Use of Bio Ball filter media (Submerged)

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Use of Bio Ball filter media (Submerged)

Postby Rohan » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:54 am

Hello guys we all are aware of bio balls as filter media. Bio balls basically act as biological media which helps in colonisation of beneficial bacteria by providing them large surface area. But many says they are more efficient when used in wet/dry or trickle filter which means that they are not efficient when used fully submerged. What are your views regarding these?
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby neilaqua93 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:03 pm

Based on what I've researched, bioballs work best in a super oxygenated environment. In a trickle filter this is easily achieved. I think for submerged my best guess is to run a big airstone for similar effect. I maybe wrong , just a hunch.
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby Rohan » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:17 pm

If super oxygenated environment is the criteria then if sufficient flow is available in the area where they are submerged, this should fulfill the requirement, isn't so?
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby Rohan » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:19 pm

The airstone method couldn't be used in a canister filter. So in case of canister filters what's their effectiveness?
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby mr_feynman » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:51 pm

I ran a curtain of air strips over them in of my sump baffle -- they create a tumbling motion along with the pot scrubies there in.
The key is :
1. super oxygenated water
2. No stagnancy which can build up detritus and make them do malfunction!
3. high flow to penetrate interiors of the bio-ball structure


Rohan wrote:The airstone method couldn't be used in a canister filter. So in case of canister filters what's their effectiveness?


That's why it rare to see bio-balls in canister design!
They take much space and less area per volume than any canister can afford -- so seachem matrix or marine-pure kind of materials are more suited to them.
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby mr_feynman » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:55 pm

In my present planted set-up still I do have a 2.5" baffle reserved for bio-balls and aim an air strip at them only at night as this is a planted tank.
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby Rohan » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:14 am

mr_feynman wrote:I ran a curtain of air strips over them in of my sump baffle -- they create a tumbling motion along with the pot scrubies there in.
The key is :
1. super oxygenated water
2. No stagnancy which can build up detritus and make them do malfunction!
3. high flow to penetrate interiors of the bio-ball structure


Rohan wrote:The airstone method couldn't be used in a canister filter. So in case of canister filters what's their effectiveness?


That's why it rare to see bio-balls in canister design!
They take much space and less area per volume than any canister can afford -- so seachem matrix or marine-pure kind of materials are more suited to them.


The fact is that bacteria(aerobic) needs surface area to colonize and food and high oxygen to thrive. Now the flow inside the canister will be enough to meet these requirements. So why wouldn't bio balls be effective?
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby mr_feynman » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:17 pm

Rohan wrote:
mr_feynman wrote:I ran a curtain of air strips over them in of my sump baffle -- they create a tumbling motion along with the pot scrubies there in.
The key is :
1. super oxygenated water
2. No stagnancy which can build up detritus and make them do malfunction!
3. high flow to penetrate interiors of the bio-ball structure


Rohan wrote:The airstone method couldn't be used in a canister filter. So in case of canister filters what's their effectiveness?


That's why it rare to see bio-balls in canister design!
They take much space and less area per volume than any canister can afford -- so seachem matrix or marine-pure kind of materials are more suited to them.


The fact is that bacteria(aerobic) needs surface area to colonize and food and high oxygen to thrive. Now the flow inside the canister will be enough to meet these requirements. So why wouldn't bio balls be effective?


Bio-balls are effective in canister if you consider the flow of oxygenated water -- but considering the media volume space a canister can offer compared to a sump set-up, it is wise to use other porous material of compact size, e.g. matrix, small lava pebbles etc.
Seachem says,
Each liter of Matrix™ provides as much surface (>~700 m2) as 170 liters of plastic balls!

Now think, can you fit 170 bio-balls in your canister!!!

If you closely follow Eheim sites for media you can see that they don't have any bio-ball materials!
They are mainly:
Mechanical - mainly ceramic noddles
Bio-Mech - hybrid of bio and mech - special ceramic design
Biological - looks like aqua clay balls and seachem matrix like ceramic
Adsorptive - carbon
and Chemical - torf pellets (peat) & phosphateOut (iron compound)

One thing, when I first see their site, I noticed they use ceramic noddles as mech! Then I understood by reading forums and their site itself that, the noodle structure is such so that larger particles get trapped whereas water passes easily through them with finer particles and then hits the bio filter region and lastly through a polishing foam pad. This ensures perfect flow rate though the canister system and very unlikely to clog the canister in a short period of time.
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media

Postby Rohan » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:47 pm

Bio-balls are effective in canister if you consider the flow of oxygenated water -- but considering the media volume space a canister can offer compared to a sump set-up, it is wise to use other porous material of compact size, e.g. matrix, small lava pebbles etc.
Seachem says,
Each liter of Matrix™ provides as much surface (>~700 m2) as 170 litres of plastic balls!
Now think, can you fit 170 bio-balls in your canister!!!



So It can be concluded from the above facts that bio balls can be used in canister filter. But due to space complexity we may want to use any alternative space saving media.
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Re: Use of Bio Ball filter media (Submerged)

Postby Murtazadhanera » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:47 pm

Try MarinePure, one cube is equivalent to 1350 plus bioballs in terms of actual usable surface area for the bacteria to colonize. Have used it, swear on it. Gone are the days for bioballs
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