28 November 2007

Setting up a CRS tank - Step 5

Canister Filter and Filter Media

Step# 5
- Pro Hobbyists like to use canister filter as compared to other filter system. This is due to the fact that canister filter can provide the best biological filter system. A good filter system will maintain a balance in the Nitrogen Cycle.

Choose a canister filter that has a two to three times flow rate of the total water volume in your tank. For example, if the total water volume in your tank is 100 liters, choose a canister that has a flow rate of 300 liters/per hour.

The brand and type of filter media used in the canister filter is a closely guarded secret of many Pro Hobbyists. A typical canister filter has a few filter layers or chambers that the water will pass through in sequence; Mechanical, Biological and Chemical/ Adsorptive chambers. Water will pass through these chambers, get "purified" and return as clean water to the tank. Check the manufacturer user manual to find out the layout of the chambers in your canister filter system.

Tip# Soak and rise your newly purchase filter media before using.

Mechanical - Remove Particles

Mechanical filter media works like a mesh trapping particulate wastes as they pass through the filter chambers.

In this chamber, I use Mr. Aqua Ceramic Ring (S Size) at the bottom to filter large particles. Alternative you can use Eheim Mech Filter Media. Next I put a piece of Japanese mat on top to filter medium size particles. Follow by a cotton wool pad which filters small fine particles. You can use two pieces of cotton wool pad to further filter away tiny particles.

Biological - Encourage growth of BB

The Biological chamber is to provide the largest surface area for the Nitrifying Bacteria (Also known as Beneficial Bacteria) to grow and thrive.

In this chamber, I use Rein BioHome Sintered Glass filter media. You can use Sera Siporax as an alternative filter media if BioHome is unavailable. Sintered Glass has one of the highest surface area and is the most suitable media to house bacteria.

Chemical/Adsorptive - Remove Chemicals

The Chemical/Adsorptive chamber provides the removal of medications or additives and odor.

I will fill this chamber with 80% Mr. Aqua Ceramic Ring (M Size). This is to provide the additional bacteria colonies that CRS need. The remaining 20% is to fill up with Adsorptive media.

Tip# Pro Hobbyists add Active Carbon as an Adsorptive in this chamber. Not all Active Carbon is suitable, insist on only those made from natural ingredients. Remember to change the Active Carbon regularly as recommended by the manufacturer.

For Active Carbon, I choose Mr. Aqua Bamboo Carbon together with an additional cotton wool pad. You can use Sera Super Carbon as an alternative Active Carbon on shrimps. Please do not add any other Chemical/Adsorptive media besides Active Carbon. CRS are very sensitive to chemicals and you will most probably kill it.

Connect the canister filter to the tank and fill it with de-chlorinated water. Let the new canister filter run.

No comments: