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Old 05-07-2012, 09:10 PM   #346
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Thanks! I can't wait for the plants to grow in - I just hope they do, lol, my lights are very dim.
Thanks also for pointing out the thermometer, I'm going to re-position it on the back side, facing the kitchen. It draws the eye to the area of the filter...I like being able to see into filter's water reservoir - the 'cavern" as I call it - from the kitchen side. I can clearly see if the heater light is on, if there is mulm or debris, and I am keeping an eye on some ramshorn snails that were in there when I put the foam in. So for I'm leaving them there, they seem to be fine and they clean the glass, etc.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #347
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WOW!!! I love the decor of the new tank, the driftwood is awesome and when those plants take off, it is going to be a jungle.

Extremely excellent job on installing the HMF. I particularly like your Drylok coated foam strips, they blend in well. I agree with sewingalot, the thermometer was more noticeable than the Poret.

You should have painted the outflow tube with Krylon Fusion black or similar paint as it would allow it to blend into the Poret better. I've found with my HMF's that it really makes a big difference.

For any future plans on installing an HMF, consider cutting an X or even just a large slit with a carving knife in the spot that you want your outflow to exit the Poret. It allows the outflow pipe to fit snugly in the foam and is much easier to cut than a circle. I messed up my first one by trying to cut a hole and couldn't get a snug fit around the PVC outlet pipe.

If your next HMF will be using a pump or an airlift instead of a fan type PH, consider installing the outlet pipe right at the top edge of the Poret. This allows some surface agitation of the water surface which would negate the need for an added PH for surface movement.

I don't think you will need any quilt batting behind the Poret. The foam does an excellent job of trapping any fine debris that is floating in the water. What it won't do is pick up any larger debris that stays on the substrate. I find that I have to do more frequent substrate vacuums to remove that stuff OR I temporarily install a power filter or canister filter to stir up and suck up the bigger stuff. Remember, the HMF is primarily a biological filter than it is a mechanical filter.

Great job overall. I'm sure it is your serious planning plus all the questions and suggestions offered by everyone that has gotten you this far.

And I'm sorry about your eye. I know how miserable that can be. I wouldn't have passed up free plants either.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #348
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Great tip! I can remove the Koralia with the extension easily, I can still paint the plastic extension...it never occurred to me.
Also, good point on the quilt batting - it's not needed for polishing - I think pot scrubbers or ceramic noodles behind the foam will provide additional surface for beneficial bacteria though, I'm going to "grow some like Diana suggested - good tips all around! You're correct when saying the advice and ideas tossed around here are what got me to this point - I'd never heard of a HMF until I saw this thread...

I still have two 55s to set up this year, and I'll do HMFs on them, too - improved with what I've learned from this endeavor
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:17 PM   #349
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Truthfully, I don't know that you will actually need additional media for the BB to grow on. You have quite a bit of surface area with the Poret and then add in the driftwood, substrate and even the glass surfaces.

If you do decide to add additional media, suspend it in a bag/stocking so it's not sitting on the bottom of the tank behind the Poret. That area will accumulate the fine debris that is drawn through the HMF and it will settle on the bottom. According to the links provided at the beginning of the thread, additional biological breakdown of the mulm will occur behind the HMF. Once it gets too thick, some can be drawn off by a quick siphon.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:25 PM   #350
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Good to know - I have to admit I haven't gone back to re-read all the pages and the links (although my eye is much better and I have no excuse now - lol). I would have plunked that media right down on the bottom of the tank behind the foam, too.
I've made my mind up that if I get congos, I'll be putting them in one of the 55s when they're set up. I feel I have to give the poor Buenos Aires a break, and I'll be moving them to the 125 at some point - they want to streak around, but they just can't in the 29. They will go well with the Columbians, too.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #351
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I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for this thread. I'm just started setting up a small 10 gal shrimp tank and was thinking about filters. I'm sold on putting one of these in. Going to the store today to start buying parts to make one. One question though, I'm new to the whole power head thing. Never used one. What size would I need to get for a 10 gal tank?
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:49 PM   #352
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Scotty, anything rated for at least 20 gph (gallons per hour) or more. I did read if you get too high of a turnover, the filter really isn't working at an optimal level and you aren't getting it's full benefits (bacteria isn't having a chance to work). But in a planted tank, you don't have to worry so much as you have them for backup on filtering out the bad stuff. This is more crucial on non planted tanks.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:35 PM   #353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewingalot View Post
Scotty, anything rated for at least 20 gph (gallons per hour) or more. I did read if you get too high of a turnover, the filter really isn't working at an optimal level and you aren't getting it's full benefits (bacteria isn't having a chance to work). But in a planted tank, you don't have to worry so much as you have them for backup on filtering out the bad stuff. This is more crucial on non planted tanks.
I'm actually going to disagree and say you should calculate turnover. If you aren't going to use your HMF as a bio filter there is nearly zero point in having it. Due to the low inflow velocity they don't provide much mechanical filtration, and naturally they provide zero chemical filtration. If you are also writing off the bio portion the only thing you have is a nice wall to put plants on.
If you're using the Poret I'd consider going with an air driven lift tube (you do need to be willing to listen to the air pump) as that seems to work well. Of course if you want to run CO2 this isn't reasonable.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #354
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Jc, I agree that you should calculate the turnover 100%. I really think everyone thinking about the HMF should take the time and read over the links in the original post and continue reading until they full understand. I think most people don't get the concept behind the optimal flow and tend to think the higher the GPH, the better. Maybe I came off wrong in saying "you don't have to worry so much." You do want the optimal range, but if you are off a negligible percentage, you'll have the plants to help with those miscalculations. For instance, if you are using 15x turnover powerhead, you're missing the point of a hamburgmattenfilter. Does that clarify my post? Or do I just sound dumber now?
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:25 AM   #355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
Due to the low inflow velocity they don't provide much mechanical filtration, and naturally they provide zero chemical filtration.
I have read some of this post, just not all the pages, and was under the impression it was more of a mechanical filter? If it's not much of one, I don't know if that is what I want. I was thinking it was more like a huge sponge filter. But then again this is going to be just a 10 gal shrimp tank with live plants, mostly mosses if I can get them growing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
If you're using the Poret I'd consider going with an air driven lift tube (you do need to be willing to listen to the air pump) as that seems to work well. Of course if you want to run CO2 this isn't reasonable.

I will not be using CO2, but I was kinda wanting to stay away from the noise of an air pump since this will be in my living room. Would a power head work just not as well? Or would that just be waisting my time.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:48 AM   #356
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I suppose it might do some mechanical filtration, but I've watched both flat leaves and human hairs brush up against mine, then slowly drift away. It'll hold what it traps, but only if it happens to be completely suspended in the water.
A power head will be just fine, just make sure it's small enough. It's very easy in a 10 gallon tank to end up with a LOT of current. With the noise concern it makes sense to avoid air driven stuff.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #357
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Default Update on HMF tank.

Powerhead with a sponge attached would be fine. In fact, that is my sole filtration in my 55 gallon. Does fantastic. In a way, I think I like it better than the HMF as it's easier to hide, clean, and is less obtrusive. But the wall of foam is growing on me.

Here is the long overdue update. Because of stupidity and not dipping plants, I've had a plethora of critters in this tank.

Hydra:


Snails:




And icky detritus worms. I did a dewormer in the tank and it killed all but two of my CRS and the hydra. The worms and snails are unphased. Not happy.

But! The tank looks fabulous. It went from this:


To this:


To:


And currently:


The UG is monstrous. I believe this is from baby worms. The individual strands are super wide and all bubbly with bladders. I rather like it. I decided to remove all the hairgrass on the right side and replace it with more UG.


Sadly, with all the snails, the algae wall is completely destroyed with only a tuft here and there. Who said pond snails don't eat algae never microscoped their poo. They are algae eating machines. I suspect that is why there is an enormous explosion in population.


Rotalas galore, green macranda, colorata, and something else maybe gai lai?


Love the top shots!


Nice!


This is all down with very little co2. The drop checker with 4 dkh solution is a solid blue, I suspect that I could remove it with little to no effect. The plants are doing fairly well except the ones in the back left corner. I suspect this is a combination of two things. This is a very difficult plant and it needs a lot of co2 and also, there is not enough flow in this corner making it harder for it to get it's needs. This is completely fertilized with DIY root tabs and on a monthly basis, I through in a little fertilizer for good measure, mostly potassium and nitrates. Minimum work is down on this tank although the rotala is desperately needing a trim. On a random note, UG has attached itself to the top of the wall and is draping down like ivy. It's quite pleasing to the eye. I'll try to get a picture soon. In addition, moss is attaching itself to the wall in place of the algae. It's very pretty as well.

Pros:
Everything! Easy to maintain (zero maintenance on filter so far), equipment hides easily, brilliant filtration.

Cons:
DIY required, critters ate my algae. Jerks. But that last one isn't the fault of the HMF, it's mine for not dipping plants.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:30 PM   #358
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I thought my UG was extinct, but recently found some on my HMF. Hopefully it will spread, and perhaps I will have an UG wall at some point. I'm curious if that would clog up the filter, or help it.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:09 PM   #359
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Sewingalot, your tank is looking great! Mine isn't doing that well. Right now I have green water, and some of the plants have given up completely. I will be doing another 60-70% water change today, and have raised the light a couple of inches. But, the fish are doing very well. I think my problems are from the substrate I used - the "topsoil" may be the problem.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:46 PM   #360
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Jccaclimber, I'd definitely let it grow on the wall for a while. I had just a small leave stick there and it's now about 2" x 1" in a short time period. Right now, I'm not having any issues with clogging as it's staying at the very top.

Hoppy, perhaps even with the ledge it's sucking up the topsoil and constantly suspending organics in the water? Have you thought about redoing it or are your plans to wait it out until the soil matures? And thanks. I'm pretty pleased with the tank. It's not show stopping, but it's doing well over all.
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