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  • Results 1 to 6 of 6

    Thread: DIY shower media: matting cartridges

    1. #1
      MCAsan is offline Senior Member
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      DIY shower media: matting cartridges

      Until early this year I had an Aquadyne 4.4 bead filter and a UltraSieve III (200 micron screens) on each of the two BD circuits. The single skimmer circuit feed a BHM shower stack. The key is that the 4 trays each had only around half the media needed for a full on shower.....if I wanted the shower to be a major player. Each of trays could hold up to 6 cubic feet of media. I was not about to shell out many thousands for 6 more cubic feet. So I sold off the original 6 cubic feet for what I paid for it. I dropped the shower from 4 trays down to 2 trays and put in 8 cubic feet of Cermedia MP2C media. Once the media cycled, I swapped over both UltraSieve II outputs to a Flowfriend pump to water distribution box I made for the top of the shower. I sold off one Aquadyne 4.4 and kept one on the skimmer circuit. All was right in the world.

      And like others, I noticed a few months later the weir pan at the bottom of the shower was starting to show settlement and so was the throat of my skimmer. Long story short, rhe batch of MP2C I had was evidently not hard enough to take a 8,000gph flow rate. I looked at many options. I saw an intercepting Youtube video by Paul Hooi in Malaysia who had years before taken out his BHM when he rebuild his pond. He had replaced it with matting over bioballs. I remembered that plastic media is what been used for years in wet-dry filters such as trickle towers such as Clariy units. So I figured I had little to lose.

      I removed the first generation water distribution box and the MP2C. I got several half sheets of Matala grey fine matting. It has slightly more SSA than Japanese matting and slightly less than K1. So I used it to matting cartridges for my two shower trays. I then made a new water distribution box with twice the holes in the bottom so water would not dwell in the box. I really like the results. Like most filters the cartridges seemed to cycle in 6-8 weeks (bead filter in parallel). While restocking the shower I also put in 30 pounds of crushed coral into large mesh media bags in the bottom of the skimmer and the sumps in the bottoms of the two UltrSsieve units. We have relatively soft water here. So you do need to take extra steps to keep up the KH.

      Bottom line: Each matting cartridge cost just over $100 in matting. For our pond they seem to work very well. They are shearing the water so well I get a football amount of foam in the skimmer each morning. Granted I am feeding 40%+ food.

      For our pond the matting cartridges have turned out, so far, to be a much better investment than BHM or MP2C. Your milage may very.
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    2. #2
      kwickcut's Avatar
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      very interesting. so are you saying that the MP2C was breaking down and dissolving with the high flow rates?
      Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin.

      you cant fix stupid no matter how hard you try.

    3. #3
      MCAsan is offline Senior Member
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      In my pond system, the MP2C I had was breaking down in to "dust" that was going into the water column and settling out in the shower weir pan, pond floor, skimmer, and I assume the BD drain pipes. The dust clogged the 200micron screens in my sieves. So it had to go go. I know problems with MP2C have been reported on this and other koi BBS on and off for several years.

      But my intent in this thread is not to discuss BHM or MP2C as using those for shower media is nothing new. I wanted to offer an alternative that is cheaper, lighter, readily available and does a better job of protein separation (foam fractionation).

    4. #4
      MCAsan is offline Senior Member
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      I am feeding a max of 1 pound of 40%+ food per day. This morning here is the foam in the skimmer. I use a small fine mesh aquarium net to remove the foam.

      Side note: The foam can more easily make it to the skimmer that before. Previously I was using Matala 120lpm air pumps on both BD domes. The currents caused by them was keeping the foam on the shower end of the pond. The original diaphragms lasted 2 years. Finally they died and I replaced them with Hakko/Matala official replacement diaphragms. None of the replacement diaphragms were lasting more than 2 weeks pushing air to 8' of depth. So I bit the bullet and replaced the Matala 120 unit with Medo 120 units. The Medo units use less power and generate much less heat. But they do not deliver as much air at 8'. So that reduced amount of air dropped the strength of the currents enough that the foam from the shower now makes it to the skimmer on the other end of the pond.
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      What was old is new again.

      Just cranked up a revised shower stack. Each of the two trays has 6 cubic feet of Matala gray fine matting. Gray box at top is water distribution box that speads water evenly without the backpressure from spray bars. Box floor has 1/4" holes on 1" centers. Water is fed by two Perha 25000 pumps running at lowest speed (140watts). Each pump draws from a UltraSieveIII unit. This should make for an interesting fall and winter experiment.
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    6. #6
      icu2's Avatar
      icu2 is online now Administrator ~ WWKC Treasurer
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      So is this the original one but restarted? Or is this one using the other two containers you originally
      removed so you now have 2 showers, each one being a stack of 2 containers?
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


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