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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been running a single FX5 on my 150gal high tank for the last six months now, and I have two quick questions I'm hoping to get cleared up.

First. The instructions for the filter media mentions 'rinsing' my biomax media in aquarium water monthly. I am assuming this means actually rinsing them inside (by dipping them in some manner) my aquarium, and then putting them back inside my media baskets? Or are they infering that I actually rinse the media in a bucket of aquarium water that gets thrown away after? If the former of the two is true, would it be better practice to 'dip' the media in the tank for 'rinsing'? Or would it be better to fill a bucket with tank water, rinise the media in the bucket, and then pour that water back inside my tank before replacing the media inside my FX5 baskets? Basicly my conflict with this concept is my assumption that I am essentially destroying my benifitial bacteria.

Second. I'm not sure I understand the concept of essentially throwing away my biological filtration media every six months. Espeically given the fact that I need to stager this change, because then I come to the dilemma of how much to exchange at a time, and in what manner. My question to anyone who can help is, should I really be replacing my BioMax media every six months? To the best of my understanding via the instructions, the correct way to replace this media every six months (if indeed I need to), is to 'rinse' it like I've mentioned above, and then discarding the portion of my media I intend to replace with new media. Essentially doing this twice given my setup (bottom two baskets with biomax, top basket with prefilter).

I would love any feedback from anyone who could help me better understand Fluval's intentions or just simply the best course of action. I've provided a copy of the BioMax instructions below if it helps. Thank you :)

Fluval Filter Media said:
Maintenance:

BioMax should be rinsed monthly using the water from the aquarium. Never rinse BioMax with tap water or any water that could contain chlorine. BioMax should be replaced every 6 months. Note: Do not replace all filter media simulaneously. Stagger media replacement to ensure constant bacterial populations
 

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Basicly my conflict with this concept is my assumption that I am essentially destroying my benifitial bacteria.
It's a valid fear. Check it to see if it's getting gunked up with organic solids (mulm, usually brown and slimy). If not, then leave it alone. If it is, then take a bucket of tank water, drop the biomedia into it, and stir it all up gently to dislodge the organics as much as possible. Then remove the biomedia and dump the bucket water. But again, I would only do this if it was getting really bad. The best scenario is never having to do this. A proper prefilter should prevent this. If the biomedia lends itself to getting gunked up, then maybe it should be changed out, but that also has it's potential hazards. Or just improve the prefilter, or clean the prefilter more often.

should I really be replacing my BioMax media every six months?
No, absolutely not. It should never be or need to be replaced. If the manufacturer recommends this, then time to make some changes. I'd seriously question their product and judgment as this is a very bad practice IMO. I see the instructions now. Incredibly bad, and shame on Fluval. My guess is that they're driving sales of Biomax. They'd probably defend it by saying the the pores become blocked with organics or something making them less effective. All a bunch of nonsense. Biomedia doesn't need open pores to be effective. You could use lots of things for biomedia. I like the small bioballs called nanoballs. I'm going to be rolling my eyes at Fluval all day. :roll: Have these people ever successfully kept fish, ever??

Glad you had better judgment than Fluval and noticed something wasn't right about this. :thumb:
 

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I never replace bio media, they only tell you to so that you'll spend money

if you rinse the bio media in the tank, you'll just be rinsing all the junk back into your system, so why even rinse it in the first place? you want to do it in a bucket with water from the tank just to get some of the gunk and debris caught in it out, this won't harm the biofilter like you're thinking, I do with fairly vigorously with by bio media and sponges, and never have issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
prov356 said:
It's a valid fear. Check it to see if it's getting gunked up with organic solids (mulm, usually brown and slimy). If not, then leave it alone. [...] Or just improve the prefilter, or clean the prefilter more often.
Okay thanks. I actually cleaned the filter yesterday and did notice some brown slimy spots on the media but nothing exagerated in my opinion. But I'll keep an eye out now that I know what to look for and how to fix it, thanks.

prov356 said:
No, absolutely not. It should never be or need to be replaced. If the manufacturer recommends this, then time to make some changes. I'd seriously question their product and judgment as this is a very bad practice IMO. I see the instructions now. Incredibly bad, and shame on Fluval. My guess is that they're driving sales of Biomax. They'd probably defend it by saying the the pores become blocked with organics or something making them less effective. All a bunch of nonsense. Biomedia doesn't need open pores to be effective. You could use lots of things for biomedia. I like the small bioballs called nanoballs. I'm going to be rolling my eyes at Fluval all day. :roll: Have these people ever successfully kept fish, ever??

Glad you had better judgment than Fluval and noticed something wasn't right about this. :thumb:
Heh, okay. I thought that sounded unusual, and I was leaning toward the assumption that they were just trying to drive up sales. Thank you both for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
prov356 said:
No, absolutely not. It should never be or need to be replaced. If the manufacturer recommends this, then time to make some changes. I'd seriously question their product and judgment as this is a very bad practice IMO.
I forgot to include one more question in line with your above response. I keep hearing people talk about stocking their FX5 with Seachem Matrix for their biological (instead of my Fluval BioMax). After looking it up on their website, they themselves say: "Matrixâ„¢ is completely inert and will not breakdown. It need not be replaced. Since the majority of the bacteria are internal, Matrixâ„¢ may be rinsed when needed without damaging the filter."

After my initial concerns about Fluval telling me to replace my bio media (and your equal response), it sounds like this company's product is a better way to go. Do either of you, or anyone, have any experience with Matrix? And if I were to make the change from BioMax to Matrix, any suggestions on the best way to essentially 'swap' one for the other?
 

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I don't see a real difference in any of the media besides maybe surface area. If you really think about it though, if your bio filter is running fine now, why mess with it? why buy a new more expensive product just because they say it's better?

if it aint broke don't fix it!
 

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cjacob316 said:
I don't see a real difference in any of the media besides maybe surface area. If you really think about it though, if your bio filter is running fine now, why mess with it? why buy a new more expensive product just because they say it's better?

if it aint broke don't fix it!
:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: Beware the marketing hype.

Since the majority of the bacteria are internal, Matrixâ„¢ may be rinsed when needed without damaging the filter."
Here's more nonsense. :roll: Actually, it's a partial truth. There may be sufficient numbers of bacteria in internal pores, but then again, there may not be. Who wants to find out the hard way. They lead you to believe that you can rinse away, any old way. I'd always treat my biomedia as a delicate, living, mission-critical thing. It is possible with any biomedia that you could seriously disrupt bio by rinsing the media. They're just trying (the marketing people) to find some way to stand out from the others.
 

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I found this interesting and thought you might as well

http://www.wernersponds.com/biofiltermedia.htm

I don't pretend to be an expert, but comments like "i don't see a difference" "if it ain't broke" - I'm not taking a shot at these comments rather than suggesting there may be different points of view. Are all cars the same - they all have motors, brakes, etc............?? If your '94 Saturn is getting you to work, why mess with it?? If we weren't open to new technology and ideas we'd all still be running UGJ. I do agree that marketers can get carried away but doesn't mean everything is equal. And the most expensive isn't always the best, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
cjacob316 said:
I don't see a real difference in any of the media besides maybe surface area. If you really think about it though, if your bio filter is running fine now, why mess with it? why buy a new more expensive product just because they say it's better?

if it aint broke don't fix it!
Good point =p But I guess it just irks me that the bio product I'm using, as per the company's instructions, should be replaced every six months (not that I'll be doing so). Given this, I was/am open to hearing suggestions as to what other people are using and find effective in their own experience, such as the nanoballs, matrix, or possible lava rock :)
 
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