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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, so I have had this 5 gallon tank set up for about 4 weeks now. It came with this crappy filter built into the hood so I decided to see if I could make my own.
Here is the new setup.


Here is the filter I set up.

What I did was take out the filter pad and filled the space with the bio ball like things (I dont know what they are called). I then took out the bio wheel and put a filter pad there that has the activating carbon in it. From there the water goes onto some more bio balls and then goes back into the tank.

Will this filter work good or should I go back to the original filter.
 

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I think those are ceramic rings. I only have one suggestion. The activated carbon will be exhausted and need to be removed quite often and you do not want it where you cannot get to the supply you have in there easily so I would make sure that it is the easiest part of the filter to remove. Like at the top of the container. All that needs to happen with the carbon is that the water move through it. It exhausts itself very fast, actually only being effective for a matter of days not weeks where your ceramic rings are a permanent fixture and not ever to be washed or cleaned. That is where the beneficial bacteria will grow and if you disturb them you will be cleaning away your cycle. So you want them where you will not bother them. Maybe you need to put them in one of the small mesh bags that they make so that if you need to clean around them you can simply slip it out and leave the bag of ceramic rings in the water where they will never dry out and kill the cycle. The ceramic rings will be the MOST important part of you filter as that is the life and heart of your filter and the thing that will make it work. So far as I can see if you have a mechanism making the water flow through the thing you have built you have all the makings for the three types of filtration.

Chemical...activated Charcoal
Biological...ceramic rings with the bacterial bed growing on it.
Mechanical...pump the water through the carbon and rings.

That would provide all the necessities. OK!!

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply Chick. The filter pad with the carbon in it comes out very easily without disturbing the ceramic rings at all, you cant tell from the picture but it is the way its set up. But I do see what your saying about putting them into a bag. I was planning on changing the filter pad about every two weeks, will that be enough? misspelled
 

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I think it will be unless you start to have a problem with green algae and then you know that it is probably helping that along by releasing phosphates into your tank. Then I would replace it every 10 days or so to see if that helps some. I personally do not even use activated carbon unless I am removing medication from my tanks or once in a while to improve the clarity of the water. It just doesn't add that much to the process and can add problems if you leave it there for too long. The really important part is the biological part and you can do the mechanical part without carbon by getting a good piece of blue bonded fiber pad and it does not have to be removed as quickly and can be rinsed and reused. You will find it at: Aquarium Mechanical Filtration Media: Blue Bonded Filter Pads at a very reasonable price and it goes a LONG way.

Rose
 

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My name is Rose. I am a she. Thanks Austin.

Rose
 

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rather then the filter pads you could also look into using filter floss or even quilt batting for your mechanical filtration.
good call modifying that filter though.
 
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