I thought I'd start a thread to get people's opinion on the necessity or avoidance of using mechanical filtration in their tank setups. Not including protein skimming, which is technically mechanical filtration and is definitely desireable, but refering to filter socks, sponges/pads, etc.
I've heard here and there that in an ideal SW setup, there should be no need for mechanical filtration. I'm also pretty sure that without frequent maintenance (i.e. rinsing out the socks, sponges, pads), these things can become nitrate and phosphate factories.
However, it seems that most people use mechanical filters in one form or another. What is everyone's opinion on whether or not we should be using these things in our tanks?
My tank currently only has a single filter pad stuffed in the overflow between my skimmer chamber and return pump chamber of my sump, however I am strongly considering just removing it and going "mechanical filtration free."