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Edgar

Home made "bio-balls"?

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That persone drinks far too much soda.

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I don't see how they could be unsafe, bioballs are just plastic after all. I would just make sure that if you used any of those items that they are clean.

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I just feel like watching Fargo after watching that second video...

That and i was waiting for him to put an "Eh" in.

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Interesting! I am sure it's safe, since the soda caps are food safe, but I can't see them being as effective as bio balls, since the bio balls have a much bigger surface area and also allow better water flow.

Even with the holes in the caps, they are more likely to obstruct the water flow with their "big" flat surfaces.

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Good concept. I think that it will be safe if the straws are of good quality. I'll try it. Thanks! :)

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Interesting! I am sure it's safe, since the soda caps are food safe, but I can't see them being as effective as bio balls, since the bio balls have a much bigger surface area and also allow better water flow.

Even with the holes in the caps, they are more likely to obstruct the water flow with their "big" flat surfaces.

Agreed.

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Lots of people use these and other bits and scraps of plastic in their pond filters. I have both straws and bottle caps in my "media bag." I get "lingerie bags" intended for laundry and drop these pieces in them. When I make a new filter, I toss the bags in t. Making the straws into bioballs adds little to their usefulness. It will improve the water flow.

DIY pond filters like kulukhan's http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/92363-diy-skippydoc-style-filter-assembly/ (30 gallon filter for 300 gallon pond) or the little one I made for my 50 gallon stock tank pond http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/98620-upgrading-the-instant-pond/page__pid__1195991#entry1195991 (5 gallon filter for 50 gallon pond) are typically about 10% of the volume of the pond and operate with a much lower flow than little aquarium filters, turning the pond over every 30 minutes to 2 hours.

The population of nitrifying bacteria in the filter is limited by the ammonia produced in the pond, so in a properly stocked pond or even one that is moderately overstocked, biomedia with huge surface area will not grow more bacteria that assorted pieces of plastic with only a fraction of the surface area. With a pond, it is only when one is trying to minimize the size of the filter, or when one is massively overstocked as in a "holding tank" with fish for sale, that it becomes important to use biomedia with maximal surface area and the most efficient style of filtration. With this also goes a much greater turnover rate for the water.

That's sort of the situation in an aquarium with a typical aquarium filter. The filter volume is very small, so you have to use biomedia with vast surface area and then need a high pump flow rate.

So these things are fine for big pond filters, but not for aquarium filters.

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I think i'm going to give the straws a try and see how it goes.

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:goodpost

+1 on all Shakaho said. Stuff like this will be ok in a slow turnover (and large media chamber) pond filter where, as since the BBs will only grow/spread as much as they can with their food source (Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) so even if you have a huge amount of media, only a small % will be colonised anyway.

That said, in high stock/waste production situations (Or even medium-high, like your standard 10-20gal per goldie) such as aquariums and high stock density ponds, not enough surface area would be given for the amount of bacteria needed to detoxify the waste to colonise by media like this. There is a reason we use media dense filters with huge turnovers (Ie, your standard x10 canister) with keeping goldfish in aquariums, because we need that huge surface area and huge water turnover for 1, enough BB to even colonise in the first place to cope with the waste, and 2, to move the water through the media fast enough to detoxify the waste (ammonia in particular, followed by its breakdown products. That initial ‘waste product’ has to be filtered rapidly approx 3 times before it all breaks down into less toxic compounds because there is not enough water volume to dilute it to levels manageable/not lethal by slow filtration, ie, pond filtration.) as it is produced. And even with this (considered optimal) set up, cycle crashes are still something that can be encountered, and you have little room for error with fish producing so much waste in a confined volume before it gets lethal.

Stick with media with lots of surface area on your tanks guys. This home made BB stuff could work, but you will be limiting your area or BBs to grow. If you want to experiment with this stuff it’s best done so in low stock ponds and the like, where you have plenty of room for error.

These things are fine (and excellent for getting better flow through) for big pond filters, but generally not for aquarium filters, and i would not reccomend for goldfish tanks. We simply don't have the water volume needed to be able to sacrifice BB colonised surface areas in the filters.

:twocents

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i have usually noticed that a lot of companies like to advertise how amazing their bioballs (no not a joke XD) are, and their surface area etc. I wouldnt mind going DIY filter floss etc, but i dunno about DIY bioballs. still, its some crafty thinking

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How about using smashed up terra cotta pots? I've got an old broken one that I'm turning the bottom of into a cave for my BN Pleco and I figured I'd crush the rest up for biological media.

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Neat idea, plastics in water always freak me out though.

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