MattenFilter vs. Canister
I've read Byron's stickys on planted tanks and have come to the conclusion that the brand new canister sitting in my trunk will likely be of no beneficial use in the 125G Brazilian biotope I have planned. I originally wanted an Mbuna set up in a 55 and it made sense. Now I have the bigger tank and want a heavily planted clearwater biotope it seems pointless.
That said I would dearly love to get my money back on that so I can stock it before the new year. I also saw the suggestion by Angel for the Hamberger Mattenfilter. It just so happens i picked up a 500gph power head for small garden waterfalls. It'd be perfect! The best part is I paid 99 cents for it and already have the other stuff I'd need. A $1 filter for my new 125 gallon tank would be spectacular. That is, provided I'm not completely delusional and this is impractical for my purposes.
Also, would there be any issue using that with my sand substrate?
Hamburger Mattenfilter and FYI for where I got my info.
Also, there shouldn't be any issue if I place my heater in the void between the filter wall and glass right?
I'm not sure why you think the canister will be of no benefit:-?. It will work just fine and be a lot less visible then the mattenfilter.
Planted or not chemical filtration really has no need, its just extra expenses really. The only real differences here are appearance. Both will work just as well as the other IMO. The canister will look better being hidden from sight, where as the mattenfilter will actually take up a considerable portion of the tank. The canister can easily supply staged mechanical filtration. Basically water flows through a coarse sponge, a medium sponge, then a fine floss pad. A mattenfilter isn't as staged and will likely need to be cleaned more often. The downside with the canister is the much higher price.
The Hamburg Matten filter is a home made sponge filter (a bit large and unsightly if you ask me).
Frankly the same effective filtration can be accomplished in a HOB or canister. I think I'd go in another direction and stick with the canister.
(I always like to re-purpose materials that are on hand to serve a better purpose and saving money is always a good thing. I just don't think I'd like to look of this sponge wall on one end of the tank.)
I would go with the canister and only used the mechanical filtration. Mettanfilters only work well in bare bottomed tanks IMO. Removing the filter to clean it is going to disturb your plants in and unwanted way. You will also probably have runners that work themselves under the filter pad.
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