>cut up lengths of drinking straws, how did that turn out?
>> 
>>>Any ideas or experiences with "DIY" bio media would be greatly appreciated,
>>>thank you for your time.
>

Although I'm not a big fan of DIY filter media (usually by the time
you take to make it, you could have purchased it!), I did read recently
somewhere of a man who used a couple of thousand yards of fishing line
stuffed into his filter.  Might work, I don't know, but that was a 
new one for me.

> 
-- 
--------pprior-at-magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu----(614) 297-8474----------------
Paul A. Prior                                  "With friends like this,   
2nd year medical student		          who needs anemones?"
The Ohio State U. College of Medicine   Tobacco Kills- Please don't smoke!


(M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media

by wkb-at-cbnews.cb.att.com (wm.keith.brummett)
Date: 25 Jan 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria


    Concerning straws, PVC, etc:  I've heard of several people having good
    results with using plastic shotgun shell wads as trickle filter media.
    About $5/gal. in most gun shops.  Not free, by any means, but little or
    no work.  They usually come in bags of 250, which look to be just about
    a gallon (in 12 gauge, anyway).

    For those not into the shooting sports, a shotgun shell is internally
    composed of a primer (igniter), smokeless powder (the propellant), a wad
    to cup and cushion the pellets, and the pellets themselves (the
    projectiles).  The wads used to be fiber discs -- nowadays they are
    translucent white plastic pieces with various flaps and holes.  Check
    'em out.

    -- Keith

-- 
    | (614) 860-3187         Copyright (C) 1992, by       AT&T, Room 3B202 |
    | att!cblph!wkb  or,     W.K. Brummett and AT&T      6200 E. Broad St. |
    | wkb-at-cblph.att.com       All rights reserved.      Columbus, OH 43213 |
    `----------------------------------------------------------------------'


(M) DIY Wet Dry Filter Media

by jerryn-at-glnserv.UUCP (Jerry Norris)
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

pprior-at-magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Paul A Prior) writes:

>
> Although I'm not a big fan of DIY filter media (usually by the time
> you take to make it, you could have purchased it!), I did read recently
> somewhere of a man who used a couple of thousand yards of fishing line
> stuffed into his filter.  Might work, I don't know, but that was a
> new one for me.

I'm using plastic scrub-pads (they're like fishing line that has been
woven into a steel wool-like consistency).  It took ten of them to fill up
an Eheim 2213 (I think that's the right number), and they caust a total of
five dollars.  Probably comes to about $5 bucks per gallon and would seem
to provide plenty of surface area, as well as good flow-through.


later,
jerry.

email addres: xcluud!glnserv!jerryn| aka  Jerry Norris or (Vermithrax).


(M) DIY W/D bio media ... thanks

by gt6441c-at-prism.gatech.EDU ( Jon Edwards )
Date: 26 Jan 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria


In article <1992Jan25.222338.5919-at-cbnews.cb.att.com> wkb-at-cbnews.cb.att.com (wm.keith.brummett) writes:
>
>    Concerning straws, PVC, etc:  I've heard of several people having good
>    results with using plastic shotgun shell wads as trickle filter media.
>    About $5/gal. in most gun shops.  Not free, by any means, but little or
>    no work.  They usually come in bags of 250, which look to be just about
>    a gallon (in 12 gauge, anyway).

Well, (I originally asked the question..)  I've decided to go with about 4 
4 gallons of fowm packing 'noodles' for my 20L fish only tank.  I wish I'd 
of thought of the wading earlier, my father has large boxes of this stuff....

I want to thank everyone that has replied to my post, this newsgroup
has been invaluable in my attempts to break into the hobby.  Soon I'll have
the tank set up and running perfectly (I hope :).

--
summary of DIY media's

1.  1/2" CPVC rings :  Very low surface area.  A large amount of work
       required to cut the pieces.  Several people I talked to use them with
       no problems.

2.  Cut up drinking straws :  More surface area than CPVC rings.  Less work
      than CPVC rings.  Only one person I heard from use them, but has had
      no problems.

3.  Foam Packing Noodles :  Questionable surface area, but probably more than
      CPVC.  Hardly any work involved (a bonus if you're lazy like me).  
      Used by the New York Zoo on their octopus tank as submersed media, and 
      by one netter on 4 marine tanks with no problems.  One person suggested
      'water logging' may result.

4.  Plastic milk jugs :  Decent surface area.  Taking 1" X 1" pieces of cut
      up milk jugs, put them in the blender for a little while to get nicely
      shredded pieces.  Used by one person that I have heard of with no 
      problems.
--

  I included this incase anyone was curious.  All other recommendations were
to purchase bio-"wagon wheels" from an advertiser in FAMA for $4 a gallon.

>
>    -- Keith
>
Thanks again everyone.

Jon



-- 
Jon Edwards                                   gt6441c-at-prism.gatech.edu 
Georgia Institute of Technology    
  "we're just two lost souls swimmin' in a fishbowl, year after year"  
                                                       -Pink Floyd


cheap filter media

by hellmann-at-cs.scarolina.edu (Douglas R Hellmann)
Date: 10 Apr 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

bk-at-milton.u.washington.edu (Black Knight) writes:

>an old question, but i would like to know what are some good ideas for
>cheap filter media in a reef filter system (or biological filter, wet/dry, 
>whatever they're called).

>my friend has set up his own design, but right now he just has some plastic
>plants as his media.  any suggestions??

I recently read in some fish magazine that easter grass is a good filter
medium.  The justification was that it didn't breakdown and didn't clog
as quickly as the normal floss.  I don't know if this would be any good
in a reef system filter, but I have tried it and it doesn't compress
under the flow of a water faucet.  I put some in a normal Bio-bag and
hooked it up to a power head to serve as a filter for my 10 gal guppy
tank several weeks ago.  I haven't noticed any ill effects or discoloration
yet, so I am going to leave it there.

Anyone else out there ever heard of doing this?

Doug Hellmann (hellmann-at-acacia.cs.scarolina.edu)

PS - Considering the season, plastic easter grass should be available
extremely cheap just about anywhere.  It will be even cheapter after
easter.


Any experiences about Siporax filter media?

by jartsu/hut.fi (Jartsu)
Date: 13 Apr 92
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria


Some time ago I rebuilt an old 250 liter tank and among many other
things changed the filter media of the Fluval 203 canister from
regular foam to Siporax glass-tube media. The manufacturer promises
that one liter of Siporax is capable to keep 200 liters of water in
excellent condition if the tank is in good condition. Both marine and
fresh water, all filter types, trickle, canister etc. Siporax is told
to be able to offer good 'home' for both aerobic and anaerobic
bacteria and so able to reduce both nitrites and nitrates,
transforming them to gaseous nitrogen.

So far this filter media has performed well, there was no nitrite
peak, and nitrate level hasn't risen from the initial value at all. I
have a heavily planted fresh water tank with, shall we say, almost
optimum numer of fish, mainly algae eaters and bottom feeders. I used
a bacteria growth 'accelerator' when  setting up the filter, that
propably prevented the nitrite peak to occur. With 2 liters of
Siporax, enough for 400 liters of water, and I have 250, can I really
expect that even nitrate level stays almost zero as long as the filter
material stays clean enough? I have an Eheim pre-filter taking care of
this, but it is not perfect...

Any experiences? Can there really be a filter media that replaces the
need of regular water changes or at least makes the required interval
of the changes much longer? It seems so, but my tank has barely
stabilized yet, the new filter media has been in use for 6 weeks now. 


--
* Jari Lehto     * Voice 90-387939    *   Email Jari.Lehto-at-hut.fi   *
* Tenavatie 19 A * Fax +358 0 8735916 * fwd -> s37837k-at-saha.hut.fi  *
* 00760 HELSINKI * "There is always room for music (Gospel & synth) *
* Finland        * and for love & friendship. And of course Atari." *


Foam and Easter grass.

by Thomas Barr <tcbiii/earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001

> I am considering plastic, Easter egg grass as a filter medium. Input please.
> And could you be more specific about floss. My local fabric store didn't
> know anything about it. Thanks again.

Works fine. No problems. Kind of cheap looking though. I used it in some
canisters for awhile. Like the foam better.
> 
> Does anyone have any input on foam (filter medium again). Open cell vs.
> closed bubble foam. I've been told that one is essentially a tiny lattice
> work and the other is difficult as a pass-through for water.

Yes. It think most like open cell since it does not clog but it can be more
difficult to find. But you can find thin layers of it used for grocery store
produce and meat cases called "Vestax". It is black about 3/8-1/2 thick and
can be rolled or layered to any desired thickness and cut to shape.
Urethane foam is the small pore stuff and can be had at many places, check
foam in the yellow pages etc. It will clog much more but it is very usable
if you pre filter well prior to that stage. I don't like using small pore
foam for mechanical filtering though. It clogs and when that happens your
tank can crash from no circulation etc. I'd much rather have some detritus
pass through than clog the flow. Many plant tanks can break down the
detritus even without a great deal of mechanical filtration.
It is nice to have a layer of progressively finer materials for filtration
but I and every one else forgets at some point..... so design things that
prevent or lessen this user forgetfulness:)

That is a very big issue when keeping tanks IMO.
Regards, 
Tom Barr


Safe glues, cheap filter medium.

by Wright Huntley <huntley1/home.com>
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001

> Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 10:37:17 -0500
> From: "Paul Kelley, M.D." <NoleDoc@chartertn.net>
> Subject: Safe glues, cheap filter medium.
> 
> Wise men and Women of Aquatic Wonders:

Tee Hee! [Is water blue, viewed in a white bucket?]

> 
> May I reask my questions about glues; safe and unsafe for aquatic life.
> Thanks. Craig asked me about the response and since I either overlooked
> responses or they were in-paucity, I would greatly appreciate a small
> sharing of the amassed wisdom.
> 

Clear silicone is usually safe unless marked not safe for aquaria or
underwater use. Most epoxies are OK if fully cured, preferrably by baking
them until no odor is evolved. Likewise, polyester resins are usually OK.
They differ from epoxy in using tiny amounts of catalyst and lots of resin,
rather than two nearly equal parts.

A few of the superglues are not bad, but many evolve bad fumes and some
older kinds disintegrate under water. Eastman 910 was driven off the market,
I think, by that problem.

The solvent used to "weld" acrylic is quite safe, once the volatiles
evaporate or are driven off. Methylene chloride and toluene (benzene?) are
not to be fiddled with, so ventilate well.


> I am considering plastic, Easter egg grass as a filter medium. Input please.

I wouldn't. Too many anti-inflammables, dyes, etc.

> And could you be more specific about floss. My local fabric store didn't
> know anything about it. Thanks again.

For bulk floss, you must ask for pillow-stuffing polyester. For sheets of it
in various thicknesses, they will have quilt-filling polyester bats. They
won't know the word "floss" in that context (think dental) or have any idea
what an aquarium filter uses, usually. WalMart has a better selection and is
cheaper than the fabric store, BTW.

Avoid non-synthetics, for they will rot under water.

> Does anyone have any input on foam (filter medium again). Open cell vs.
> closed bubble foam. I've been told that one is essentially a tiny lattice
> work and the other is difficult as a pass-through for water.

Only open cell will work at all. Upholstery foam has worked very well for
me, but automotive and patio products may be loaded with deadly anti-mold
agents, so must be avoided. Regular furniture foam has always worked OK for
me.

I have also used lots of small foam-backed scrubber pads, as long as they
contained no soap or detergents. Get the really cheap ones. Only the
expensive ones seem to have anti-mold or cleanser stuff in them. :-)

My local commercial packaging-products store can order for me any of the
rather large-cell foams used in commercial aquarium filters. It is *called*
filter foam, and usually comes in big sheets 2" or so thick. You may have to
order too much, tho, so a club purchase may be more economical. It is used a
lot in industrial air filters, etc.

Cheers,

Wright

- -- 
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

              Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. 
                 They should both be changed regularly 
                       and for the same reason.

                     http://free-market.net/news/


Up to Plumbing and Filtration <- The Krib
This page was last updated 17 February 2002