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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
What's everybody's opinion of filter media?
Been doing a bit of research to mixed results,
Want good media but one that won't cost thru the roof..
Thanks guys
Joey85.
 

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Almost any media will work...even plastic scrubbers you can buy at the dollar store. I would use whatever came with the filter.
 

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Best advice I can give is don't overthink it. I did that myself back years ago when I got back into the hobby and spent a small fortune on Matrix media trying to get the "best" I could find for all my canister filters. These days I simply use ceramic rings that you get off ebay for about $12 for 1500grams and that works just as good as the stuff I use to buy that cost 4 times more. Lots of guys use various things like DJ said such as scrubbies and such and have good results as well.
 

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I like to use foam designed for water filtration. You can find it when you look up information about Mattenfilter systems.
 

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I think the sponges that come with filters are underappreciated. I have them in each of my filters. I also ceramic rings and bio-matrix, but those could have just as easy been more sponges imo. I had already bought them before coming to that realization though so I kept them. I have mechanical filtration (filter pads) in the other two trays in each filter.

Lately, I've been experimenting with a sponge on the intake tube inside the aquarium as a way to reduce the waste that's collected/stored in the filters. Getting it off the tube without dumping all of the crud back into the water however, has presented another problem all together. Blah.
 

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I use some older Eheim Pro II filters, and the media is from Eheim, Fluval, and whatever other stuff I've acquired over the years. Can't say I've ever noticed or measured any difference in water quality that could be attributed to media selection. Along with the ceramic rings and ehemblahblahblah, in trays, I do use the Eheim coarse sponges singly in each filter, and squeeze/rinse them out with each filter cleaning, gave up on the fine ones a long time ago, as they clog very quickly, and became a bottleneck in the filter.
 

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I switched to BioHome Ultimate a couple of years ago. At $19.00 a kilo it is fairly reasonable. There is only one distributor; he is out of California. Don't buy it off of ebay or amazon unless you like paying twice what the distributor sells it for.
 

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Large(r) gravel and lava rock are both pretty cheap and easy to acquire (Lowes, Home Depot, Menards), with lava rock being the better of the two as far as surface area goes I'd guess.

I run one tray of coarse filter foam, one tray with two floss pads (came with the filter) and two trays of small lava rock in the SunSun 304 ... seems to work fine.

I also do not clean any surfaces other than the front glass (don't sell the bio-film on any surface short as far as adding to filtering capacity)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've got a bunch of lava rock I use in the garden and have left overs.. would that be fine to use? I hear mixed reviews.. ppl saying it fogs up the tank or yellows the tank similar to what driftwood does at a guess.. but I'm keen to give it a go none the less..
 

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Joey85 said:
I've got a bunch of lava rock I use in the garden and have left overs.. would that be fine to use? I hear mixed reviews.. ppl saying it fogs up the tank or yellows the tank similar to what driftwood does at a guess.. but I'm keen to give it a go none the less..
I would not use red lava rock; it is very high in iron. The gray is ok, but has much less surface area/porosity than a ceramic product.
 

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I would also not use anything from a lawn, garden, driveway or road, etc. Chance that they have absorbed harmful chemicals and being porous, I would not trust cleaning to remove the threat.
 

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Joey85 said:
I've got a bunch of lava rock I use in the garden and have left overs.. would that be fine to use?
Assuming it hasn't been in a place where it couldn't get contaminated as DJ notes, I would think it would be fine.

Joey85 said:
I hear mixed reviews.. ppl saying it fogs up the tank or yellows the tank similar to what driftwood does at a guess.. but I'm keen to give it a go none the less..
Interestingly enough, I have red lava rock in almost every one of my tanks. In some tanks the water has a yellowish tinge, other tanks it looks completely clear. On the yellowish tint I really don't think it has much to do with the rocks ... it may be a combination of factors:

1. Our water, straight from the well, has a fairly significant amountof "clear iron". Straight out of the well, the iron is essentially invisible ... at least initially. I draw water (straight out of the well) to perform water changes into 1 gallon milk jugs. Once drawn, the water sets for a period of time - usually at least 48 hours to come up to room temperature - before it is put into the tanks. Over time, some of the older jugs have picked up some orange/brown discoloration.

2. Algae ... I wouldn't discount the possibility that bio-film/algae on glass helps to create the appearance of a yellowish tint.

3. Accumulation of waste products in the water. More/larger water changes would of course be the remedy for that.

As far as iron as a bio-hazard to fish, I guess that's possible ... but given the volcanic nature of the Rift Lake area of Africa, and my own experiences with using red lava rock in aquaria, it isn't an issue I've run into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I mean the lava rock is still in the bag I haven't removed it I bought it initially for filling in holes in my garden rockery, was purchased at my local hardware store.. I may have to crush it down a tad to fit in the canister but that should be it..
that was my only concern getting a tinge in the water as the driftwood I've got has only just leeching and I mean it's not bad just a real slight tinge
 

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You also don't want iron. Many of us have iron filters on our wells if only to avoid staining fixtures and laundry. Maybe try it in a separate bucket for a month or two?

We went from wanting to buy the best to using something at hand?

I'd hazard a guess that most people use noodles or bio balls. Scrubbies are cheap and no risk for leaking minerals or colors into your aquarium.
 

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I have A huge block of "holey" lava rock in my aquarium and leeching of color has never been an issue.

For driftwood, after rinsing it vigorously, I soak it in hot water for a day, then cold water for a day. Done. No leeching, no issues. Ever. I have like 7 large pieces of it
 

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Holey rock does not have the possible problems red lava rock would have. It is more of a décor item than a canister media material.
 

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DJRansome said:
Holey rock does not have the possible problems red lava rock would have. It is more of a décor item than a canister media material.
I misspoke. I don't have "holely" rock, I have a large piece of lava rock with holes in it. :oops:

 

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FWIW, the larger pieces of red lava rock I'm using came from a local landscape supply. They had it stored outside in the yard in about a dozen gaylords (large bulk boxes made out of wood or cardboard, with a pallet on the bottom)

This was in a parking area where there was a lot of truck traffic (dump trucks, cars, pickups, etc.) ... given that it was in the winter, I suspect that everything I picked up had a good coating of salt and/or deicer on it.

What I did before I used them was rinse them thoroughly, then take a large, deep pot we use for canning (the boiling water-bath method, with mason jars) and boil the rocks for 15-20 minutes ... and then rinse them again very thoroughly.

The small lava rock that I've used in filters, I picked up from Lowes or Home Depot and which came bagged, I just rinsed off real well before using it.

I also used that big pot to boil a piece of mopani wood I put in the BNP tank, to try and leach out the tannins ... probably spent the better part of a day doing that. Seemed to have worked pretty well as I've not noticed any appreciable discoloration of the water ... but the tank itself is pretty dark (Black Diamond blasting media as substrate, and a black-painted back)

FWIW, we do have an iron/sediment filter on our house water system - unfortunately, with the way it is plumbed in, it is not really possible to run the well water through it without also running it through the water softner.

One of these days (Ha !) I might get around to re-plumbing it so it can be used to filter the hard water as well the soft.
 
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