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Mechanical Fitration: higher-density sponges, e.g., Matala

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by growitnow, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hello:

    I have some Eheim filters (2028/2128) and want to use them as mechanical only. The Eheim 'fine' (white) filter sponges do not last long and seem to quickly become floppy, losing their structure.

    Sponge material that retains its structure is easier to clean out (squish under fawcet).

    I would likel to fill the filters entirely with high-density sponge material that will do a decent job of mechanical filtration, and that will be easy to clean out in sink. Most sponges seem to last a good time, but are too porous for good mechanical fitering.

    I have a small pond and a Cyprio Bioforce external filter that has fine grade/dense 2" sponge material that I could use in the Eheims, and have also heard people talk about Matala filter sponge material which comes in different grades.

    Question:
    Anyone have experience with Matala (pricey), or other suggestions for decent mechanical media I could fill these Eheims with? Open to any suggestions, but I personally like sponges for the ease of squishing them out at sink.

    Thanks,
    growitnow
     
  2. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Big Al's online carries block foam. I use it in my sumps. It is a bit stiffer than Hydro sponges but has a nice small cell structure. Not sure if about the fit in your canister.

    Good luck, Chris
     
  3. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks, Chris.

    The Big Als blocks are 3.25"x5.25", the Eheim foam I would need is approx 8"x8". So I seek larger pieces, though I will check to see if they have larger sheets. Thanks for the suggestion. I have not used Matala but those sheets are wicked expensive ($40 each).

    Cheers,
    growitnow
     
  4. PhillyB

    PhillyB Prolific Poster

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    I purchase the large bags of "filter floss" from the local fish store and cut out my own squares of material. I use a fluval canister filter and just shove the floss into the different canisters. They typically start falling apart and need to be replaced once a month. A big bag costs about $3 and provides a lot of material to use.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you back flush the filter when you do the water changes, this can help reduce cleaning.

    Generally, those filters are namely bio filters.
    Pleated or bag filters, sand filters are much better or gravity type filters for mechanical cleaning.

    These can get backwashed or are easy to clean.
    Ehiems are not bad if you change out the top floss etc.
    Ploy batting is available at most fabric stores for 1-2$ a yard which is what they use.

    Careful to clean regularly!!
    If the filter reduces flow a lot, then your CO2 and growth will suffer/decline.

    I've seen this many times over many years in many tanks.

    Such issues cause folks to blame other things.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks for the comments, most helpful.

    Tom, I ask a few follow up questions.

    1) I have seen you suggest [or comment on] the ease of use of sock filters installed in sump designs. I do not have sump nor at present have plans of one. Have you tried, or have others made, in-line and stand-alone units for mechanical filtration that use sock?

    This would seem ideal for folk like me that want decent mechanical filtration that is easy (emphasis on EASY!) to maintain/clean yet are not up to adding a sump.

    2) I have also seen you on occasion suggest Ocean Clear as a possible mechanical filter, which use the pleated material you just mentioned in your reply. Can you, or other Barr readers, offer comment on the ergonomics / ease of use of this type of filter when used for mechanical only?

    NB: I hope the queries do not come off as "what kind of filter should I get", and apologize if they do. Because I am giving a lot of continuing thought to design issues up front. I am trying to follow model suggested many times by Robert Ricketts (RTR) of various boards fame.

    Goal:
    I plan to have one Eheim as a dedicateed biofilter, mostly filled with biomedia (this will be prefiltered) Other Eheims used will serve primarily as mechanical, so that I can frequently clean the mechanical filters leaving untouched the dedicated biofilter.

    I am trying to build in "ease" of maintenance for the mechanicals. Using Eheim Pro IIs meets some criteria for that ease (self priming, integrated disconnects); having the mechanical completely separate from the biofilters, etc.). These are not trivial features.

    If you figured Ocean Clear pleated filters or some other offered quality particulate filtration, coupled with well designed ease of maintenance, I would welcome your opinion on that.

    Cheers & thanks for any further feedback.

    growitnow
     
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