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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Rena X3 and an AC 70 in my 55 gallon. I plan on changing the microfiber pads monthly as they get filled up with "stuff". I'm a little conflicted about using this polyester stuff and just throwing it out, where it goes to a landfill.

Does anyone have any "green" suggestions that would work but would also eventually decompose after they've been used?

Thanks,
Jim
 

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Part of the "green philosophy" is to use durable materials that do not need to be replaced. In that scenario, you would use material that would be able to be cleaned and reused over and over. I think some of the sponge foam pads out there may fit this description. there is one with white foam adhered to a blue backer.
 

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You want to look for open cell foam or reticulated foam. Both are one of the same.

I am looking for a company that has a high PPI (pores per inch) open cell foam that I can use in my Fx5. Right now I have 2" thick coarse open cell foam and I just recent;y got in the mail some poly fiber fine foam which i'm not sure how reusable it will be but im going to try it out.

Im still going to look for high ppi open cell foam so if I find a company that sells small sheets of it I will let you know. I hope would do the same :)
 

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I just cut up and reuse my old '70's polyester Disco outfits. Most of them are some ungodly shade of green. :D

Besides most of them are already "cycled".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! You've helped me think about it from a new angle.

Currently in my Rena x3 I have two 30 ppi and two 20 ppi foam squares in the bottom chanmber, followed on top by "bio stars", then a "bio chem zorb" (which is useless, since it's really old), followed by a "microfiltration" pad, which I just replaced with a piece of quilt batting.

Would an additional 30 or 20 ppi sponge in the top chamber (in place of the batting) serve to filter out more "crud" or should I look for a 40 ppi material that I can cut to fit instead? I just rinsed out the four sponges in the Rena (in tank water, of course) and WOW were they dirty! I'll probably rinse out the AC sponges with the next water change.

I used to have a Fluval 404 on an old tank about 10 years ago and that was nice because I only had to rinse the sponge periodically and change it every few months. Of course, I didn't have cichlids at the time...

Thanks,
Jim
 

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As I understand it, the "micro filtration pad" at the top is supposed to do a final "polishing" of the water before it returns to the tank. Therefore it should be finer than the bottom 30 and 20 ppi sponges on the bottom. I'd look for a durable material that had finer pores than the sponges that can also be rinsed and reused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
kingdave,

That's what I was thinking. I just did a little more research and found out that there are several grades of higher PPI foam. This is how they are referenced in the auto industry:

Abrasive Cutting Foam (40 pores per inch)
Medium Cutting Foam (50 pores per inch)
Light Cutting Foam (60 pores per inch)
Finishing Foam (70 pores per inch)
Fine Application (80 pores per inch)
Ultra-Fine Finishing (100 pores per inch)

I'm thinking about just going to the automotive section of Walmart and seeing if I can find a "clean" piece of one of these types of foam. I'll let you know if I do.

Jim
 

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I've been trying out a new relatively inexpensive alternative. It seems to be working quite well and have found no negatives-so I'll be eventually switching all my units over to this new style.

This was my old method using disposable floss:


Found this stuff in the pond supply dept. at Lowe's. It's about 11"x9ish" and comes with the black coarser foam and the very fine blue-green foam for about $10. For Emp 280/400 the pads are about 5.5" x 8.5" so this will do two 280s or one 400. The fine foam appears to polish as well as the floss but can be washed. If these foams last like others I've used, I expect these to be in service for many years--not too bad for a $10 investment........

 

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Becareful with buying any foam. Some are toxic so you need to make sure they are safe for aquariums and have no fire retardent or any other chemicals on them.

Make sure they are OPEN CELL / RETICULATED foam also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks folks! I saw something called "Nu-Foam" at the craft store the other day. The package said it was flame retardant and mildew resistant. I emailed the manufacturer (www.poly-fil.com) and they said although it was NOT sprayed with any chemicals, it contained recycled fibers with traces of iron, not recommended for use in an aquarium. It was a bummer, because it was relatively cheap. Oh well.
 

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Yeah, you have to be alert when trying alternate materials. I was pleased to find the foams above because they are DDF :lol: and pond/aquarium ready.
 

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How about using a scotch brite pad? I've been tempted to try it out in a couple of my filters. I'm not sure how well a scotch brite pad would filter fine particles compared to poly fill, but it's got to be better than nothing at all.
 

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Several threads here about folks successfully using the scoth brite pads. I'm not a big fan after learning that there are "adhesive.....bonding agents" used in their manufacturing process. As long as other options are available, I'll avoid adding even remotely possible problems (same with mildew/flame resistant listed stuff).
 
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