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7.3. Media volume

Foto van auteur

Auteur : David Bogert

Gepubliceerd :

Tijd om te lezen :
9 minuten
Difficulty : Level 6

Excerpt :

Calculating aquarium filter media volume requirements is relatively straight forward math problem.
If one works all the numbers on biofiltration media in the aquarium filter you come up with two very interesting tables.

The first table is based on the well established fact that ammonia oxidation needs 5 square feet of effective biomedia surface area per pound of fish.

Biomedia454 grams fish370 grams fish247 grams fish123 grams fish62 grams fish
Fluidized K1 (60% loading in sump)1612842
30 ppi foam in canister or sump25181263
30 ppi powerhead operated sponge25181263
30 ppi foam air-operated sponge filter29221574
Kunststof pannenspons31241684
Statische K1 media33261795
20 ppi foam in canister or sump33261795
20 ppi foam powerhead sponge filter33261795
20 ppi air stone sponge filter382919105
Powerhead operated under-gravel624631157
Aquariumgrind in potfilter of bioloog624631157
Air-operated under-gravel filter gravel725436189
Blauwe Matala-pads725436189
1/8-inch garden pumice or perlite8665432211
Bio-ballen8665432211
Alfagrog10881542714
1/2-inch lava rock14498723618
Seachem-matrix14498723618
Biohome Ultimate2161621085427
Keramische ringen2161621085427
Keramische ballen2882161447236
Geëxpandeerde kleikorrels2882161447236
Biomedia Volume ONLY ammonia oxidation

If one wants crystal clear water and healthy fish, ammonia oxidation is only a small part of the story. For heathy fish and crystal clear water one wants at least 100 square feet of surface area per pound of fish. This gives a considerably different table.

Biomedia454 grams fish370 grams fish247 grams fish123 grams fish62 grams fish
Fluidized K1 (60% loading in sump)3202401608040
30 ppi foam in canister or sump50037525012563
30 ppi powerhead operated sponge50037525012563
30 ppi foam air-operated sponge filter58043529014573
Kunststof pannenspons62046531015578
Statische K1 media66049533016583
20 ppi foam in canister or sump66049533016583
20 ppi foam powerhead sponge filter66049533016583
20 ppi air stone sponge filter75156337518894
Powerhead operated under-gravel1240930620310155
Aquariumgrind in potfilter of bioloog1240930620310155
Air-operated under-gravel filter gravel14401080720360180
Blauwe Matala-pads14401080720360180
1/8-inch garden pumice or perlite17201290860430215
Bio-ballen17201290860430215
Alfagrog216016201080540270
1/2-inch lava rock288021301420710355
Seachem-matrix288021301420710355
Biohome Ultimate4320324021601080540
Keramische ringen4320324021601080540
Keramische ballen5760432028801440720
Geëxpandeerde kleikorrels5760432028801440720
Biomedia volume CRYSTAL CLEAR water

Most of the media represent what a media will do in a canister, sump or hang-on-back filter. We’ve added 30 ppi and 20 ppi sponge filters and an undergravel filter gravel as media.

It has to be emphasized that these tables apply for fish fed at a 1.5% feeding load of typical commercial dry fish food. This is typical for adult fish. Obviously if one uses a 3% feeding (juvenile fish) load will require twice the media. If you feed your fish per the directions on most fish food containers (“what they can eat in five minutes three times a day“) you will need like ten times the media.

Melanochromis chipokae
Melanochromis chipokae

Depending on what your goals are for your aquarium, only ammonia oxidation or crystal clear, healthy water, one can now calculate the media needs for any given aquarium. The only missing piece is the weight of the fish.

One surprisingly accurate way to tell the weight in grams is to multiply the length by the width by the height in inches (I know, we’re mixing measurement systems but that the rule!).

Each calculated cubic inch is 10 grams of fish. So:

  • a “normal fish” a five inch peacock (including tail) is 5 inches by 1.5 inches tall by half an inch wide gives 5×1.5×0.5=3.75 and 3.75x 10=37.5 grams.
  • A five inch discus (including tail) which is 3.5 inches high and 3/8ths of an inch wide is 5×3.5×0.375=6.6 and 6.6×10=66 grams.
  • A five inch fancy goldfish is 5×1.6×1.6=12.8 and 12.8×10=128 grams.

We will use what researchers have found. Researchers have compiled lists of the weights of very many fish and set up an equation to calculate the weight of the “average” fish. Using the equations and correction factors a table is easily set up for the “average” fish.

Lengte inchLengte CentimeterGewicht GramMetabolisch gewicht gram
12.540.321
1.253,189.642
1.53.811.13
1.754,441.85
25.082.57
2.255,723.7310
2.56.355.1214
2.756,986.8118
37.628.8622
410.162147
512.74182
615.2470.5113
717.78112140
820.32167167
922.86239239
1025.4328328
1230.48581581

The “metabolic” weight reflects the fact that small fish swim much more than large fish, burn up far more calories, and thus give a lot more bioload per gram of fish than do large fish. But note this has to be tempered by the shape of the fish and how active they are.

A wide bodied fancy goldfish can weigh three times what its length says it should weigh. A slow moving catfish will only have the actual weight, not the metabolic weight. Surprisingly tall fish like discus and angelfish are only twice the weight of a similar “normal” fish shape. But also note that long flowing fins like a guppy has have to be ignored in the length calculation. All these considerations makes knowing the actual weight kind of a guessing game.

OB Aulonocara
OB Aulonocara

If one were starting out and put together a typical aquarium with a bottom to top flow hang-on-back filter, what would be the minimum amount of each type of biomedia one could have?

Let’s assume the stocking was a community aquarium with three 3″ angelfish, two bristle nosed plecos, and one opaline gourami. Because the angelfish are tall one has to multiply 22 by 2. So three angelfish are 132 grams, a 4″ bristle nosed pleco is only 21 grams because he moves very slow, and one 4″ opaline gourami is 47 grams. This is 132+21+47 = right about 221 grams.

Let us say you have a bottom to top flow hang on back with 10 inches by 2 inches by 8 inches of room for media. That is 160 cubic inches (10 x 2 x 8). What will be the media you can use for ONLY ammonia oxidation with 221 grams of fish? Note the gallons of water and GPH is immaterial.

So the chart goes to this:

Biomedia454 grams fish370 grams fish247 grams fish123 grams fish62 grams fish
Fluidized K1 (60% loading in sump)
30 ppi foam in canister or sump12
30 ppi powerhead operated sponge
30 ppi foam air-operated sponge filter
Kunststof pannenspons16
Statische K1 media17
20 ppi foam in canister or sump17
20 ppi foam powerhead sponge filter
20 ppi air stone sponge filter
Powerhead operated under-gravel31
Aquariumgrind in potfilter of bioloog
Air-operated under-gravel filter gravel36
Blauwe Matala-pads36
1/8-inch garden pumice or perlite43
Bio-ballen43
Alfagrog54
1/2-inch lava rock72
Seachem-matrix72
Biohome Ultimate108
Keramische ringen108
Keramische ballen144
Geëxpandeerde kleikorrels144
HOB 220 gms only ammonia

Ammonia oxidation is EASY and all the media in an HOB will do the job for this 200 gram fish aquarium.

Melanochromis maingano
Melanochromis maingano

Now let us say that we have the same situation: a bottom to top flow hang-on-back with 160 cubic inches and roughly 221 grams of fish. What is the media which will give us CRYSTAL CLEAR, BACTERIA FREE, HEALTHY WATER?

Biomedia454 grams fish370 grams fish247 grams fish123 grams fish62 grams fish
Fluidized K1 (60% loading in sump)
30 ppi foam in canister or sump
30 ppi powerhead operated sponge
30 ppi foam air-operated sponge filter
Kunststof pannenspons
Statische K1 media
20 ppi foam in canister or sump
20 ppi foam powerhead sponge filter
20 ppi air stone sponge filter
Powerhead operated under-gravel
Aquariumgrind in potfilter of bioloog
Air-operated under-gravel filter gravel
Blauwe Matala-pads
1/8-inch garden pumice or perlite
Bio-ballen
Alfagrog
1/2-inch lava rock
Seachem-matrix
Biohome Ultimate
Keramische ringen
Keramische ballen
Geëxpandeerde kleikorrels
HOB 200 gms crystal clear

That’s right: there is NO media which will give crystal clear water with a typical moderate loading of fish and a typical bottom to top flow HOB filter.

Cochliodon soniae L 137 pleco
Cochliodon soniae – Pleco – L137

Doing some other situations:

So let us say you have an aquarium with a fully grown 11 inch Oscar that weighs over 450 grams (about one pound). And you have a large canister with 700 cubic inches (3 gallons, 0.4 cubic feet, 11 liters). What media will give you crystal clear water that will keep hole-in-the-head at bay?

Biomedia454 grams fish370 grams fish247 grams fish123 grams fish62 grams fish
Fluidized K1 (60% loading in sump)
30 ppi foam in canister or sump500
30 ppi powerhead operated sponge
30 ppi foam air-operated sponge filter
Kunststof pannenspons620
Statische K1 media660
20 ppi foam in canister or sump
20 ppi foam powerhead sponge filter
20 ppi air stone sponge filter
Powerhead operated under-gravel
Aquariumgrind in potfilter of bioloog
Air-operated under-gravel filter gravel
Blauwe Matala-pads
1/8-inch garden pumice or perlite
Bio-ballen
Alfagrog
1/2-inch lava rock
Seachem-matrix
Biohome Ultimate
Keramische ringen
Keramische ballen
Geëxpandeerde kleikorrels
Biomedia Amount of One Oscar

Per the above only 30 ppi foam, plastic pot scrubbers and static K1 media will give an Oscar complete freedom from the POSSIBILITY of hole-in-the-head syndrome. Note the gallons of water in the aquarium and the GPH are immaterial.

Neolamprologus pulcher Brichardi
Neolamprologus pulcher- Brichardi

So let us say you have an aquarium with 123 grams of fish. And you have a canister with 700 cubic inches (3 gallons, 0.4 cubic feet, 11 liters). What media will give you crystal clear water? Per the below all media except Biohome and ceramic rings will do that. Note the gallons of water in the aquarium and the GPH are immaterial.

Biomedia454 grams fish370 grams fish247 grams fish123 grams fish62 grams fish
Fluidized K1 (60% loading in sump)
30 ppi foam in canister or sump125
30 ppi powerhead operated sponge
30 ppi foam air-operated sponge filter
Kunststof pannenspons155
Statische K1 media165
20 ppi foam in canister or sump165
20 ppi foam powerhead sponge filter
20 ppi air stone sponge filter
Powerhead operated under-gravel
Aquariumgrind in potfilter of bioloog310
Air-operated under-gravel filter gravel
Blauwe Matala-pads360
1/8-inch garden pumice or perlite430
Bio-ballen430
Alfagrog540
1/2-inch lava rock
Seachem-matrix
Biohome Ultimate
Keramische ringen
Keramische ballen
Geëxpandeerde kleikorrels
Biomedia Amount 123 grams Canister

Again, it has to be emphasized that these tables apply for fish fed at a 1.5% feeding load of typical commercial dry fish food. 1.5% is typical for adult fish. Obviously if one uses a 3% feeding (juvenile fish) load will require twice the media.

Hypancistrus sp. L 201 pleco
Hypancistrus sp. – Pleco – L201

Een illustratie

Here is a comment to this web page (https://aquariumscience.org) and its answer:

Paul

I have a 75-gallon community tank with an EHEIM 2217 canister filter. I’m planning to replace all the EHEIM filter media with Swiss Tropical 20 PPI Poret foam. I’m thinking of having 5 foam pads, each 2” thick and 7” in diameter. Would this give me the 220 sq. ft of effective surface area mentioned in your chart? Using one of your other charts, I calculate that I have 0.75 lbs of fish. Using the 100 sq. ft for 1 lb. of fish metric, I would think I’ll be able to easily accommodate more fish – is that right? I’m planning to use your recommendation to squeeze liquid from the existing filter pads onto the new pads to jump start the cycling of the new foam. How long do you think I should wait before adding more fish? Thanks for your help.

Dave

Oké, je hebt een cilinder van tien centimeter lang en zeven centimeter in diameter. V = πr2 h π x 3.5 x 3.5 x 10 = 384 This will give one 384 cubic inches of 20 ppi foam. 12x12x12 is 1,728 So you will have 384/1,728 or 0.222 cubic feet. 0.222 x 220 = 49 square feet. So you can do 0.49 pounds of fish at the 100 square foot per pound of fish metric. At the current time you are at (0.49×100)/0.75 = 65 square feet per pound of fish. 65 square feet is good, but it isn’t 100 square feet. So you cannot accommodate more fish.

En je kunt meteen vissen toevoegen en ze gewoon een paar weken niet voeren of letterlijk wachten zolang je je prettig voelt. Ik voeg vijvermodder toe (zie het artikel over het "volwassen aquarium") en wacht minimaal zes weken, maar ik ben een beetje gek.

Symphysodon aequifasciatus – Discusvis
Symphysodon aequifasciatus - Discus

Nog een voorbeeld van berekeningen van aquarium filtermedia

This exchange is from the comments section of this website (https://aquariumscience.org):

Vraag #1

"Hoi,
Ik zoek naar duidelijkheid over 'Vierkante voet biomedia-oppervlakte'. Ik overweeg de 5″ Poret® Foam Sheets (26 × 19.5″ Sheet) en vraag me af wat de berekeningen zouden zijn voor kubieke vierkante meter? Ik ben van plan om de '10 ft2/gallon water' OF '100 ft2/pond vis' uit te voeren.”

Antwoord #1

“To calculate the volume the math is 5 inch x 26 inch x 19.5 inch / 12 inch x 12 inch x 12inch = 1.47 cubic feet per sheet of Poret® Foam. With a 20 ppi Poret® foam (what I recommend) which has about 220 square feet of effective surface area per cubic foot, this is 1.47 x 220 = 323 square feet. So If you use the whole sheet of Poret® you can support roughly 3.23 pounds of fish in a healthy environment (100 square feet of surface area per pound of fish). And I don’t recommend “10 ft2/gallon of water”. Go ONLY with the “100 ft2/pound of fish”.

A other one:

Vraag #2

“Heel erg bedankt voor het antwoord, maar ik ben nog steeds in de war. In wezen vraag ik me af hoeveel – 5″ diepe x 26″ lange x 19,5″ hoge Poret® Schuimplaten, heb ik nodig voor 13,2 lbs. van vis (24 × 8.8 oz Discus of 24 x 8.8/16)?”

Antwoord #2

“The calculation for 13.2 pounds of fish is 13.2 pounds divided by 3.23 pounds equals four sheets of 5″ deep x 26″ long x 19.5″ high Poret® Foam”

Deze voorbeelden illustreren het proces heel goed.

photo of a Tanganyika Cichlid Tropheus duboisi maswa
Tanganyika Cichlid – Tropheus duboisi maswa

Sump Considerations

If one is doing the calculations for a sump one should be aware that fluidized bed K1 is roughly 58% more efficient than static 30 ppi foam as far as filtration. The effective surface area considerations are that fluidized K1 is 900 square feet per cubic foot of media. At 60% loading this becomes 540 square feet per cubic foot of sump filter.

Foam with 30 pores per inch has a surface area of 340 square feet per cubic foot. 540/340= 1.58

Buccochromis rhoadesii
Buccochromis rhoadesii

Nog een andere illustratie:

Vraag:

Hoe bereken je het oppervlak van media die word gebruikt voor biologische filtratie? Ik heb bijvoorbeeld 30 potwassers en wat schuim in een Fluval 407 potfilter op een tank van 75 gallon.

Reply:

OK Each pot scrubber is roughly nine cubic inches of media (large pot scrubbers???). 9×30/12x12x12 = 0.156 cubic feet. Pot scrubbers are 260 square feet per cubic foot media (I could be off on that). 0.156x 260 = 40 square feet from the pot scrubbers. If I remember right a 407 has a piece of 30 ppi foam that is 10 inches x 1 inch x 14 inches. 10x1x12/12x12x12= 0.081 cubic feet. Foam is about 340 square feet per cubic feet 0.081×340 = 27.5 square feet. 27.5 + 40 = 67.5 square feet. That is just off the top of my head. You need to correct the numbers depending on the size of your pot scrubbers and the true size of the 407 foam.

Verder onderzoek

Er zijn enkele aquarium hobbyisten die geïnteresseerd zijn om diep in de wetenschap en de berekeningen achter alle aspecten van de hobby te duiken. Voor degenen die daartoe geneigd zijn, is het volgende van belang:

7.6. Required Aquarium Filter Media Surface Area