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Author Topic: Quick filter question  (Read 677 times)
cheri_alexander
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Quick filter question
« on: January 12, 2012, 05:13:12 PM »

My Marineland Magnum 350 has a special chamber for activated carbon. I am about to change the carbon out since its been three weeks but after a few more weeks, once the tank is cycled, can I put something else in the chamber?? If so does it have to be gravel or can it be anything? What about those little scrubbies Dragonii recommends? Thanks!
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Skwishee
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 05:37:30 PM »

You could leave the carbon in there.
I believe once the carbon is no longer 'active' it just becomes ordinary filter media.

It's what I'm planning on doing with my external filter, having the active carbon and just leaving it when it stops XD

You could always get bio balls or ceramic rings to put in there, or the scrubbies Dragonii mentions  Smiley
In fact I was wandering around a shop and saw these shower puffies and wondered if this would be suitable for filter media?;

[image]


Not sure how suitable these would be, I haven't looked into whether they would leech anything, or contain anything harmful.

Does the filter manual recommend anything? I am curious about this 'special' chamber for carbon. How is it different to the other chambers in the filter may I ask?
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 06:05:26 PM »

The manual recommends buying Marineland activated carbon every two weeks forever, lol. It is just a circular chamber in the middle and the sponge, scrubby media is situated around the outside. The shower puff is an interesting idea...would probably have to remove the little metal ring...I may use gravel, the bio balls is a good idea. I have heard/read that after a really long time the carbon breaks down and releases...something...something not good, lol.
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walk23
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 06:50:03 PM »

After the carbon has run it's course remove it. C-nodes or ammonia chips might be of interest. Bio balls are more for wet/dry filtration not inside a canister filter. I would increase the bio media.
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 07:03:04 PM »

What makes bio balls only for "wet/dry" filtration? I have something very similar submerged in my power filter....
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Skwishee
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 07:55:30 PM »

Haha I forgot manuals would self advertise  Roll Eyes

I have bio balls in my filter, perhaps there are different types? Mine came with the filter Smiley 

As for the carbon, I think it may be one of those myths, that it releases things back into the water?
I might try and do some digging on that topic, I remember Dragonii saying something about it a while ago....
If I had realised getting it wet was a bad idea, I would have probably left it dry and chucked it in the cupboard, but after getting it wet with the intention of using it for any excess tannins from the driftwood, I will probably leave it in there for now Smiley
And will quite possibly replace it with some extra ceramic rings or something!

There is always the option of the media that you can 're charge'? Not entirely sure about what they remove, or the forms of media they are available in? I think the one I came across was called Zeolite, or something.....

In fact I just found this very interesting thread, that may be of use (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 07:58:42 PM by Skwishee » Logged
cheri_alexander
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 08:07:21 PM »

Dragonii said it takes a really really long time before the carbon releases bad stuff but I'd rather not chance it. I like the idea of using all established gravel from the tanks I am (in theory) shutting down. Maybe I can mix with bio balls...
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Nossie
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 02:05:09 AM »

I would get something like this:
[image]

Not the same brand though, this is madly expensive. But you can keep them for a really long time being so course Smiley They're good to have as first stage of filtration since they can catch any bigger debris, and they house A LOT of beneficial bacteria in all those little hollows. Other than that, I might use those pot scrubbers Smiley
I don't trust the shower puff though, it might have some harmful dyes...
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Skwishee
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 05:45:19 AM »

Yeah, good point Nossie, I began to wonder the same thing about the shower puff. But wouldn't the scrubbers hold some dye in them as well? I only considered it as I was walking around the bathroom section of a shop one day and started wondering what things I could use as filter media Cheesy

I was thinking of getting more ceramic rings to replace the carbon with! Nossie did mention to me about putting my old gravel into the filter, but I don't have the space XD I was wondering, for the future, if perhaps the gravel could be placed in tights and kept in the filter that way?
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Nossie
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 06:03:24 AM »

They're rather plastic, and since they've been proven to work already by Dragonii, I don't see why you wouldn't try! Smiley Just remember to remove those metal things from them Smiley

People do filter with tank gravel, I've never tried it myself though, but it would work, for sure! Cheesy It all comes down to experimenting. Personally, I'd prefer the ceramic tubes Smiley
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sparkly-puffball
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 10:14:50 PM »

I've seen an online video where a guy created a DIY filter with an air pump before. Instead of carbon, he cut up many straws into slices that are 1/2 an inch long. You could probably use that and put it into mesh sack. I've never tried it before, but the idea sounds pretty cool to me!
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Nossie
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 04:48:15 AM »

That would probably be better as mechanical filtration, I think...
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Dragonii
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 12:20:04 PM »

Guess I should throw my two cents in..... lol
Sorry guys, been away for a while. Life gets in the way sometimes.


Marineland Magnum 350 canister.... It was designed to function as a mechanical and chemical filter only. Acording to the original design bio filtration should be provided by a bio wheel attachment that sits on the back rim of your tank. It has two wheels with one central connector. Water enters the filter canister, moves through the sponge or floss sleeve, passes through the chemical media in the basket and is then sent up to the bio wheels on the tank. There it passes over the wheels where it receives plenty of oxygen and creates a dense growth of nitrifying bacteria. In place of the media basket you could also use a pleated micron filter. This captures particles down to approximately 8 microns in size and can be cleaned and reused using standard household bleach.
You can see the bio wheels and micron filter in this image...
[image]

Advantages to the Magnum system.... small size, bottom located impeller insures that air does not get trapped in impeller chamber ( this makes them good for use with surface extractors as they may suck in air), 0% media by pass (all water passes through media as it has no where else to go), see through housing (you can see how dirty it is getting with a glance), micron filter capability (polishes the water), huge media capacity (it holds a lot of carbon. I use one of these on my 150 for my carbon filter), easy to get started (that bottom mounted motor makes her easy to get going), gentle return (when used with the bio wheels water is gently returned to the surface of the tank. This makes them good for planted tanks or for fish like goldfish where harsh water flow can be a problem), amazing bio growth (bio wheels provide an amazing amount of bacterial growth as the are essentially wet/dry filtration)...
Down sides of the filter... bottom mounted impeller can get sand caught in it causing scaring or even failure, assembly is not as simple and self explanatory as other canisters, it has plenty of gaskets and spacers that you could easily lose, media baskets have been know to collapse if the filter gets too dirty (due to the 0% bypass the water pressure can collapse the media basket if you don't clean the filter. Kind of like sucking on a straw and then covering the end with your finger)

On to modifying.... there is no rule that says that any filter has to kept bone stock. If you desire to use it as a mechanical/biological filter only, yes, it can be done. I would not however rely on the carbon to be the bio media.
It is true that once carbon has been depleted of it's ability to adsorb it will stop working. It does not however release anything back into your water. Certain chemicals bond to the carbon, once the bonding sites are all full it just can't adsorb any more. So you replace it. It will begin to grow bacteria just like any other surface in the tank but due to it's small size it will become clogged and water will no longer be able to reach the bacterial growths.
A better option would be to use the stuff that Nossie posted. It's tube design provides channels for the water to flow thru preventing it from becoming clogged.There are also ceramic/quartz balls
[image]

cubes
[image]

bale media
[image]

lava rocks
[image]

and more.

Personally, if I were going to use the media basket for bio filtration I would go with ceramic or quartz bio tubes.
[image]


Never wash them in tap water but you will have to clean them. Just pull the basket out, dip it into a bucket of dechlorinated water and shake the **** out if. This should shake all of the debris loose. You could even dump them out into the bucket of water and put them back in if you wanted to.
Keep in mind that this really isn't that much bio media for a large tank. Every bit helps, but it will only provide a small fraction of what the original design with the bio wheels would. A fluidized bed would be even more effective than that and it could be run off of the Magnum.

Take the scrubbies out that you have around the filter basket, not all at once as they are currently housing your bacteria bed. But if you do put the ceramic tubes in the basket, after about a month, take a couple out. Then next month take a couple more out. Do this until you have the basket wrapped in the sponge sleeve with nothing but the bio tubes in the basket.The scrubbies around the basket are preventing the water from flowing around the chamber evenly.


P.S. Be careful when selecting bio tubes. Some are meant to be used for a prefilter only and do not have a porous surface. Make sure NOT to use those. They will be a waste.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 12:38:30 PM by Dragonii » Logged
Dragonii
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 12:30:28 PM »

(Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
What makes bio balls only for "wet/dry" filtration? I have something very similar submerged in my power filter....

Plastic bio balls do not provide a lot of bacterial growth surface area. The reason they are used in wet/dry systems is that they don't clog up. With a wet/dry you would have one **** of a mess if the bio media got clogged up. They make up for the lack of surface area by using a LOT of them. They are used in some of the larger canister filters but it is more for flow control than bio media. If you put a filter pad into a filter tray, over time it will begin to clog the pad at the small holes in the bottom of the tray. If you put a layer of bio balls between the tray bottom and the pad the water flow is directed and spread out preventing the small holes from getting clogged. As for bio media, they are pretty useless in a canister.

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Dragonii
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 12:33:40 PM »

Oh, cheri, one more option.
You could just leave the carbon in there, allow it to be a bio bed and replace 1/4 of it once a month. Just dump it out into some dechlorinated water, run your fingers through it to get all the gunk out, put it back in but replace a quarter of it with new carbon. This would keep a good growth of bacteria and still allow you to have some of the benefits of the carbon.
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Nossie
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2012, 01:25:52 PM »

Dragonii: Your "2 cents" are more like an average person's $500 xD Your posts are always stacked with good information Smiley
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2012, 03:21:44 PM »

Dragonii- thanks for all the great info. I guess I'll look for the bio-wheel for the time being, I can't believe it didn't come with. Despite all the good points you raised I basically hate this filter.  I'll keep my eyes out for the ceramic tubes too. I am hoping to switch to the Aquatop and put the Magnum on a smaller tank.
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Dragonii
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2012, 05:58:17 PM »

Thanks Nossie. Smiley

They sold the Magnum with and without the wheels cheri. The one with the wheels was called the Pro.

There are other options for a good bio media bed if you don't want to buy the wheels....... how good are you with tools? lol
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2012, 06:16:42 PM »

Pretty fair with tools..lol.
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Dragonii
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Re: Quick filter question
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2012, 07:16:47 PM »

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Best bio filtration you can get. You split your return off and run one hose to this thing. The other just goes back in the tank like normal.
Or you could just buy a better filter. lol
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 07:25:38 PM by Dragonii » Logged
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