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filter media..?


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hi all,

ive started to set up my glass barracks and i made a filter box that connects to a powerhead and uv and i was just going to just put filter sponge in there but then cassi (fighters4u) suggested putting some bio balls in there too and then that got me more interested in the what and why of filter media

from what ive read a good filter should have mechanical,chemical and biological

what i would like to know is if i have sponge filter in the box that takes care of mechanical and bio balls as biological what takes care of chemical?

also what percentage of media should you use? eg: 50% mech, 25% chem, 25% bio

this is a diagram of the filter box i made its pretty small cause it connects to the inlet of this uv sterilzer that has a 200lp/h powerhead

its 19cm long 9cm high and 4cm deep

oh also which media should be closest to the inlet of water, which should be in the middle and which should be towards the end??



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For chemical filtration you need carbon and/or zeolite. Sometimes the packets will tell you how much to use for the volume of water that you're filtering. And then there are also media which will absorb phosphates.

Not all carbon and zeolite are created equal though. Some will absorb chemical very quickly but then become saturated really quickly as well. When carbon has saturated it needs to be discarded. Zeolite can be recharged. Seachem make some good filter media products. They can be quite expensive but if you shop around online and in various LFSs you should be able to find a good price.

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thanks for the information bettarazzi, i ended up buying Seachem Matrix Carbon

now all i need to know really is which which media goes where?

my box has 5 compartments for media, any suggestions?

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Mechanical first, so a big sponge, then a fine sponge, then biological, then chemical. The last two could be switched, but the idea is to get as many of the chunks out as you can as soon as you can so they don't clog up the rest of the media. Matrix is full of tiny pores so you want the water to be as chunk-free as possible before it reaches that section so that those pores are free for bacteria.

You could also use Lego, lava rock, onion bags or a bundle of other things for biomedia. If you have lights, put some bog plants in there as a nitrate sump :thumbs:

Why have you got your outflow up the top? The flow over the baffles seems backwards to me. Any particular reason?

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thanks for that callatya, i knew that the sponge should be first but i wasnt sure about the bio and chem so thanks for that

the reason why the outflow is at the top is because the outflow hole in the box is connected to that uv sterilizer in the first pic

the powerhead usually just sucks water threw that blue sponge and threw that black tube which is were the uv light is and out the powerhead but now the water is sucking threw the filter box first then into the tube

here is a ruff picture of what im talking about


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