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The order of filter media in Oase Biomaster

Matti

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Oase never explains the order of their filter media in Biomaster canisters, Hel-X 13 and sponges.
After some research my believe is that the Hel-X -biomedia is placed at the bottom of the canister because that is where the incoming water is most oxygenated.
The Hel-X does the aerobic filtration. Above it are the sponge trays that do both aerobic and some anaerobic filtration.

What I don't understand why the Hel-X must be kept in the filter bag?
 

erwin123

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The good news for planted tanks is that it doesn't matter because we learn in UKAPS that "plants are the filter", and "flow is king". You can follow the manufacturer's recommendation and use their supplied media in the order provided.

Since the pre-filter should trap all the large dirt, there doesn't seem any risk of the Hel-X becoming clogged by large debris so I guess placing it anywhere is fine. Of course, when you do your filter clean, you can verify whether this is the case.

But consider removing half of everything to improve flow.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
What I don't understand why the Hel-X must be kept in the filter bag?
I don't think it does, particularly if its kept out of the impeller by the sponges above?
Above it are the sponge trays that do both aerobic and some anaerobic filtration.
I'm not keen on any fine PPI sponge, or floss, in filters. As soon as I hear any mention of <"anaerobic filtration"> or <"denitrification"> I begin to suspect a <"certain amount"> of <"economy with the truth"> by the vendor.

Even if we take any claims of anaerobic filtration at face value, they are a massive own goal, because
  • we have plants and
  • plants take up all forms of fixed nitrogen and
  • we can measure their nitrogen uptake by <"their growth rate">
  • and <"leaf colour">.
cheers Darrel
 

Wookii

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What I don't understand why the Hel-X must be kept in the filter bag?

If it wasn’t in a bag it would be a nightmare - it floats, so it’s tricky enough putting the filter back together with it in a bag, loose it’d be like herding cats!

That aside it’s great stuff, and the only filter media I ever intend to use.

In terms of order in your Oase filter, it’s always worth having sponge in the first (bottom) tray. The prefilters are great, and work really well, but there is always a certain amount of mulm that collects in the base of the filter, and that first block of foam kind of keeps it there for removal when you clean the filter.
 

Jaseon

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So the Hel-x is used for biological filtration right? I like the pondgurus way of using the mechanical filtration in the order of course, medium, then fine, then your biological. You could then use another finer pad or floss (although i dont), but it dont make no sense to use fine as the first point of contact.

Ive never heard of that kind of plastic media used inside a canister filter before, but its quite common in fluid bed filtration systems where the media is in constant motion with the flow. I think the flow is more important than the type of media used and canister filters dont achieve that very well, (although i use them).
 
Last edited:

dw1305

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Hi all,
So the Hel-x is used for biological filtration right? I like the pondgurus way of using the mechanical filtration in the order of course, medium, then fine, then your biological
The problem with any fine mechanical filtration is that it needs regular maintenance. As long as you clean it regularly it is fine. I'm not always able to do this, and it doesn't give you any wriggle room.

If the filter media clogs you get water bypass and your biological filter media becomes deoxygenated and nitrification stops.

This isn't disastrous in a planted tank, you still have the plants as your "sweeper", but in a non-planted tank it is disastrous because rising ammonia levels lead to a tsunami of death in a positive feedback loop.
I've never heard of that kind of plastic media used inside a canister filter before, but its quite common in fluid bed filtration systems where the media is in constant motion with the flow. I think the flow is more important than the type of media used and canister filters dont achieve that very well, (although i use them).
We have a few threads which look at "floating cell media" in static situations, and it still works pretty well.

Cheers Darrel
 

Wookii

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So the Hel-x is used for biological filtration right? I like the pondgurus way of using the mechanical filtration in the order of course, medium, then fine, then your biological. You could then use another finer pad or floss (although i dont), but it dont make no sense to use fine as the first point of contact.

Ive never heard of that kind of plastic media used inside a canister filter before, but its quite common in fluid bed filtration systems where the media is in constant motion with the flow. I think the flow is more important than the type of media used and canister filters dont achieve that very well, (although i use them).

I think you can take anything Pond Guru says with a pinch of the proverbial.

It might be contrary to common practice, but having the finest foam as the first layer of filtration actually works really well in practice.

My low tech tank, which is admittedly only epiphytes and crypts - so no stem plants constantly shedding leaves - has fine black foam as the prefilter (Oase 600), and takes about 5 weeks or so to start to clog. I cleaned it today, and the foam was rock solid with detritus, but the internal filter tube it surrounds was almost completely clean.

The downside of fine filter foam in the prefilter it any complete clogging is a brick wall to flow
- the upside being is it keeps almost any solid detritus out of the main filter. I haven’t cleaned mine it almost 9 months, and likely won’t need to do so until the year is out.
 

Matti

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If it wasn’t in a bag it would be a nightmare - it floats, so it’s tricky enough putting the filter back together with it in a bag, loose it’d be like herding cats!
Yes, that makes sense!
 

Jaseon

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Hi all,
The problem with any fine mechanical filtration is that it needs regular maintenance. As long as you clean it regularly it is fine. I'm not always able to do this, and it doesn't give you any wriggle room.

If the filter media clogs you get water bypass and your biological filter media becomes deoxygenated and nitrification stops.

This isn't disastrous in a planted tank, you still have the plants as your "sweeper", but in a non-planted tank it is disastrous because rising ammonia levels lead to a tsunami of death in a positive feedback loop.We have a few threads which look at "floating cell media" in static situations, and it still works pretty well.

Cheers Darrel

Yeah im talking from a maintenance point of view. If you have the inclination to be in there often fine. Im not a big fan of fine filters from a flow stand point. To me if the flow is reduced wouldn't oxygen levels be also? Thats how i picture it anyways. I wonder how detrimental periods of bad flow rate because of a clogged filter can have on the health of the system, and how could that be measured i dont know. I always thought good flow over the media was key, but if static works also maybe im looking at it wrong.

I think you can take anything Pond Guru says with a pinch of the proverbial.

It might be contrary to common practice, but having the finest foam as the first layer of filtration actually works really well in practice.

My low tech tank, which is admittedly only epiphytes and crypts - so no stem plants constantly shedding leaves - has fine black foam as the prefilter (Oase 600), and takes about 5 weeks or so to start to clog. I cleaned it today, and the foam was rock solid with detritus, but the internal filter tube it surrounds was almost completely clean.

The downside of fine filter foam in the prefilter it any complete clogging is a brick wall to flow
- the upside being is it keeps almost any solid detritus out of the main filter. I haven’t cleaned mine it almost 9 months, and likely won’t need to do so until the year is out.

If it makes sense to me ill take it on board, and use it, and im not fussed where or from whom the information comes from. I think people in the hobby who have made a name for themselves are sometimes onto a loser as everyone thinks they are out just selling a product. Sometimes that may be true, but if it works ill use it until proven otherwise.

I can see how a fine foam in front would work ok with a low bioload.

What surprises me is how much muck actually finds its way into sponges to the point it slowing down the flow. I used to think the majority of muck we are seeing is actually a mass of bacteria. Could bacteria actually grow like that to the point it could reduce the flow?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
..... To me if the flow is reduced wouldn't oxygen levels be also? Thats how i picture it anyways. I wonder how detrimental periods of bad flow rate because of a clogged filter can have on the health of the system, and how could that be measured i dont know. I always thought good flow over the media was key, but if static works also maybe im looking at it wrong......
Yes I'm only really interested in oxygen, it is <"the prime metric in biological filtration">.

Have a look at Aquarium Science, the planted pages are <"interesting">, but he is very good <"on biological filtration">.
Aquarium_Science_filterMedia.jpg


Could bacteria actually grow like that to the point it could reduce the flow?
Yes it <"certainly can">, that is one advantage of Kaldnes type floating cell media, they are <"designed to shed excess biofilm">. We don't need the <"thick and sticky biofilms"> that might be advantageous in heavily stocked non-planted situations.

cheers Darrel
 

Jaseon

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So that suggests the media that comes with Oase filters is the best, foam and K1 and absolutely no need to buy expensive other media.
Wouldn't that put the ceramic media last in the test? Or are you referring to foams?...K1?

I wouldn't mind trying a combination of the best there although im sure other factors are important to achieve similar results. Those pot scrubbers sound good as ive heard them being used before. Cant get any cheaper either.

A lot of it seems to be marketing hype. Media being porous doesnt seem to be a good idea either according to the tests done, and seems to clog way to easily.
 
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I just use the prefilter foam, and then one small layer of finer foam and then filter wool. I realised the rest of the foams were pointless because every time I cleaned them they had basically zero dirt in.
 

hypnogogia

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Oxfordshire
Wouldn't that put the ceramic media last in the test? Or are you referring to foams?...K1?

I wouldn't mind trying a combination of the best there although im sure other factors are important to achieve similar results. Those pot scrubbers sound good as ive heard them being used before. Cant get any cheaper either.

A lot of it seems to be marketing hype. Media being porous doesnt seem to be a good idea either according to the tests done, and seems to clog way to easily.
Oase come with foams (20ppi and 30ppi) and K1 media.
 

Jaseon

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I think if you were to stick with a porous media etc you would need to filter out the majority of the muck with efficient pads first for them to be affective. Even then the size of the bacteria means that they are not very good at colonising inside the media as much we are being lead to believe.
 

Jaseon

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10 Jan 2021
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Oase come with foams (20ppi and 30ppi) and K1 media.
Just looking on their site now. Id really like to try the K1. I was worried that the media needed to be in motion to be affective, but the static results are very good also.
 
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