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Thread: Shower Media

  1. #1
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    Shower Media

    Last week I just got two new fish. The QT tank my two new fish went into is filtered by a shower with poly strapping. The strapping has been a favorite of mine for wet gravity flow barrel filters, so I wanted to give it a try in a shower.
    Ever since adding the two new fish the ammonia and nitrites have both came up to .25 ppm. I am also seeing a slight amount of nitrate. This morning is the 2nd morning showing these readings. This would not have happened with feather rock. Any time I have ever added fish with feather rock showers I have not noticed any bounce, of if so, very quick recovery.
    So I am now convinced the poly strapping is not as good as feather rock in a shower. Just wanted to pass along my findings.

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    I doubt strapping has the strength to resist falling water, unlike the rocks. So probably there is much less splashing around inside the trays. Probably a better plastic media would be 1" bioballs, biobarrels, K3, K1.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    I doubt strapping has the strength to resist falling water, unlike the rocks. So probably there is much less splashing around inside the trays. Probably a better plastic media would be 1" bioballs, biobarrels, K3, K1.
    I would agree, but I had it laying around and like to tinker so I thought I would give it a try.

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    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Steve,
    I think all of your "tinkering" is yielding some great information for all to see. Comparative performance analysis is something we all wish for but find too little of other than scattered anecdotes. Having so many different media/filter types from a single information source (you) adds value to the information you gather. Thanks for posting it up for us.

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    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    Steve,
    I think all of your "tinkering" is yielding some great information for all to see. Comparative performance analysis is something we all wish for but find too little of other than scattered anecdotes. Having so many different media/filter types from a single information source (you) adds value to the information you gather. Thanks for posting it up for us.
    Larry, I second that. I can't agree with you more that Steve has unselfishly provided the comparative performance analysis that we all need in order to know more about filtration materials so we can all be better informed and make educated decisions. Thanks, Steve!

    Steve and I chatted this morning about why the pond with strappings are showing traces of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate while ponds with feather rocks do not despite similar parameters of flow rate, filtration size, fish load, feedings, etc. We are just speculating here but we feel that it has to do with two factors: porous material and splashing/oxygenation effects. As Michael mentioned, the strappings are weak may not produce similar splashing effects compared to feather rocks.

    We also believe that there is something beneficial with the porour nature of the feather rocks. I believe that JR mentioned a while back about how feather rocks and BHM cycle much faster than other media because of the heterotrophic bacteria that rapidly build up in this type of media. I really don't know what's going on. All as I know is it works and it works quickly. Therefore, I feel that, in addition to being a good filtration material for the main pond, it also finds a niche as a filtration material for QT because of the rapid need for cycling. As far as feather rocks vs BHM comparison is concerned, this is another lengthy and arguable topic for another rainy day.

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    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Yup Lam. Great info being shared we can all benefit from.

    I think JR's posts on heterotrophic colonization add a great deal of value to the discussion as well, and only time will tell us the tale of long term performance of any media.

    One thing I'm very curious to see one of these days is the long term influence of the mineral composition of Feather Rock on system performance vs the inert media types, which would include BH ceramic and the newer glass type media. One other variable that may be difficult to quantify.

  7. #7
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    Yup Lam. Great info being shared we can all benefit from.

    I think JR's posts on heterotrophic colonization add a great deal of value to the discussion as well, and only time will tell us the tale of long term performance of any media.

    One thing I'm very curious to see one of these days is the long term influence of the mineral composition of Feather Rock on system performance vs the inert media types, which would include BH ceramic and the newer glass type media. One other variable that may be difficult to quantify.
    Bingo Larry! I am glad that someone has the same concerns as I do. Steve and I have discussed this at length and really don't know of any test to test this. I know that Steve also promotes his DIY sand/gravel filter because it is such a great filter for water polishing. He did mention that he had to refill the s/g filter with sand once in a while. I am also concerned about s/g decomposition and its effect on nishikigoi growth/skin quality. So many things to worry about.

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    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    I don't think it a "concern" to be worried about so much as a potential performance enhancement I seem to recall smectites and silicates having a beneficial reputation where sumi development is concerned...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lam Nguyen View Post
    Bingo Larry! I am glad that someone has the same concerns as I do. Steve and I have discussed this at length and really don't know of any test to test this. I know that Steve also promotes his DIY sand/gravel filter because it is such a great filter for water polishing. He did mention that he had to refill the s/g filter with sand once in a while. I am also concerned about s/g decomposition and its effect on nishikigoi growth/skin quality. So many things to worry about.
    Not really re-fill, but top off. As some times I flush them a little hard and some fines goes out with the waste water.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post

    One thing I'm very curious to see one of these days is the long term influence of the mineral composition of Feather Rock on system performance vs the inert media types, which would include BH ceramic and the newer glass type media. One other variable that may be difficult to quantify.
    Feather rock is nothing more than volcanic glass, how pure I don't know, but pretty close to BH media I would think.

    Now here's something else to chew on. I once had an old timer tell me that 100% man made filtration was bad. He felt every pond needed at least a little bit of Mother Nature in it. Besides his vortex and matts, he always had a bed of pea gravel also. I personally don't see where pea gravel would add anything but this is what he believed.

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