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The Goldfish Gazette, Issue #006 -- How Aquarium Filter Media Works
July 01, 2014
Goldfish Care Tips and Guidelines
A Free Monthly Resource For Goldfish Enthusiasts
In this issue
Once you have selected your filter, you need to fill it with the right filter media otherwise it won't be able to do its job properly.
How Aquarium Filter Media Works
We know from last month's E-Zine that a filter's job is not to filter dirt particles from aquarium water but to remove dangerous waste, and a secondary benefit of this is the water becomes clear.
If the wrong type of media is put in a filter, or the media is put in the wrong area of the filter, rapid clogging will result with the filter struggling to work efficiently.
I recently pulled apart a brand new canister filter I was fixing for an aquarium shop and noticed it had come with filter media.
If this filter was purchased by someone who didn't know much about filters, they would assume the manufacturer knew what they were doing and leave the media where it was.
This setup would be totally unsuitable for messy goldfish.
A more suitable arrangement of the media would be to put some large media in the bottom tray, move the charcoal to the top tray and leave out the second foam pad or place it in the top tray with the other pad when the charcoal was removed. (The top tray was designed for two pads).
The Job of Each Media Layer
I will describe the job of the media for a typical canister filter with a bottom up water flow.
Smaller filters often come with an open cell foam pad which takes up all or most of the filter. These filters are fine for small setups, but larger aquariums need filters a little more substantial, with the correct filter media installed.
The following principles apply for any filter that has room for more than one type of media.
1. Large (pre-filter) media - This media's job is to slow the water flow through the media by spreading it across the filter body. It is placed in the filter so that it is the first media water hits after it enters the filter.
2. Medium media - Placed in the middle section of filters, this is the first layer designed to be colonized by large numbers of bacteria.
3. Open cell foam pad - Placed in the last section of most filters. The pad is also designed to be colonized by large numbers of bacteria. The pads quickly clog if there is no other filter media before them.
Other Media Options
Some aquarist decide that instead of buying filter media, they will use some other material they have on hand.
If you use aquarium gravel in the middle section of your filter, it won't be colonized by as many bacterial because of its smooth surface.
Be very careful about using any rough pebbles as filter media because they often leach out heavy metals.
Filter media has been developed over many years, so as long as you buy the big brand products you can be confident it will work.
What's New On The Website
Aquarium Filter Media
I've added a page on aquarium filter media.
Here is the link…Aquarium Filter Media.
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think, or what topics you want covered.
Next Month’s TopicRaising goldfish fry.
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