Are these filters beneficial at all or did I throw these together for nothing?

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SR245
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Are these filters beneficial at all or did I throw these together for nothing?

Post by SR245 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:39 pm

So I was looking for a way to cut down on having to do water changes as often as I need to (I am a very lazy,starving college student) and to put my mind at ease a bit about that last part on the Prime bottle's directions about the chlorine and chloramine being able to be "filtered out" by most filtration systems.

I saw a lot of diy airline filters on YT so I figured one afternoon I'll give it a try and make one in miniature for the pools.

The question remains are these effective? If they are how often do I do water changes?

Notes from the week long experiment. The sponge in the top is supposed to trap ammonia as the box claims and the solid media does nitrate/ite and toxin filtration supposedly. The filter sponge did get dirty during the week I had it running so I at least know that there is positive water pressure in the tube. ImageImage

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aussieJJDude
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Re: Are these filters beneficial at all or did I throw these together for nothing?

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:13 pm

It's a little hard to make out, but what media does it have in there? Ideally you want something thats rather porous, such as lava rock - its cheap! - or a course grade sponge. This is where the majority of the bacteria will grow. While bacteria will grow in the filter wool, this is pretty much just used to remove floating matter of the water, and ideally should be changed out once it accumulates waste - or washed out - to help reduce organic matter in the tank.

For the size of the pools, as well as the amount of organic life, I do think your DIY air driven filter will work.


I'm not sure how familiar you are with fishkeeping, but I do want to stress some important things just in case:
- If you are not using established media from a - healthy - fish tank (aka, it contains bacteria), it can take a good couple of weeks for the pools to cycle. To keep that in mind, I would still do large scale waterchanges every couple of days min until any bacterial colonies have established.
- When cleaning out the filter, wash in dechlorinated water - the old water used during a water change is great for this! - and never in water that contains chlorine. Chlorine can and will kill bacteria, effectively starting your cycle back at square one. Usually the media will take on a different colouration - for example, if it is white it may turn brown/orange/grey, which is usually the sign of bacteria... That is good. You just want to remove solid waste to ensure channelling of water doesn't develop, reducing efficiency. :)
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Topic author
SR245
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:31 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Are these filters beneficial at all or did I throw these together for nothing?

Post by SR245 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:57 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:It's a little hard to make out, but what media does it have in there? Ideally you want something thats rather porous, such as lava rock - its cheap! - or a course grade sponge. This is where the majority of the bacteria will grow. While bacteria will grow in the filter wool, this is pretty much just used to remove floating matter of the water, and ideally should be changed out once it accumulates waste - or washed out - to help reduce organic matter in the tank.

For the size of the pools, as well as the amount of organic life, I do think your DIY air driven filter will work.


I'm not sure how familiar you are with fishkeeping, but I do want to stress some important things just in case:
- If you are not using established media from a - healthy - fish tank (aka, it contains bacteria), it can take a good couple of weeks for the pools to cycle. To keep that in mind, I would still do large scale waterchanges every couple of days min until any bacterial colonies have established.
- When cleaning out the filter, wash in dechlorinated water - the old water used during a water change is great for this! - and never in water that contains chlorine. Chlorine can and will kill bacteria, effectively starting your cycle back at square one. Usually the media will take on a different colouration - for example, if it is white it may turn brown/orange/grey, which is usually the sign of bacteria... That is good. You just want to remove solid waste to ensure channelling of water doesn't develop, reducing efficiency. :)
I'm not that familiar with fish keeping so I was wondering how long it would take for the bacteria to colonize, ty for answering that.

I don't have porus solid media rn. I'm using zeolite and activated charcoal pebbles and I'm a little bummed now because I changed out the old sponge after the first week.

I did do a 2/3 water change half way into that week, so from now on I will do that and keep the water for washing the sponges and media.

I've been using a pipette to suck up any solid poop without disturbing it too much and liquefying the carb turds, is this enough to keep the organic matter levels down?

Will I need plants to help cycle the nitrogen or will the filter media and bacteria do most of that?

Btw many thanks for the informative reply.

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Re: Are these filters beneficial at all or did I throw these together for nothing?

Post by wodesorel » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:54 pm

Petco and Petsmart do free water testing for aquariums. You can always bring in a water sample and see what's going on with the water quality without having to purchase a testing kit.

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Re: Are these filters beneficial at all or did I throw these together for nothing?

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:22 pm

IMO, skip the charcoal. While they great at absorbing molecules in the water, once used up, they will release whatever they absorb right back into the water and require to be changed out every couple of weeks.

And yes, spot cleaning for waste will keep organics down.


Not really needed to add plants. Bacteria do the long haul of converting ammonia into nitrate (by using nitrite as an intermediate step). Nitrate is far less toxic than both ammonia and nitrite, and is removed by waterchanges. While plants to utilise ammonia (and nitrate... or either all), they certainly not required for a healthy cycle. Keep in mind, whatever plant you add, you have to ensure they receiving enough nutrients and lighting in order to actually use any nitrogen source effectively.

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Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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