Bio filter must have high surface area to volume ratio

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by jclaas, 29 May 2014.

  1. jclaas

    jclaas

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    The biological filter configuration is just an area within the system loop that contains a substrate with a high surface area to volume ratio. The more surface area, the more bacteria and the more efficient the biological filter.

    Materials we can use:

    [​IMG]
    rock and gravel

    [​IMG]
    fiber mesh pads

    [​IMG]
    bio balls

    [​IMG]
    Structured Packings

    Now i am interested to start the discussion by asking what in your opinion is the dry rock with biggest surface area to volume/mass ratio?

    We typically want a large surface area with light mass and smallest possible footprint.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2014
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  3. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    not necessarily correct,

    We have come to realise that we need to balance the effects of the biological cycle to nullify nitrate by incorporating anerobic bacteria of the correct proportion into the equation.. the items you have displayed above promote anerobic bacteria on the most part, with exception to the rock depending on density.

    my point too much of one and not enough of the other renders an imbalance in some manner...
     
  4. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    That is very true what you are saying because all the man made products i displayed such as the plastics will only provide the surface area for the nitrifying bacteria but not the denitrifying bacteria. I agree that one definitely needs to balance the equation of nitrifying VS denitifying.
    One may discover that a system needs a lot of nitrification and/or denitrification (dependent on feeding etc) so now i am thinking i must get a very porous, light weight rock that will have more area for different bacteria compared to mass and size. Like i said it must be porous with many holes.

    Now i am wondering what rock can provide that ? because i am not a fan of chemical denitrification...
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2014
  5. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    you actually want dense rock which is porus not light weight rock as this will contain a more favourable surface for aerobic bacteria a good example is kenyan (dense, bulky yet porus) vs fiji (thin, less porus more sleek).

    kenyan is better for anerobic bacteria, fiji for aerobic, its important to find a balance between the 2.

    im not a fan of chemical filtration either but mechanical (big skimmer) has never let me down...

    i like to remove the problem (doc's) before there is one...
     
  6. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    For my new build i want a open sump with only a bubble trap before the return chamber. Inside the sump i only want a filter sock, skimmer and live rock for filtration. I want to use Shauns dry rock..Your thoughts?
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    a quick reply, i use seachem's pond matrix in an old zeovit filter

    one of the best materials is sintered glass, aka siporax, i ran my tank from '90-'95 using only that and a skimmer
     
  8. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i would personally ommit the use of LR in the sump... i try not to allow dirt to settle on any filtration media as far as possible but if you use LR or base rock make sure it has plenty of flow around it.

    my personal choice of items in a sump are

    heater skimmer and return pump, at most i will add refugium. but thats whats worked for me...
     
  9. SteveZi

    SteveZi

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    my personal favourites (and made by nature) are barnacle shells and false-coral (bryozoan) skeletons.
    Both lightweight and high suface areas.

    barnacle.jpg

    rock1.jpg

    false coral.jpg
     
  10. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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  11. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    froim the article "Growth of coralline algae over the rock's surface will close off most of the small channels and passageways, largely contributing to the decline of the rock's biological filtration capacity."

    I will seed my new dry rock with my existing liverock which has many worms, but i am not going to promote coraline algae because now here above it proves my thinking that coraline closes holes :). DT will be completely bare, only fish. rock or bio media must be in sump.
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2014
  12. Chris Delport

    Chris Delport

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    I know a lot of people laugh at me but I'm still using Siporax in my sump.:)
     
  13. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    It seems to be supported right here:thumbup:
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2014
  14. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    cool, @Chris Delport uses siporax. i used it before, but thought i was dumb and only supporting a sales gimmick, now you guys are the proof!

    I want to use filter sock, only rock and skimmer in my new sump. DT will be bare
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2014
  15. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    Awesome, i definitely favor natural methods!!
     
  16. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Corraline algae rarely grows under the rocks and only really on the light facing side of the rock, although i have heard many claims that corraline is bad i have yet to see a tank crash due to it growing wildly,

    you can also employ the use of urchins to eat patches of corraline exposing the bare rock again, siporax in the sump isnt a problem at all, the issue is keeping filter material clear of settlement so that you do not smother beneficial algae...

    when we set up our systems we focuss mostly on trying to get the water rite, weve recently discovered the importance of the use of a clean up crew,

    but our systems are juveniles and will take years to evolve to a point where they are properly balanced,

    in the absence of predators, pests will arise to eat decaying food etc, when a predator is added these numbers will be kept in check according to predation and food supplied...

    its a big balancing act at which bacteria populations are the main decider of capacitys we are able to keep...
     
  17. Stanley

    Stanley

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    Sump...jpg

    I am starting up a new system, so my sump looks like this, the first compartment is where my skimmer sits. 2nd compartment i would like to add some algae in. 3rd i have bio balls at the bottom and ceramic rings on top of the balls, next door have some live rock pieces and then it runs over to my return. will this setup work as a filter??

    Sump...jpg
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2014
  18. Stanley

    Stanley

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    View attachment 19751

    I am starting up a new system, so my sump looks like this, the first compartment is where my skimmer sits. 2nd compartment i would like to add some algae in. 3rd i have bio balls at the bootom and ceramic rings ontop of the balls, next door have some live rock pieces and then it runs over to my return. will this setup work as a filter??
     
  19. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    hi stanley. your filterr pictured will work. but your media will need to be cleaned on occasion.

    I would personally remove the ceramic rings and the bio balls and add a pump for increased turbulence in the LR section
     
  20. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    Last edited: 30 May 2014
  21. jclaas

    jclaas Thread Starter

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    Above may be useful reading material.
     
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