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  1. J

    Question No Space Behide Aquarium...What Type Of Filter?

    Another option would be a "portable" corner matten filter. Same idea as the CMF except the side braces are mounted on a removable corner piece rather than directly to the tank. Conceptually, think of a waxed paper milk carton with the top and two adjacent sides removed. Attach vertical braces to...
  2. J

    Sponges For Hob...

    I've watched a bunch of videos from Cory of Aquarium Co-op. According to YouTube I have watched that video, though I don't recall it specifically. The problem with this style of filter is the entire course of the flow is not intuitively obvious. If you don't stop for a few moments and think...
  3. J

    Intake filters and Sponge filters

    1) The intake sponge is easy to clean. You want a coarse one so it traps the largest bits of muck but doesn't get clogged too fast. When you do water changes, slip a plastic bag over the sponge, pull it off, then squeeze it a few times in the water you siphoned from the tank. Quick and easy way...
  4. J

    Sponges For Hob...

    You are certainly correct that there are a lot of different opinions on this. From seeing some of the photos and watching some videos on YouTube you'd come away with the impression that you can just cram media in there willy-nilly, filling every corner to the utmost, and it will all contribute...
  5. J

    Sponges For Hob...

    Putting the sponge in the very back is exactly the thing I've been saying is a bad idea. You've got all the water on that side going through a swath of sponge that's what, half an inch wide by the height of the sponge? That's a sure recipe for clogging that sponge almost immediately. It also...
  6. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    Note that the matten filter doesn't have to be in the tank proper. Depending on how your sump is arranged, you can put a vertical piece of foam in the sump and you have a matten filter that's completely hidden away in the sump. Swiss Tropicals has a design using nothing but foam in the sump...
  7. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    10 PPI is pretty coarse. Good for a pre-filter or the initial stage of a multi-stage filter system. 20 PPI is medium, a good all-around filter media. This is likely to be the level to do most of the filter work and most likely the best density for a matten filter. 30 PPI is getting pretty...
  8. J

    Sponges For Hob...

    In a word, yes. The Tidal even more so. The Aquaclear has a sling that you fit the media in and slide into the body of the filter. The water flows under the sling and then up and back to the tank. This allows you to completely fill the body of the filter with media and not disrupt the intended...
  9. J

    Sponges For Hob...

    The Penguin filters are designed with the assumption you'll use their media. The way that media fits into the media chamber is critical to proper functioning of the filter. Think about how it looks with their media in place. Each media chamber has slots for two plates with media of some type...
  10. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    Swiss Tropicals is a good source for foam. The Poret foam they sell is designed to stand up to a lifetime in water. Stephan, the owner, is happy to answer questions and provide guidance. Tell him about your tank and the livestock and I'm sure he'll make a recommendation. The 75G matten filter...
  11. J

    Sponges For Hob...

    While it may be a matter of semantics, I think it's important here to point out that your "tank" is not what actually gets cycled. "Cycle" refers to establishment of sufficient bacterial colony to handle the bioload of your tank. That colony lives all over the place, but of relevance here is...
  12. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    It needs to be rigid enough to stand up on its own. You don't want quilt batting. You need to use something that will last for years. If you have to throw it out and start over periodically, as you would with batting, you start over with beneficial bacteria. For anything bigger than a 5 gallon...
  13. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    As @vyrille said, a matten filter is a sponge filter on steroids. It was "invented" in Hamburg, Germany, or so the legend goes, and is often called a Hamburg Matten Filter (HMF). "Matten" is just German for "matting". You get a large piece of filter foam that will fit across one end of your...
  14. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    I don't think the issue is particularly related to the filters being air driven. There are Czech lift tubes that can move 500GPH given sufficient air. I've seen a 150G filtered with a corner matten filter, so a big piece of good quality foam along with a couple air-driven Czech lift tubes can...
  15. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    I didn't realize it was a 75G either. These hidden filters are more for smaller tanks where a normal internal filter would take up a lot of space. The idea is combining filtration into decoration, which makes good sense in a small tank. Trying to filter a 75G with these is going to be almost...
  16. J

    Invisible Internal Filters

    The flow rate is going to depend on the specific setup. With any air driven system it's going to be nearly impossible to measure water flow with any accuracy because that rate depends on the level of the water. Most any measurement approach is going to either use an unrealistic water level or...
  17. J

    Rack system for breeding/fry. How does this sound

    There's nothing wrong with using 2x4s. My objection is to the method used to join the 2x4s together. In the video you posted here and in the first photo posted by @coralbandit you can see where dado joints were used to attach the horizontal 2x4s to the vertical ones. (Vertical 2x6s in the...
  18. J

    Rack system for breeding/fry. How does this sound

    With all due respect to The King of DIY, his skills at carpentry and cabinet design are lacking. That rack has the same poor design of most of his racks. It's incredibly poorly sized for the tanks shown in the intro photo. How are you supposed to service those tanks? You've got literally 3-1/2"...
  19. J

    Question No Space Behide Aquarium...What Type Of Filter?

    Opinions are fine, but fact-based evidence is a lot better. The fact is UGFs work well if they're installed properly and maintained, much like any other type of filter. With a deep enough gravel bed you may even see some nitrate reduction. The biggest issue with UGFs is a lot of people don't...
  20. J

    Question No Space Behide Aquarium...What Type Of Filter?

    Based on your stated goals and your fear of canisters, I'd recommend an undergravel filter. If you want to power it with air, I'd look into the Czech uplift tube. Swiss Tropicals sells some professionally manufactured ones, which I'm not sure will fit in a standard UGF plate, or you can check...




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