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Re: non plant filter

> In your opinion is a wet dry using floss with lava rock and/or bio balls as
> effective a filter as plant filters?

The answer is no.
W/D's etc do not remove NO3/PO4 etc, plants do and are quite effective at
it. W/D's are good at converting NH4 to NO3 and gas exchange. Lave rock
works fine for most situations. Unless you need max filtering from a minimal
sized wet/dry tower(eg a built in on the back of the tank wet/dry filter),
then lava is fine. 
> Would it affect the filtering properties if it were kept in the dark?

No. It's do better for the bacteria but if you added light, algae will grow
in it.
> Would large sponge (pond) filters do as good a job?

No. No surface skimming etc, more cleaning.
> Would darkness have any effect on them also?

As above.
> Would a combination of both wet/dry and sponge filters be beneficial?

Not really. If you needed more, just have a bigger bio tower. You can also
add the sponge into the sump somewhere.

Tom Barr
> Thanks for your input,
> Scotty