• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Bio Media for Planted Tanks.

Courtneybst

Member
Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
588
Location
London
Hi all,

They are, but there are also a couple of provisos. <"The Science of Aquariums"> is a very reputable (and scientifically referenced) web site, but the owner/scientist mainly keeps <"Rift Lake Cichlids in non-planted tanks"> at (what we would call) very high stocking densities.

This fish keeping methodology means that his filters will rapidly grow a <"thick, sticky biofilm"> in a way that doesn't occur in our filters.

A-Well-Functioning-Aquarium-Filter-768x535.jpg

Caption: "A Well Functioning Aquarium Filter" from <"6. Filtration">

Because of this non-clogging media, (like washing-up scrubbies and floating cell media are always <"going to perform well">), because they won't clog.

cheers Darrel
Very interesting read Darrel, thanks!

Let's say you didn't want to replace your biological media (assuming you've already bought it and it's established), could you replace your 'mechanical' filtration i.e. sponges with the scrubbers to get a similar function?
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,324
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
could you replace your 'mechanical' filtration i.e. sponges with the scrubbers to get a similar function?
The advantages of the "scrubbies" is really that they don't offer much in the way of mechanical filtration. Personally I don't want <"any mechanical filtration inside the filter">.

The same applies for <"Aquarium Science">, he doesn't have any mechanical filtration in his filters, mainly because he is very rarely going to open the filter).
............ Mechanical filtration is a relatively unimportant stage in filtration and many, including the author, do no mechanical filtration at all quite successfully............

What I use:
  1. biofiltration media – where ammonia and DOCs are oxidized and the majority of the reason for having a filter.
I’m too lazy to open my filters (I have about twenty filters!) and I do NO mechanical filtration. So I accept that I will have a 10% to 30% increase in the load of dissolved organic compounds in my aquariums. I just use very heavy over-filtration to handle the load............

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,171
Location
Nottingham
Hi all,

I'm going to re-phrase that as "at what any sane person would call insane stocking densities".

39-fish-aquarium-1-1-768x346.jpg

From <"The Science of Aquariums: 13. Stocking">.

cheers Darrel

I did have a read of the site after following your link Darrel. Some interesting stuff on there, if a little 'off the wall' with a fair dosing of 'psuedo science' - the section on planted tanks might be best avoided having read statements like:

Good aeration also insures that the carbon dioxide level in the water is low. Plants feed on carbon dioxide. So in a well aerated aquarium plants basically will just “starve” and die.

and

Many make the mistake of adding a “complete” soluble fertilizer to the water of a planted aquarium. This is a fertilizer which contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This is not wise. It will result in algae overgrowth. While potassium and nitrogen are best supplied in the water column, phosphorus should never be added to the water column.

I liked the testing of the filter media which reasserted our shared favouring of the plastic fluidized bed style media and sponges.

I also saw those stocking tables, so I've just ordered an extra 180 Chilli Rasbora for my 100 litre tank 🤣
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,324
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
the section on planted tanks might be best avoided having read statements like:
It is a shame, the section on planted tanks isn't great, but most of the rest of it looks pretty good. Some of the advice and comment reads like it is applicable to aquaculture (or sewage treatment) which makes a lot more sense, now I've begun to actually comprehend the stocking densities.

My version of over-stocked is if you can <"actually see any fish at all"> when you walk past the tank.
I also saw those stocking tables, so I've just ordered an extra 180 Chilli Rasbora for my 100 litre tank
Don't you mean 1800? By the look of it you have to <"go big or go home">.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,324
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
It is a shame, the section on planted tanks isn't great, but most of the rest of it looks pretty good. Some of the advice and comment reads like it is applicable to aquaculture (or sewage treatment) which makes a lot more sense, now I've begun to actually comprehend the stocking densities.
I'm going to re-phrase that as "at what any sane person would call insane stocking densities".
I've been thinking about this.
37-fish-aquarium-1-1.jpg

<"Heavily Stocked Malawi Aquarium">.

...........With very good filtration with huge amounts of very good media which has been in place uncleaned for four months or more, one can stock at the heavy levels shown below. Let us be very clear, we only “recommend” these heavy stocking levels ONLY FOR WELL FILTERED AQUARIUMS WHICH HAVE LARGE FILTERS WITH GOOD MEDIA THAT HASN’T BEEN FREQUENTLY CLEANED!!!!! Heavy stocking requires ten times more filtration than light stocking and three times more filtration than moderate stocking...........
... If one has a well stocked aquarium aeration becomes VERY important. If the aeration is shut down by something like a power outage, the results can be tragic. If one heavily stocks aquariums one needs to think about generators or battery operated air pumps. I lost about a thousand dollars of large mbuna when the power to my house went out once. I now have a generator......

Lack-of-aeration-in-aquarium.jpg


<"Lack of aeration in aquarium">.
....... There is one caution about heavy stocking. If the power goes out to a heavily stocked aquarium the fish can die from oxygen starvation in as few as three hours. It is always a good idea to have some sort of aeration on a uninterruptible power supply to any heavily stocked aquarium........

If you did want to use plant/microbe biofiltration (and I certainly would, for the <"reason above">), you would need to have a spatial separation between the fish and plants (even if they weren't herbivorous mbuna), purely because you <"couldn't physically get enough plant biomass into the aquarium">, with all those fish in there.

Plant/Microbe biofiltration would give you <"belt and braces">, but you would need a lot of plants, ideally with the aerial advantage. Something like <"Eichornia or Pistia"> would have the highest potential nitrogen removal values and would be best in a shallow, very brightly lit lagoon with a <"shower filter or similar"> to return the water to the tank.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

aec34

Member
Joined
10 Oct 2020
Messages
262
Location
Gloucestershire
We actually could all simply hang a nice decorative pot with a nice plant from the ceiling above the aquarium and pump the aquarium water into it, that runs back to the tank from the hole in the bottom.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. This is basically the same as a terrestrial plant growing out of a HOB filter, isn’t it? Does this work better with a soil-like substrate, rather than just something for roots to anchor to? About to experiment with an aquael versamax HOB…
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,998
Location
Netherlands
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. This is basically the same as a terrestrial plant growing out of a HOB filter, isn’t it? Does this work better with a soil-like substrate, rather than just something for roots to anchor to? About to experiment with an aquael versamax HOB…

As long as the water contains all the plant needs it doesn't care much about what medium is used. Then if you don't prefilter the water mechanically it does need to have good drainage and some buffer capacity in the plant's canister.

Unfiltered aquarium or pond water contains a load of small particles that might collect and clog the surface if the media used isn't coarse or porous enough. Then if you use very fine-grained media the surface might clog rather soon and restrict or stop the drainage. It should always drain more than you put in or else it eventually will spill water over the rim. That's why you would need some water buffer capacity between the soil surface and top rim from the plant canister/basket.

Since every aquarium or pond etc. is something individual it's a trial and error, you can't know how dirty the water is and this can vary from time to time. For example, if the water contains free-floating slimy algae then this will end up in the plant's basket falls on top of the substrate, and collects and might clog it sooner to a certain degree than without any free-floating algae.

Anyway, it is not a filtering concept to also create or maintain a high turnover. You would need a pump with adjustable output and adjust this accordingly to the soil's drain capacity. :) Best practice as said the soil should drain more water than you pump in. The drainage you can't force that's something about soil density and gravity.

I actually have no experience with planted HOB filters... @LondonDragon has, he might shed a light on what media he used. :)
 
Last edited:

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,324
Location
nr Bath

LondonDragon

Administrator
UKAPS Team
Joined
21 Feb 2008
Messages
11,471
Location
London
I actually have no experience with planted HOB filters... @LondonDragon has, he might shed a light on what media he used.
Only use the sponges that shipped with the filters, never had any issues, also only clean the HOB filters every couple of months by squeezing the spongues in the water removed from the tank.
 

LondonDragon

Administrator
UKAPS Team
Joined
21 Feb 2008
Messages
11,471
Location
London
For reference I use these filters:


They have two very large sponges that on my 12l tanks takes a long time before flow is affected, also only have shrimp and snails in these tanks!
 

aec34

Member
Joined
10 Oct 2020
Messages
262
Location
Gloucestershire
For reference I use these filters:


They have two very large sponges that on my 12l tanks takes a long time before flow is affected, also only have shrimp and snails in these tanks!
That’s exactly the filter I have for my 10l 😊 You just wedge the plant into the sponge?
 
Joined
20 Dec 2019
Messages
448
Location
South Carolina
I'm assuming that the higher numbers are better?

Also... are the pot scrubbers inert? I only ask because I've bought some wire wool looking scrubbers before that actually had detergent in/on it. Might have to take a trip to the £ shop!
You need to be very careful yes, some of them contain detergents. Usually the cheap ones you can get from a “dollar store” are what your looking for. No frills, just cheap scrubbies that have more value in your filter than cleaning any dish ever.

I’m in agreement that regardless of what is in there bio media wise, bacteria is going to find a home. However I do like my Poret Foam from German land, luckily I can get it from a lone supplier here in the US. In terms of floating media, I met and interesting cichlid breeder who mass ordered clothes hanger size clips and used those in similar fashion to K1. Thought it was pretty ingenious.
1621996522641.png
 

Similar threads

Top