New filter idea
I read quite a few threads here and elsewhere about the mattenfilter concept. Since its primary purpose is biological filtration and heavily planted tanks don't really need biological filtration I don't see much use for the idea. But it did cause me to ponder a variation.
The main benefit to a mattenfilter is the reduced maintenance. Being lazy, I like reduced maintenance. So would it be possible to get the reduced maintenance of the mattenfilter without the unnecessary biological filtration? Seems all it would take is replacing the foam of the mattenfilter with a fine screen. The screen would collect the detritus and keep it out of the water column. Then the scavengers could pick at the screen like they pick at the surface of a mattenfilter.
Such a filter would take up substantially less space than a mattenfilter. The surface area should provide sufficient area to hold the detritus from the water column. And the scavengers should keep the screen clean enough to eliminate the need for routine cleaning.
The one catch I see is whether or not you could create enough flow through the screen to hold the detritus in place. Seems it would take a lot of flow to hold the detritus in place. I'm not sure if it would be too much flow.
I realize this idea would not appeal to everyone. But I would be interested in any thoughts y'all might have about the potential of the idea.
I think you would run into issues, since to get a screen with the hole size small enough to be effective, it would clog pretty quickly. Where as with a sponge, there are particles that get trapped up against the front, as well as inside.
I don't think the biological filtration capacity is an issue, it just won't be fully utilized. having the extra substrate for bacterial colonization certainly won't harm anything.
If anything, it would probably just work to scale the mattenfilter down, maybe use a smaller corner unit or something
You raise some good points. Even a screen that covered the entire end of the tank may not have enough surface area to prevent clogging. And I agree that having the extra bacteria in a foam filter doesn't necessarily hurt the tank. I was just hypothesizing a way to eliminate the main objection to a mattenfilter, the room it takes up in the tank. But I'm not sure the idea is worth the expense of experimenting. Screens fine enough to do the job aren't exactly cheap.
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