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Any ideas for alternatives/DIY for Ceramic Noodles


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I recently made a huge invesment (well for a student).. of an ehiem ecco filter. Unlike the classic which is cheaper lol it didnt have the noodles or spray bar included.

I was wondering if anyone had some DIY ideas for something instaed of noodles as they are rather costly... ie $49.95 at the local pet store.

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I have used clothes pegs before , but found that cutting up drinking straws is alot cheaper , and you can get more surface area , garden hose is also good . If you can get some pumuce , when washed and decontaminated this is also a good alternative.

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In the end you are looking for surface area and water flow. I have heard of people being told to use drinking straws cut up, but when tried they have reduced the flow of the water through them too much. This gets worse in 'dirty' tanks that can easily clog them.

I would look for some CHEAP bio balls. Often shops that sell marine fish supplies have these very cheap.

If you 'HAVE' do use something DIY try the $2 shop and find anything that has some tubing on it and butcher it. A guy in the states uses 'plastic devils pitch forks' were he tanks the long handle and chops them up with a hack saw.

Also perhapps try a micture of different thinks of different sizes. I use EHIEM, FLUVAL and some cheapie ones I got with some cheap filter and some siporax and a few bio balls all at the same time. Can't hurt right?

Good luck and good purchase, the ECCO filters (I am an Ehiem fan) are very good and should last you a lifetime.


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take a look at this:


shotgun wadding, plastic scouring pads, foam noodles, fishing line, puréed plastic milk bottles, fake grass - i fyou can stick it in a cannister filter someone has tried it!

i was thinking perhaps scouria, roughed up PVC piping offcuts, even road grade chip - small things with large surface area will work for mechanical pre-filtration as long as they are made from substances that will not leech anything into your tank - there was a warning in the link above that shotgun wadding may be available in 'bio-degradable', in which case it could melt into your tank.

other places to try would be Para Rubber or your nearest Plastic Box/ Payless Plastics, Warehouse or local Pool shop - never know what you'll find - as Pies said, 'butcher it'. heck, you could nick off with hundreds of plastic forks from KFC and break the necks off those!

When i was filling my F404 with medium i went and purchased everything i was going to use and it cost an absolute fortune. I do however fail to see the point in replacing any of it as the tank ran for a year with 4 water changes and kept stable chemistry the entire time. After that i had to move house.

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You can smash up pumice. It has a very high surface area compared to most hard surface media. It’s also free if you can find some.

It can contain silicates and heavy metals however. After smashing it up it needs to be treated. I've used it a lot with very good success. Here's how I prepare it:

Smash the pumice into bits about 10mm in size.

Soak the pumice in acid for 1 week, stirring daily.

Rinse the pumice and soak in chlorine for 1 week.

Rinse very thoroughly.

Pumice is now ready.

The acid can be anything fairly toxic. I usually use Hydrochloric Acid since I keep some in the shed. You could use acetic acid (white vinegar) but it’s a lot weaker.

The best would probably be phosphoric acid, as it will get most of the silicates and heavy metals.

You can use any Sodium Hypochlorite based Bleach as a source of chlorine. This will help break down any remaining organic material and bleach the pumice so it is very white.

The final rinsing process consists of a very thorough rinse followed by soaking the pumice for a few days, changing the water every day. When there is no smell it is ready.

Pumice works really well but sometimes it can cause a little brown algae (due to silicates) for the first couple of months. It’s normal to get some brown algae in a new tank anyway, its just a little worse for a little longer. If you are happy to put up with this in exchange for almost free media it’s an excellent option.

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  • 4 weeks later...

is there a supply or was this a once-off?

not that i ever bother changing my filter medium... perhaps i should get another tank so i can get another filter and therefore justify getting some nice cheap filter medium! :)

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I got about 10 litres of Bio-Balls (a mixture of bio-balls and other similar media) from a member of the Auckland Reefkeeping club for nothing! The advantages of having a reef tank, all the nice friendly people willing to help you out ;)

The Hutt Pet Centre is about the best shop we have in Wellington and don't foget, show him you FNZAS afiliated club card and get 10% minimum off, including things already on special!


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  • 9 months later...

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