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sewingalot 08-13-2011 11:02 AM

Hamburger Mattenfilter for a low tech setup
I've been studying this recently method of filtration recently and him-hawing between this idea and a sump for a new tank I am setting up. After much thought, I'm about 85% convinced I'm trying this out. So for those that want to follow along, feel free. This is a thread to show the progress of my building it, to share my experiences both short term and long term. However, please know that this may be like my canopy and take years to complete of I may abandon the idea completely, so feel free to just look at the links or move on shaking your head at my slowness. :tongue:

Also, please don't turn this into another debate thread on the HMF. There are plenty out there already, and I am even giving you links to the pros and cons. If you feel the need to argue this method of filtration, I suggest starting your very own thread or else I will abandon this documentation entirely as I have no desire to have yet another thread loose it's original purpose in order to feed egos (again, there are enough threads to do that). ;)

Does anyone currently have a HMF setup in his/her own tank? If so, please share pictures if you have any! I'm looking for inspiration. :icon_smil

Step one: Finding poret filter #30.
Step two: More research for example, do I want to use an air driven pump or the aquaclear filter #20 already on hand?
Step three: To cover or not to cover? That is the question (i.e. Moss or clado?)
Step five: Actually start working on step one.

Edit: A new awesome link provided by Bahugo:

wkndracer 08-13-2011 11:51 AM

Good morning :smile:

sewingalot 08-13-2011 11:54 AM

You rock, Mike! Perfect. Now do you know where to find stacks of $20? :hihi:

wkndracer 08-13-2011 12:59 PM

OK I'm a doofus! what's a stack?

driftwoodhunter 08-13-2011 02:23 PM

This is interesting - something new to learn about! I've never heard of it before, and from the links it looks like it's not restricted to shrimp tanks only - one tank user had discus (with other filtration, if I remeber correctly). So, is this going to be for a shrimp tank for you, or are you using this on a planted community tank?
I'm suscribed - I don't care how many years it takes! lol

Just watched the AngelPlus vids, they were very clear and to-the-point. He mentioned that you could put additional media between the foam filter and the tank glass if you want - media of your choice including gravel, bio balls, etc. I would think that could include filter floss? I recently removed my Tetra carbon/floss filter bags in my Whisper HOB and replaced them with filter floss, and I'm pleased with the results. Now that I see how little surface area my puny clumps of floss have, in comparison to the large sponge suface (I know the plants help too) I'm thinking I will take a good hard look at this system!
~ Cin ~

fresh.salty 08-13-2011 02:26 PM


Originally Posted by wkndracer (Post 1477326)
OK I'm a doofus! what's a stack?

plantbrain 08-13-2011 06:33 PM

If you use a sump, then these are part of the filter anyway:thumbsup:
They are easier to clean and take up less space in the tank that way.

I just use big blocks O foam, 4" or so and snug fit them to the sump after the wet/dry tower. All my tanks have them.

There is little doubt they work well. Ugly in the tank, but I've seen some nice solutions to that.
Sumps stink for shrimp since they get in there and into the overflows.

sewingalot 08-14-2011 01:35 AM

For those interested in why not to do this this fitration, Hoppy graciously started a thread on the pros and cons of the filter. In fact, I encourage you to go there and decided for yourself and even join in on the conversation. ;)

Driftwoodhunter, this is going to be fore a shrimp and small fish tank, specifically a 33 gallon long. I toyed between a sump, a canister, a powerhead, a basic sponge filter and other ideas on filtration (even - gasp - undergravel filtration). Seeing my shrimp always on the prefilters and basic sponge filters is what lead me to finding the HMF. This has been around for many decades, longer than my life and is still used today, many purposes being breeding.

I was in between using a sump with a mattenfilter installed there or directly in the tank. After much thought, I am going the traditional route. This was picked for purely the reason that I'll find it pleasing watching shrimp play on the wall. As many already know, shrimp and fish love picking on the goodies growing on sponges. When I took my sponge out to rinse them every few months, I had to practically pull the boogers off them. They bred more frequently in this tank, didn't have to worry about the filter sucking up babies and was the lowest maintained tank I owned. I could focus on the tank's inhabitants.

For me, algae will be expected to grow on this fitration, specifically Cladophora.
However, out of all the algae out there, this is the most pleasing to me and generally is found in pristine water conditions.:

One could run and hide at this point, but even just this sponge is a haven for all kinds of goodies. All throughout the day and night, if the shrimp aren't fed an outside foodsource, they are on this sponge picking away. Babies flock to it. From this image, I imagined a wall of spongecake and the search led me to the old HMF. :)

Hoppy 08-14-2011 03:00 AM

Will this work to hold the ends of the sponge at the glass? It is the closest I could find to what I saw in some of the linked threads.

OverStocked 08-14-2011 03:05 AM


Originally Posted by Hoppy (Post 1477979)
Will this work to hold the ends of the sponge at the glass? It is the closest I could find to what I saw in some of the linked threads.

Bigger "lips" work better, but you might be able to make that work. I ran several of them as just partitioned ends to the 10g tanks, and something liek that would prob work fine. If you run it in an "corner" configuration it should work fine. I don't remember where I found my track at.

Bahugo 08-14-2011 03:15 AM


Originally Posted by Hoppy (Post 1477979)
Will this work to hold the ends of the sponge at the glass? It is the closest I could find to what I saw in some of the linked threads.

You can use plexiglass, cut a thin strip from top to bottom of where the sponge would go and just silicon the plexiglass to make a stop and it will stay in place. The one journal that is linked from shrimp now he just silicones a L angle if I am not mistaken.

wkndracer 08-14-2011 03:22 AM


Originally Posted by fresh.salty (Post 1477376)

yup! 110% doofus

thinking of something tank related and bam! right between the eyes

sewingalot 08-14-2011 03:39 AM

Haha, Mike. Yeah stack of bills, ala Moolah. This will take me months just to gather all the materials. :hihi: I'm taking time off soon to make some crafts for some cash hopefully to fund this project and my stand that needs to happen first.


Originally Posted by Hoppy (Post 1477979)
Will this work to hold the ends of the sponge at the glass? It is the closest I could find to what I saw in some of the linked threads.

So funny, I just saw those this evening as we were out and wondering the same thing. My only thought was whether or not it would stay in place. I saw they had grey ones, too. I think I need to buy some foam and take it with me.

I like this idea of Rich's link with plexiglass.

wkndracer 08-14-2011 03:46 AM

I like Steve's method of over cutting and simply wedging the foam panel into the tank.
Ordering one, maybe two panels this weekend so I can fuge in the center of my new sump.

Bahugo 08-14-2011 04:04 AM

You could probably get away with using those plastic corner things they sell at wallpaper stores that protect the corners from getting torn/scuffed up. I would imagine they are cheap.

Wkndracer that's another place to buy foam, scroll down to regicall Foam. I don't know how thick you are looking for though.

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