Aquarium Setup • Benefits of using multiple Biologic media?

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Benefits of using multiple Biologic media?

Postby jpbellis » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:04 pm

I see that many times folks use multiple types of biologic media in their sumps. Why would this be beneficial over using 1 high quality media? Do the different types foster and support different bacteria?
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Re: Benefits of using multiple Biologic media?

Postby Deeda » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:54 pm

It may be because one product is cheaper than another, it was something they already had on hand, they believe either the mfg. or user's claims or are interested in trying something new. I don't think there is much difference between bio-media used in any type of aquarium filter unless you get into moving bed type media which obviously doesn't work well in a canister or power filter.

Some mfg. of aquarium bio-media perform in-house testing which may be taken with a grain or two of salt. Others may spend money on testing with a 3rd party lab though you might need to see if there is some type of relationship involved.
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Re: Benefits of using multiple Biologic media?

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Mon May 04, 2020 12:25 pm

Sometimes, it may be to house anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria. If you have seen Aquarium Co-Op's 800 gallon build, I think they mentioned using an extra 75 gallon behind their sump as a slow flow, anaerobic filter, but I don't think that an extra tank would be necessary for that, unless you have an 800 gallon and a spare 75. I believe there are special filter medias for anaerobic filtration. TBH, I don't really buy anaerobic filtration. For a normal person with a normal tank size, I think water changes are a much more practical method of reducing nitrates than an giant anaerobic filter.
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Re: Benefits of using multiple Biologic media?

Postby DJRansome » Mon May 04, 2020 7:40 pm

Agree anaerobic may be unrealistic in a highly oxygenated freshwater tank. As a newbie I bought an expensive media. Now I buy plastic scrubbies. After many years of doing both I don't see any difference.
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Re: Benefits of using multiple Biologic media?

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Mon May 04, 2020 9:15 pm

DJRansome wrote:Agree anaerobic may be unrealistic in a highly oxygenated freshwater tank. As a newbie I bought an expensive media. Now I buy plastic scrubbies. After many years of doing both I don't see any difference.


When I was setting up my sump, I planned on using pot scrubbers, but my mom didn't fancy the idea of me walking up to the checkout line at a dollar store with a basket full of pot scrubbers :lol:. Anyway, I just use gravel and sand now. A little higher maintenance than what I would like, but gets the job done, and it is what it is. I do wish I had the pot scrubbers though.
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Re: Benefits of using multiple Biologic media?

Postby Cichlidude » Tue May 05, 2020 4:42 pm

DJRansome wrote:Agree anaerobic may be unrealistic in a highly oxygenated freshwater tank. As a newbie I bought an expensive media. Now I buy plastic scrubbies. After many years of doing both I don't see any difference.

Bingo. Pot scrubbies are the best media to use short of good 10/20 ppi foam. Anaerobic bacteria is a myth and can't be cultivated in any media in an aquarium. Best to just go for the fastest aerobic oxidation in the media to stop ammonia as fast as it occurs.
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