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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi--
I was able to pick up a whole box of whisper/top fin overflows for $5 at a yard sale. I hate the filters for these, the BioBags. I wondered if there was a way to stack carbon and/or zeolite and sponge or floss in them (preferably sponge) so that I could have more carbon and better filtration. I notice some of the newer overflows do it. Any ideas? I've got my tanks scattered throughout my house due to space issues and can't really do a large scale filtration thing.

There must be a better way...
 

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Not sure if you are talking overflows or maybe HOB powerfilters like my whisper 60's. If you are, check out the Library's Power Filter "Tricks" found HERE
I removed the original charcoal pouch from the plastic framework and used the blue backed filter media wrapped around the frame. Then packed 4 small Pot scrubbies in the open compartment after that. Adding an air line and airstone to that as directed in the reading for other brands would finish the project :wink:
 

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Sure...

 

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Hoosier,
Looks cool. I have the same Whisper and may give this a try. Are you running the airline underneath the sponges?

gacichlids,
Do you have any pics of the the items you picked up for $5? Are they the same as this pic of Hoosiers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will try to get a picture. They are the HOB clear filters with two chambers on either side. What I've tried so far is to place the recloseable mesh bags of zeolite in the bottom of the two sides and then coarse sponge square prefilter type sponge to fill the rest of the chamber on either side. My goal is to have more zeolite or carbon or maybe a mix and then have the sponge be the biological part of the filter. The water seems to be seeping up around the sides of the sponge. Is that adequate? I have no additional air going in to the filter at this time. The closest type filter to these are the aqua clear. I don't like the cartridges at all and just want to stuff the filter, but don't know if it's working. I have some cloudiness now but the fish are doing okay and I have the old cartridges with the biological material on them to put back in if the fish seem stressed. I forgot to rinse the zeolite.

Do you think this will work? is there something else I can do, like add a plate for the media to set on or some other thing? Do I need to have a minimum amount of water in the pump at all times, I mean, in filling the compartments up with bagged zeolite and sponge, I'm displacing more water than with the skinny biobags? Is it okay for the water to be running up along the sides of the stacked media, trying to make it work like an overhead stackable filter while hanging on back? Is this possible? Would the current setup I described work as well as biobags at least? Thanks for any help.

Picture is at (you need to scroll down, it's just the whisper power filter 60 and topfin is the same, just clear housing instead of black, takes same cartridges, they both hang on back)
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/plantedtkssu ... Index.html

Any thoughts on how to do a stackable thing would be great. Maybe if I set media on a plate , siliconed it inside and drilled holes in the right places to control how the water seeps through? I also have plenty of blue rubber floaty bubble hose I can work with too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep same, even with the little knob to redirect the water. I can't see where the airhose is.
I'm trying something different. Do you think it will work?
 

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Yea I know, you cant see the air hose, sorry. :oops: I had to take it and the airstones out for my fry tank sponge filter when their air pump quit. It's the smallest double outlet airpump Walmart sells and each line just runs down the sides of the individual chambers through a small hole in the lid to the airstone under the pot-scrubbies. Simply more oxygen for the Bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you think simply doing away with the cartridges and stacking media inside would work, like in the old time box filters with the carbon and floss? It's sort of like what they do in that article with the Cascade 300 except im putting bagged zeolite on the bottom. I'm trying to do away with the whisper cartridges altogether and fill the rest of the filter with hard sponge--or scrubbies (hadn't thought of that and already bought the sponge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So far so good, three days and my ammonia is 0ppm and the sponges are being inhabited nicely and the bags of zeolite and carbon are getting growth as well. I also have a 48" bubbled screen powered by a strong pump in the tank, so that might be doing most of the work! The water seems to be flowing up and around the sponge material on all sides. I think if I do my other tanks, I will use scrubbies. Much cheaper and probably better flow, traps better. I'm wondering if putting a piece of this blue bubble hose under the gravel in the filter would improve it. My fish keep tearing up the bubble screen (held down by these blue rock weights) and rearranging it.
 

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Sounds good, I never thought about stacking it. Yes most Benny Bac. does better with a little air, similar to a miniature wet / dry.
Thanks for the feed-back.
 

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I'm not convinced that there is any benefit to any filter media over a coarse sponge. I've got a smaller whisper powerfilter with just one basket and I don't use any floss or biomedia. I cut a piece of foam to cover the intake as a prefilter and I've got a sponge that fits in the whisper basket, I bought it probably 10 years ago as it was marketed to stabilize bio-filtration since you don't have to change it when you change the bio bags. I ran out of bio bags and got tired of replacing my DIY bio bags made from polyfill so I just took out the floss all together. Since then I've actually started thinking the whisper filters aren't so bad.

With the prefilter sponge and the sponge in the basket my water is just as clean and clear as it was with the other filter media. I like my AC filters a little better because I never get water flowing backward through the filter like the Whisper filters do when they get clogged, but I've pretty much eliminated that by just using sponges in the whisper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Hoosier, Kornflake,

Thanks, Hoosier, with your expertise and Kornflake's comment I feel better that this may work. I bought some sponge for a fancy new stackable filter that were cut just right for the whisper (I threw away the box but got three big chunks for $5 (it was one of the three stages of the stackable media--the biological so it's like prefilter sponge but white) at Petsmart, bought the pre-bagged zeolite which happens to fit just perfect in one side and got a reopenable bag and put carbon in that which fits on the other side. I have the carbon and zeolite on the bottom and the sponges wedged across the top with the tops just out of the water and the water is flowing through the sponge, which is great. I had them turned the other way but wasn't catching the sediment. Need to get the prefilter sponge for the intake too. I think you are right about the sponge, Kornflake, there is so little carbon in the new filter cartridges I can't see that it would have much effect . I have well water with naturally high ammonia so I just want to be sure that it is neutralized. Eventually, when the sponges are good, I will probably skip the carbon except for medicine removal. If this keeps working, I want to convert all of mine and stop buying those expensive cartridges (they get expensive when you have a bunch of tanks!). I'll rig up something with that bubble hose under the carbon and zeolite and hopefully will be set! Thanks again!
 

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Your well water has ammonia! :-?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, it's within what is considered "normal" these days, which is .25 ppm, the lowest amount on the test card, but my fish sure didn't like it. Now I have to use amquel when I do water changes. I have a really deep well (over 200 feet with 180 feet of casing), but apparently not deep enough. I have found out that what is normal for city water and well water supplies can be a real health hazard to anyone with any kind of chronic illness, like liver or kidney problems. I have started drinking distilled water.

The Associated Press released an article about pollution of the city and rural water supplies by pharmaceutical drugs that apparently are not removed by waste treatment centers. So far, every water supply tested has shown abnormal levels of various types of pharmaceuticals, like Estrogen, blood pressure medicines, narcotics, and psychiatric drugs. These substances have long lives and there has been no research done on what long term use would do to us.

Here I live near the ocean and 2 miles from a brackish river. My property is low. I've been told that the ammonia comes from decomposing compost and peat, acid rain, and ground water contaminated from landfills and farm chemicals seeping down into the watershed. I guess maybe it could be naturally occuring due to the composition of the soil there, I don't know. We have lots of titanium. It was recommended that I get an aerator, but with the drug thing, I think distilled is the best way to go. if anyone is interested in the article, I can get it for you.
 

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Wow, that's interesting but it makes sense. Makes a good argument for a RO/DI filter for the whole family including the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I'm not sure that RO would get rid of pharmaceuticals, but distillation should, provided the distillation facility is clean. The funny thing is that like in urban places like New York, the levels of psychiatric drugs is very high, and they don't know what the combinations of low levels of these drugs do to you.

Here's the story, it even talks about the feminization of fish, there may be more info elsewhere:
ABC--Drugs in drinking water
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?secti ... id=6009953
 

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Are you talking to me or are those just voices in my head? :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Why not have a nice glass of tap water and think about it? :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tank is clearer than ever, guess it's working well. The bagged charcoal and zeolite have grownth on them and the sponges do as well. My tank has never been clearer. I'm so happy. Now I can say goodbye to those stupid biobags and cartridges forever! The pump even flows better with the sponge. So glad it worked!
 
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