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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 20 gal long set on craigslist that included all the accessories. I plan on using it as a Dem grow out tank. The filter only came with one of those replaceable pads with carbon pellets inside, could this be used as biological filtration? I plan on putting it in my main tank filter until I need it, how long does it take to seed?
 

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No. Carbon is really only good for removing medications in your tank, not for housing good bacteria. It's effectiveness is only a week or two also. Not sure what filter you have but ceramic noodles, bio max etc. or something similar would be best for biological filtration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok. Keep in mind it does have a fiber pad, Which seems like it would house bacteria. It looks like this:



Basically a fiber pocket with carbon inside.

Its just a simple HOB filter, no compartments for filling with bioballs or ceramic noodles ect.
 

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Well since it has the fiber pad then I would probably use it since the pads will polish the water some. That's similar to my emperor 400 but the carbon won't really do anything beneficial to your tank filtration. And I would not rely on this alone. The filter pad will probably house some good bacteria but will end up clogging with debris so when you cleaned it or replaced you would loose good bacteria. What kind of filter is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Its a top fin 20. What would you suggest doing? buying a pad designed for biological filtration? Im not really concerned about polishing the water in a grow out tank and I agree, the carbon is pretty much useless for my use.
 

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Top fin is one of the small little respected filters which I feel work very well for small tanks. As such, there are ways to improve what they do. I believe you are correct that the carbon will not be needed so one option it to assume it is clogged and dump it just to get it out of the waterflow. Slitting the bag and working as much out as practical leaves you with a mesh bag which I fell does surely have some spaces for bacteria. When the fiber finally breaks down and falls off after rinsing, you can go a couple ways. Replace with standard bags which can get pricey or DIY. I go DIY and there are several alternates that will give you mechanical(scrubbing) or bio, depending on the material used use to replace the fiber. Filter floss bought in cheap bags from fabric departments can get you tons of filter for a couple dollars. They do tend to sog down and stop up pretty quick. My choice is the blue/white bonded pads like used by Marineland for Magnum filters. It can be had in flat sheets to cut to fit many filters.

One source is here:
http://www.petsolutions.com/storefr...e-bonded-filter-pad/prodmagnumfilterpads.html

Once you have it, it is a matter of deciding how to hold it in the stream. I much prefer it over other media as it is stiffer, doesn't sog down and can br rused many times, preserving the bacteria better than changing out to new media.
 

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I used to have a small filter of similar design (can't remember which brand). Those small filter pads really don't do a very good job in my experience. In the end I just took it out, cut a piece of filter foam to size to fit inside the HOB using as much space as I could without impeding the function of the pump. I noticed an almost immediate increase in water quality in terms of clarity. This will give you much more surface and better biological flitration, too.
As it is for a grow out tank where it doesn't matter how things look like, you can also use a piece of filter foam, make a deep incision on one side and stick it over the filter intake.
This way you get lots of surface for biological filtration and even a small pump can provide quite decent flitration.
 

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You are right about a single small filter stopping up quick. Part of the downside of being small and cheap. We pay upfront for larger or we pay later with more maintenance. I find the blue/white pad to be a good design in between paying a high price or replacing pads often which is also expensive. I like the number of times I can reuse the DIY pads. Lots of other options work as well once one finds which he likes best. I do a lot of water changing on my growout tanks so the bio- filtering is somewhat offset by that.
 
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