mechanical filter cleaning frequency

I read some information about foam filters (Hamburger Mat Filter). I use this as a mechanical filter, biological filtration is performed by Siporax. Although there is no straight distinction between mechanical and biological.

I have a corner tank (triangular) and the overflow to the sump is actually used as filter. Works well, I emptied the filter after 2 years and even didn't rince the Siporax. There was almost no mulm at the bottom of the filter.

Problem is that the filter is difficult for access. I would like to clean it less frequently, e.g. once per month instead of weekly. Since the water inlet is at the water surface, there is almost no big detritus or waste in the sponge (and of course neither in the tank due to daily waterchanges). Only a small amount of mulm, probably containing an encyclopdedia of micro-organisms. I read that at Stendker Discusfarm, they are using HMF for 25 years now without cleaning it once. Crucial is the speed of the water through the filtermedium. In my filter it is higher than the specification.

I was wondering how often you are cleaning the mechanical filter, would be good benchmark.

Re: mechanical filter cleaning frequency

I have a corner tank (triangular) and the overflow to the sump is actually used as filter


Do you mean you use your overflow box as a prefiler?

When I have used an overflow box I only use a coarse sponge or mat as a prefilter surrounding the combs (if it is of the comb type) and whenever I notice the prefilter to need cleaning, I just take it out, clean it under the faucet and smack it a couple of times in the sink to get rid of any excess detritus and put it back in... or straight out replace it with a new prefilter.

This avoids any accumulation in the sump, except, if at all, a finer mulm which seems to take care of itself.

As to mattenfilters I am new at them and I have two set up in 90G tanks. They are 3 inches thick and completely occupy the entire height and depth of the aquariums at 18.5 x 24 inches. These are for breeders, so only two big fish in each 90G tank. It looks as though they will be able to handle quite a bit before I ever have to think of messing with them. But I'll have to wait to be sure.
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