Though I probably do have a month or more to decide. Anyway, using that instead of the existing sponge would really free up space inside the filter for the rings so I can put them in the right spot and get them colonized. Rjk thanks! Is there any benefit to adding the old bio rings to the tank substrate? They are reusable, so clean up and preparation is much faster than with charcoal. Thanks so much for this handy advice Stephen, that’s completely different to how fish operate. As we have discussed in other pages, aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, snails, crayfish, and prawns) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) into one integrated system. The order depends on your filter. Glass vs Lava Rock Fire Pit Materials. I have them both running presently to build up bacteria in the new one and will do so for about a month before removing my old one. I have no experience in aquaculture and farmed fish. These tests with aquarium and canister filters also largely confirmed the first tests with buckets and corner filters with regard to the ranking of various media. It is important to note that you are trying to remove any excess waste that prevents water from flowing through them. Ceramic rings increase their surface area through tiny little pores. A test of ammonia oxidizing capability of various filter media was run. I have been getting algae in that tank on the decorations and walls and was wondering if I would put another filter on there along with the ineffective built-in one? They are available in bulk in the earth’s crust. Have you heard of this biomedia? It cools down slowly and becomes hard. Not a black and white answer. They simply provide a home for the bacteria that do all the hard work. The 2 best mesh bags for holding your filter media (18 tested!). You don’t need activated carbon – it soon clogs and is only useful for removing tannins, bad smells and certain medications – if you are properly maintaining your tank, activated carbon can easily be skipped. So media like lava rock “works fine”. The synthetic material is specially designed to replicate river rocks and is resistant to high heat while the multicolored rock creates a realistic visual appeal. So I shall stop here adding that I really loved your articles and could understand a lot of things from your article and therefore am in a position to ask these questions. Thank you sir. Lava Rock . You can use them alone, mix them with other growing media, or use them as a mulch on all of your orchids to give the pots a uniform appearance. While there are other types of ceramic-based filter media, ranging from spheres to sticks, they all behave similarly to ceramic rings. Be mindful that it won’t instantly cycle, since luna can only produce so much waste, which in turn only produces so much food for the beneficial bacteria. I need to extend planting a little as the shrimps took a liking to 3 varieties and stripped them bear so I’m ‘re planting with the 3 they didn’t like ….we really enjoyed your reviews and the one relating to activated charcoal opened our eyes so we’ll be purchasing your recommendation. However, I see no disadvantage to doing it, so it’s entirely up to you. Your ceramic rings will still look ‘dirty’ once you finish, especially if they have been in your tank for quite some time. That is water so clear that if you look down the length of a six foot aquarium you would think the fish are swimming in air. To my belief I thought plants need the nitrates or at least some. Unlike regular rocks, these ceramic pebbles are porous, lightweight, and are neither acidic nor alkaline. Cheers, Simon. Hey ian! I’m glad you found the article helpful! That would be a lie. One very important decision to make in the area of filtration is what media to use in the filter. Package Weight (kg): 3.15 kg. I don’t know that there’s much bacterial activity in it just yet, should I toss it? The second number is the “effective” surface area in square feet per cubic feet calculated from that test. Make sure to keep an eye on your ammonia and nitrate levels throughout the entire process to ensure everything is going smoothly. Since all biomedia do exactly the same thing, namely provide surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow, this is just rather humorous. These plastic balls have been designed to provide beneficial bacteria with many different nooks and crannies to call home. Thanks again. Is this what you were looking for on activated carbon? With all the pores in lava rock one would think it would work better than ceramic. They are lightweight and porous and provide beneficial drainage, aeration, water retention, and even trace elements to the system. I can’t wait to teach you about the hobby! Denitrifying bacteria live deep inside rock, ceramic and other porous materials, where oxygen cannot reach them. When will I know that the new filter is good to go and I can remove to aqua clear hob filter and move that to my 5 gallons? Filtration media (cartridges, bio-rings, foam) needs to be replaced every month or every six months or “when they get dirty”. On the activated carbon, it doesn’t really do much except remove bad smells, tannin, phenols and certain medications. lava rock or gravel Votes: 8 47.1% improvised media Votes: 4 23 ... but doesn't clog up like sintered glass or porous ceramic media (which shortly lose the majority of their surface area to clogging). And if you have is it a good choice for planted aquariums. Isn’t that just like a company to say their product is best? Try and add as many ceramic rings as you can before you swap out the existing cartridges – this will give the beneficial bacteria time to move to it’s “new home” I’d recommend leaving them in this arrangement at least a few weeks before making the complete transition. This “rule” was confirmed in the scientific literature. Care should be taken if you use lava rock in your display tank because delicate fins can get snagged and scrapped. If you have no room for an extra sponge inside your filter, you can always look into pre-filter sponges. Instead of lava rocks/ceramic briquettes, we came up with what we call Flavorizer Bars, shown below. The sponge holds most of the beneficial bacteria and that is designed to be disposed of. Thank you in advance. Even with 80% water changes the water was still 8.0 ammonia. Finally, how can I switch over from the filter cartridge I have now to my own filters without wrecking the bacteria? 1. Frankly, I think most of what is marketed as bio-media is just more costly hype. The second test used half the media that the first test used. Phone: (949) 697-5270 Fax: (949) 625-8027 2580 S Decker Lake Blvd Suite 300 West Valley City, UT 84119 You see, beneficial bacteria requires a surface to cling to and your substrate gunks up over time (it doesn’t have the same mechanical filtration your filter provides) so it likely won’t contribute a whole lot of biofiltration to your tank. To further complicate this, in the absence of rings, beneficial bacteria also inhabit sponge, substrate, anything porous really. Your article is the most informative I’ve found on the internet so far. Anyways please let me know that i am correct in placing the media from back to front , its confusing because aqua clear is bottom to top and some are side by side. In fact, ceramic rings’ ability to hold denitrifying bacteria makes it a tempting option. Hi, really nice article Ian, thanks very much for the informations provided. Now my question is, if you have 2 identical tanks with the same bio load, one with ceramic ring and the other don’t, will their nitrate level be different and how much ie: 80%, 50% or just 10% ? But these claims do serve the purpose of making a lot of money for some creative aquarium supply manufacturers and distributors. I do not know any fish keeper who checks for bad bacteria. Annoyingly, a lot of companies have made the filters as small as possible to force people into continuing to buy cartridges. The author would like to be able to say he knew what this testing revealed all along and has been using 100% pot scrubbers in all his many canisters over the 53 years he has been keeping aquariums. Most hobbyists do an interesting thing. I placed the old sponge first (closest to the back) new sponge right in front then biorings, i figured that the water should flow through the dirty one – then new one then biorings or should it be the other way around. Thank you very much sir. If I understand you correctly, you replaced your ceramic rings in an established tank? I ordered some ceramic rings and would eventually like to use them once the poly floss + carbon cartridges that my filter came with are due to be changed out. As you know, I’m currently in the cycling process. If you remove all your old ceramic rings and replace them with new ones, you would also remove most of the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium. Am I being too paranoid that the bacteria is not properly adhering to the media because it’s clogged? So if you want to go down this road, it’s a good idea to place your ceramic rings where they will have good water flow – such as directly under the outflow on your filter. 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