Diy Hmf With Plant Wall??

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Leann, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Leann

    LeannValued MemberMember

    Hi All,

    I need plant advice with a DIY project I'm considering. I would like to craft up a version of a Hamburg Mattenfilter for my 10 gallon aquarium, along with my scape I'd like to try a "plant wall" (because who doesn't love that effect?) if you're not familiar with this "simple" DIY filter I've posted the video below.

    The question is: if I got java fern or anubis to attach to my sponge, would that work? Would the plants get in the way of my filtration or would they help/benefit from it?

    Being that the idea is you have a large surface area, similar to a wall in your aquarium, i think it would be so cool if I could tie plants into it. Thoughts?

  2. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    Hmm, interesting idea but how would you squeeze/clean the sponge with plants attached to it?
  3. OP

    LeannValued MemberMember

    This is a good point!!

    What if I did a slimmer sponge for plants then a thicker one behind it? This way I could just remove the thick sponge to clean
  4. Piaelliott

    PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    The filter is a German design and not meant to be cleaned in years. In fact, it is advisable to have mulm collect behind the filter.
    This is the best page I found, unfortunately in German only. But I am sure google translate will help.


    It is quite common to have a plant wall on the Hamburger Mattenfilter.
    The HMF doesn't really filter the water but rather provides surface for beneficial bacteria and biofilm.
    With an HMF you will have excellent biologial filtration but it won't keep your aquarium clear like one of those oversized HOBs that people like to use in the US :)

  5. OP

    LeannValued MemberMember

    Yes the video I watched said clean it every 12-24 months, so even then idk how I'd clean it with plants all over it.

    What would you recommend with this to get the mechanical? Just a HOB or could I put things in the area behind the sponge to help with this?
  6. Piaelliott

    PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry, I can't help with that. I think it is just a different concept of keeping an aquarium. HMFs are meant for heavily planted aquariums and plants appreciate a layer of mulm.
    I read that the HMF stays in place for years, if the water level behind the foam drops, the foam can be gently vacuumed so that the water can flow again.
    The importance with an HMF is extremely slow filtration to give the BB time to work, fast flow would be detrimental to the concept of a HMF and would cause the foam to clog quickly. With a HOB, the water zips through, more a mechanical filtration.
    If you are not willing to accept less than sparkling clear water, maybe a HMF is not for you.

    A canister filter is sort of in between. The gph is lower and you have more biological media. I have lots of plants and a canister filter. I still have floating particles :)

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