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Thread: Black Matala as shower filter media?

  1. #1
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Black Matala as shower filter media?

    I am building another shower filter. I will be using two 55 gallon barrels, each with a stack of 3 milk crates in it. The barrels will be connected near the bottom with a 4" pipe and a 4" pipe returning the water to the pond via gravity. Because of the location and the elevation that is required, I need the media to be very light weight. The water going to this shower will be pre-filtered (mechanical only, via filter mat in skimmer). I have a full sheet of black matala that I could use. I thought about cutting it into 6" wide strips and stacking in on edge in the trays. Would that make a good media or would it clog too easily? My second option is bio barrels, which I'll have to purchase. I'd prefer to use what I already have, unless it would be problematic. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Since it is coarse and reasonably sturdy I don't see why it wouldn't work well enough. It will likely double in weight over time as biofilm "slime" becomes somewhat impacted in some of the pores, but still light weight enough for cleaning and in all likelihood only the top tray would tend to become fouled even to that limited degree. Much of that really depends on how well the ultra fines are removed before hitting the showers.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I agree with Larry. I would suggest that you cut a piece of skimmer mat or other fine/medium mesh matting to place at the top to capture the glarf that makes its way through the skimmer. Since I added skimmer-type mats to the top of my Bakki, the media stays much cleaner. I need to clean the mat every few weeks, but I find that chore a lot easier than dealing with algae strands that work their way through the media. You may need to rinse the matala every 6-12 months. That task will be a lot easier if the strips are fewer in number, so I'd make them as large as they can be to fit the space.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei
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    The black is the very fine media yes? If so, it will trap too much. If it is a black foam material it will actually coat over with biofilm and be an anaerobic sink. JR

  5. #5
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    JR, actually the black matala is the really course one. This is an image of it I pulled from the web. It will only filter out course materials. If I add some finer filter mats to the skimmer and also on top of the Matala, that might be enough to filter out anything that would cause the matala to get blocked. Since I already have this sheet, maybe I'll give it a try and see how well it works. I can always change it out later if I find it clogs up too quickly.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Black Matala as shower filter media?-matala.jpg  

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    Maybe? I'd have to see and handle it before I could say for sure. But honestly, there is nothing lighter than plastic media and nothing cheaper. It can fit any container and the drip points make for the most surface area of any semi solid media. JR

  7. #7
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Cindy, if you have to buy media, here is a link on eBay for 9000 bio balls, 1". This is what I used but they were cheaper 2 years ago.

    Lifegard Bio-Mate Bio Balls 1" solid 9000 pieces 40 gal - eBay (item 190424095054 end time Dec-24-10 08:49:41 PST)

    You could also talk to Steve about feather rock.

  8. #8
    Tategoi
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    Cindy, I use the denser Green as bio, along with some scrubbies on both the koi and the aquariums and it works just great. I like the Matala better than the scrubbies as it doesn't compress

  9. #9
    Daihonmei
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    Right, water weight is a critical aspect when chosing media for a true tower.
    The media used in a tower definitely has different criteria than media used in water ( emersed).
    fines will absolutely pass thru a TT and a mat covering them will work but what a pain it will be to keep that mat covering clean.
    In my marine tanks I do use dense black foam ( really dense compared to what you are thinking about) and I wash it completely three times a week or it will clog. Now that is a 180 gallon system with maybe a few ounces of fish at the very most. Algae is really the danger and unding of all trapping media and trapping designs. You'd be amazed what coats the foam and what works it's way into the foam after just three days. Amd after a week or so, the foam will block 90% of the water flow and cause the pump to suck air.
    So whatever you use, think it thru and you will avoid a lot of headaches later on.
    I have a case of new bioballists ( I think it's 5 cubic yards ) but I'm not sure if I can get them to you very easily- weight and mailing cost/hassle. $200 for the case ( about the size of a very small washing machine). JR

    JR

  10. #10
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Cindy , I hope this helps.

    I've built one of Ethans FF Towers. The water that enters the Tower is filtered through Matala (Green outer core w/ Blue inner core). If you recall the tower system has a resting zone for the foam to rise out of the water column before the water enters back to the pond. In this zone I've noticed much more debris that has settled then I ever thought would. It's easy to dump, but it's there. Some how debris gets through the Factor made Matala Filtering System that I use for my Tower. I use Bio Barrels in the Tower.

    I'd suggest that you go with another product. We want the water to go through the media not just around it.
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