“ Brand: Juwel / Type: Fish Tank / Aquarium Cleaners / Water Treatments „
As a keen fishkeeper I am always looking to try different things to improve the quality of my tank and the fish that inhabit it, and so after having several different Juwel aquariums over the years, have come to use Juwels Cirax Biological Filter Medium on many different occasions.
The Cirax pellets come in pre-packed little baskets, of which three different sizes are available, depending on the size of your Juwel filter, compact, standard or jumbo and costs range from around £10 for the smallest one up to around £20 for the biggest from all good aquatic stockists, although you may be able to pick them up cheaper if buying online. They are suitable for use in all types of aquaria, from coldwater, through tropical and even with marine setups.
When you get your little basket, it basically just looks like a selection of white stones, however the Cirax material is much more than that. It is designed with highly porous pellets, which gives a maximum surface area for friendly bacteria to colonise when placed into your filter. These bacteria are essential for a healthy fish tank as they have the effect of breaking down waste such as uneaten foods, fish waste products, other floating detritus such as decomposing plant pieces etc. If the filter isn't up to the task of removing this, then harmful chemicals such as ammonia and nitrite can build up in the tank water, both of which are highly toxic to fish.
Juwel advise placing the Cirax pellets in the top most section of the lower section of the filter that comes with all Juwel aquariums. I have to say that I have experimented with placing it at various different points in my filter system and I think that this probably is the best location for it. Certainly don't place it before the first coarse filter pad, as although small pieces of waste will be broken down in the Cirax pellets, it will slow the overall flow of water through your filter and thus impair the overall effectiveness of it.
The pre-packed pellet box is certainly well designed, and I've never had any issues with it opening or splitting open and making a big mess. In addition, it is really well packed to the rim, so you don't feel like you are being cheated out of any filter material. It is very easy to just slot into the filter, being perfectly designed to fit snugly into the Juwel filter system as long as you purchase the correct sized box. The individual aquariums that each size is designed to fit is mentioned on the rear of the packaging and so getting the correct size is also straightforward. As the Cirax pellets are placed after the coarse filter sponges I have found that I don't need to replace them very often. A quick rinse in used tank water from time to time as part of a regular filter maintenance schedule is more than enough to keep the pellets reasonably clean and thus keep the water flow up. I would probably recommend changing the Cirax pellets on a yearly basis as a rule of thumb, but each fishkeeper will soon be able to tell when different mediums require replacing depending on the stocking levels and waste volumes of their own tanks.
I know that Juwel filters have both their positives and negatives and some people really dislike the design. I have to say they aren't my favourite and these days I would plump for an external filter whenever possible, but as internal filters go they aren't the worst and I think it is a very good thing that the Cirax pellets are now being provided as standard with a lot of their new aquariua.
So to sum this one up, I would definitely recommend to anyone using a Juwel aquarium or filter to consider using the Cirax Biological Pellets in their filter systems. I've never had a serious breakout of illness in my tanks whilst using this product and for me that is the biggest positive I can think of. The well being of the fish and plants in my tank are always of the utmost importance and if they are happy with the performance of the filter then so am I. Of course any amount of fancy filter material isn't an excuse or alternative to a rigorous and regular maintenance schedule and this is no exception. What I will say is that it is a well-designed and highly spacious medium for all of those helpful bacteria to colonise and I have found that this does help to keep my nitrate levels lower than when I haven't been using it and it is very easy to slide into and out of the filter housing.
Juwel Cirax Bioflow special filter medium for Juwel's compact standard and jumbo filter system.