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If you want a lot of surface area without taking up too much space, go with a Hamburg Mattenfilter setup

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I agree. Its looks great and works better than anything I've used. Every new tank or tanks Im redoing is being switched to a HMF.

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If you want a lot of surface area without taking up too much space, go with a Hamburg Mattenfilter setup

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Does the hamburg matten filter remove nitrate, phosphate, ammonia or is it a carbon filter??? Or a polyfiber filter?

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Does the hamburg matten filter remove nitrate, phosphate, ammonia or is it a carbon filter??? Or a polyfiber filter?

An HMF works like a giant sponge filter.  It provides a great place for bacteria and biofilm to grow.  The bacteria will convert the ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate.

 

There is a lot of good info on Swiss Tropicals site if you want more info.

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An HMF works like a giant sponge filter. It provides a great place for bacteria and biofilm to grow. The bacteria will convert the ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate.

There is a lot of good info on Swiss Tropicals site if you want more info.

The reason why I am asking is because I can't find that specific sponge. They only sell phosphate, carbon, nitrate, ammonia and the poly filters. So I want to know which one to buy.

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The reason why I am asking is because I can't find that specific sponge. They only sell phosphate, carbon, nitrate, ammonia and the poly filters. So I want to know which one to buy.

Poret foam is what most people use for HMFs.  It is inert so my guess would be that the poly filters would be the closest.  That is only a guess though.  Since you are going to be using this in a shrimp tank make sure the PPI (pores per inch) is at least 30 (45 is best though) or shrimplets will be able to get through it.

 

Based on the research I have done, I would highly recommend using Poret foam.  It was engineered specifically for the purpose.  It is high quality stuff that should last 10+ years.

 

Is there some reason you can't order from Swiss Tropicals?  

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The reason why I am asking is because I can't find that specific sponge. They only sell phosphate, carbon, nitrate, ammonia and the poly filters. So I want to know which one to buy.

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Those things you listed (except poly) are not biological filters - they are usually bags of compounds (e.g. carbon, resins) that you put into your filter box that remove particular impurities from water. What you need most of all is biological filtration, which means beneficial bacteria that convert toxic nitrogenous wastes (produced by your shrimp/fish and uneaten food) into less harmful compounds. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? In terms of filter media, the most important thing is to provide lots of surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize. This is best accomplished by using some sort of foam (e.g. mattenfilter, sponge filters, or just foam in your HOB filter box) and/or porous rocks (e.g. seachem matrix). Those other filter media inserts are usually unnecessary unless you have a particular problem in your tank.

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Does the hamburg matten filter remove nitrate, phosphate, ammonia or is it a carbon filter??? Or a polyfiber filter?

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HMF will remove ammonia/nitrites once cycled and I could be wrong but I have heard deep inside an HMF sponge will be anaerobic which acts like a denitrator and removes some nitrates. It takes around 6-8 weeks for the anaerobic bacteria to establish itself.  2-3 inch HMF 30-45ppi works best.

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Poret foam is what most people use for HMFs. It is inert so my guess would be that the poly filters would be the closest. That is only a guess though. Since you are going to be using this in a shrimp tank make sure the PPI (pores per inch) is at least 30 (45 is best though) or shrimplets will be able to get through it.

Based on the research I have done, I would highly recommend using Poret foam. It was engineered specifically for the purpose. It is high quality stuff that should last 10+ years.

Is there some reason you can't order from Swiss Tropicals?

I can't order from them since I am from South Africa. So I am looking for the closest thing that I can find here to the HMF...

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Those things you listed (except poly) are not biological filters - they are usually bags of compounds (e.g. carbon, resins) that you put into your filter box that remove particular impurities from water. What you need most of all is biological filtration, which means beneficial bacteria that convert toxic nitrogenous wastes (produced by your shrimp/fish and uneaten food) into less harmful compounds. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? In terms of filter media, the most important thing is to provide lots of surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize. This is best accomplished by using some sort of foam (e.g. mattenfilter, sponge filters, or just foam in your HOB filter box) and/or porous rocks (e.g. seachem matrix). Those other filter media inserts are usually unnecessary unless you have a particular problem in your tank.

Sarah, here in South Africa we get like a matt/sponge that act like those compounds. They are labeled with Carbon or Ammonia matt for example....

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I think it is called an airstream filter. I have seen those biofilters at my local pet store... If I use that filter, will it be all I need? My tank doesn't look great yet as I am only putting in live plants and am in the process of buying some, just waiting for my supplier to get stock. I have had my shrimp for less than 2 weeks. So far they seem very happy and shed often. Only had one casualty after I n put them in the tank but all has been good since then. Even 3 of the females had eggs that moved down to the swimmerets. I posted some of the pics in the "Please help to identify my shrimp" topic under the general section.

Here is the tank with the filter I am using for now.

post-3036-14460670955_thumb.jpg

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I think that is a variation on what is called a box filter in the USA. Operation is similar to a sponge filter (both are powered by an air pump), but it looks like yours has room for chemical media such as carbon. If you can get a sponge filter but can't find good foam for a proper HMF, then go with the sponge, especially with a small tank. I love HMFs, but the sponges are simpler for basic setups.

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