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Re: Filter Wool

In a message dated 7/22/2000 12:50:29 Pacific Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

> This begs a question:  How does filter wool (as opposed to carbon), cause
>  bacteria growth in the tank instead of the filter?  I thought filter wool
>  would be a better biological filter than carbon.
I'm not sure I fully understand your question.  Filter wool does not "cause" 
bacteria growth in the tank, or anyplace else.  It's just a physical surface 
upon which some bacteria can eventually colonize.  Any mechanical media (or 
chemical media such as carbon) becomes a biological filter after sufficient 
time passes for a slime coat to build up on the surface.  After 30 days or 
so, carbon loses its chemical filtration properties, but becomes an excellent 
biological growth surface.  Filter wool also provides an excellent biological 
growth surface.  Which one would eventually become the better biological 
filter is open to debate.  Bacteria cannot be herded like ducks or sheep:  
they will grow wherever they can find a hospitable home, and will not grow 
exclusively on one surface to the exclusion of another surface.  Instead, 
bacteria will distribute themselves all over the tank, wherever a slime 
coating can form.  To bacteria, filter wool and filter carbon are just 
another place to eventually grow.  (Of course, this ASSumes that the filter 
wool is not impregnated with phenol or some other bacteriocidal or 
bacteriostatic agent, which would inhibit bacterial growth.  This is not a 
problem for good quality filter wool (polyester floss) intended for aquarium