What do you use for biofall media?


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Hi all
What is the consensus on biofall media? Sorry if this is not the right place to ask this question. I had a bag of lava rock put in the falls when the pond was built. I added a bag of the plastic bioballs to that. I have heard some people say the lava rock is old school and the pours in the rock get clogged up and provide less surface area for the bacteria over time. I have another bag of bioballs. I am curious to here what people like to use. I was thinking of removing rock and replacing with the bioballs. Any thoughts?
Thanks Rookie pod owner
 
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Mmathis

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I like bioballs. I also like Matalla filter media. I have a lot of it cut up in my Skippy. Lots of surface area, and super easy to clean.
 
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I think you'll find a variety of answers to that one @SEKCOBRA . I personally don't have a biofilter on my pond (just the bog) but I know some folks here swear by lava rocks and others use bioballs. Some make their own media out of dish scrubbies or cut up pieces of plastic bottle. Basically whatever works best and is easiest for you would be my recommendation!
 
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Mine came with a box of spiral tape media. It was mesmerizing to watch it uncoil!
 
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I think you'll find a variety of answers to that one @SEKCOBRA . I personally don't have a biofilter on my pond (just the bog) but I know some folks here swear by lava rocks and others use bioballs. Some make their own media out of dish scrubbies or cut up pieces of plastic bottle. Basically whatever works best and is easiest for you would be my recommendation!
That made me think of the member who used some sort of scotch brand scrubber on her rocks -- didn't we speculate the biodegradable material might have been harmful to her fish? (Made from agave fibers or something?) Don't use that kind! Eeeeek!
 
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Don't use that kind! Eeeeek!
Yeah - people use the plain old dollar store plastic scrubbies. Like grandma used to use - haha!

Although I still wonder - scrubbing a liner and refilling a pond with tap water isn't exactly easy on fish, either. So who knows?
 
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sissy

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cheap lava rock ,it has been used for a long time and my dad when I was kid used it on our pond .
 
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cheap lava rock ,it has been used for a long time and my dad when I was kid used it on our pond .
I used lava rock for years and it did fine, I switched to bags of swirly plastic strips because I too was told it'd be best than lava rock, light weight, doesn't clog...well they forgot to mention how easy it breaks down! I find pieces everywhere, I hate it and I'm getting rid of it!
My new pond bio fall has all Matala pads, I believe 2 black laying flat on the bottom and then 14 (?) vertical green ones, to fill the rest of the space.
Next year I will do the same in my existing pond, but I'm not sure I will use black on bottom and green vertical, it depends how well the green ones work out in the other pond, if they don't, I might try doing the opposite: 2 horizontal green on the bottom and use the black for the vertical.

PS I'm still not convinced that it makes a difference if the pads are placed flat or vertical if they cover the same space volume, but I'm willing to give it a try
 
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Yeah - people use the plain old dollar store plastic scrubbies. Like grandma used to use - haha!

Although I still wonder - scrubbing a liner and refilling a pond with tap water isn't exactly easy on fish, either. So who knows?
I just got back from Walmart and happened to be in the dish soap aisle. They had those Dobie scrubbers and I looked on the back. It does say "Not for aquarium use." We should probably make a special warning post about this somewhere. I asked on the "Amazon community" out of curiosity, whether the scrubbers were impregnated with any cleansers. All said no. So it really must be something in the scrubby material. Just crazy! And yes -- good ol' Dollar Store scrubbies, all the way! :D
 

Mmathis

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@Gemma For a while I used some blue AC/furnace filters (from Lowe’s), and they were notorious for breaking down. That’s why I’m now a fan of Matalla. Lots of surface area, good flow-through, and super easy to clean!

@bagsmom You are so right! There needs to be a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT! I know that people have been using various scrubbies for years with no problem (I have a few in my Skippy, as well), so wonder what is different with them now — and if it’s certain brands or all of them. And because “scrubbies” have become ubiquitous throughout the pond community, many people might use them without ever thinking to read the label — blindly trusting us for advice. :shifty::grumpy:

What was the plant? Agave? And you do have to wonder WHY the companies would specify “do not use in aquariums.” They obviously know something. It’s like pineapple and Jell-o. They tell you not to use fresh pineapple, but I went almost my entire life not knowing why (it’s due to an enzyme that interacts with gelatin).
 
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I used lava rock for years and it did fine, I switched to bags of swirly plastic strips because I too was told it'd be best than lava rock, light weight, doesn't clog...well they forgot to mention how easy it breaks down! I find pieces everywhere, I hate it and I'm getting rid of it!
What brand of plastic strips did you use Gemma? I have used Spring-flo for years and actually still have the batch that came with our 1st Savio- over 15 years ago. They say you have to replace it after about 5 years- nope! I did order some straping from Ebay years ago, it got mushy.
 
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What brand of plastic strips did you use Gemma? I have used Spring-flo for years and actually still have the batch that came with our 1st Savio- over 15 years ago. They say you have to replace it after about 5 years- nope! I did order some straping from Ebay years ago, it got mushy.
I have no idea, the contractor that worked on my pond 2yrs ago threw 2 bags of them in each Fall, at first I liked the light weight when I picked them up to rinse the following Spring, but that joy was short lived once I started seeing pieces everywhere! If they have a tag it wasn't obvious to me, it looked like a plain net bag, with no writings on it
 
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I read an article or watched a video that said "bio-balls" are basically worthless as far as surface area is concerned. I need to find it again...
 
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I read an article or watched a video that said "bio-balls" are basically worthless as far as surface area is concerned. I need to find it again...
What kept me from trying the bio balls was the uncertainty of how it would be hosing them off at cleaning time, I thought they might spin out of control and not get cleaned at all.
 
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My sand filter is filled with dollar store scrubbers, cut up pool noodles, and dollar store plastic bath loofah. Maybe forty pounds of sand in the bottom. It holds two hundred pounds lol. After the initial spring green cycle I always get, the pond stays clear and pretty, clearer than I actually want....
 
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I have a filter mat that came with the waterfalls. I put dollar store scrubbers and a bag of no brand logos from the thrift store in the bio bag that came with the waterfalls. Time will tell how it works.
 
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Wow Thanks for all the replies. Sorry for all the rookie questions. I have a bio fall. It has two pads at the bottom and builder put one bag of lava rock on the top. I added a bag of bioballs a few months ago because I thought most of the water would just go around the bag. A long time Koi guy told me the lava rocks clog up with debris and basically turn to round stones and loose most of the surface area over time. So I replaced the lava rock with another bag of bioballs. I have never cleaned the lavavrock and was under the impression not to. I thought you should clean the pads occasionally but leave the media for the bacteria to colonize alone? Pond has been running since October so its still pretty new.
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