Filter socks; any experience.

Andrew Butler

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The plan is to add, adapt and/ or create a couple of all in one system(s).

I have a couple of Fluval Flex 57 (one is my mum's!) which are a great little number to keep going for now with the uncertainty of when retailers will reopen or wild caught will arrive back in store.
The big problem with them is the filtration system, at least in my opinion. it's just poorly designed, not efficient at filtering and could use the space so much better. That's not to mention how out of square, bent and twisted the second purchase was along with cutting it out taking almost zero effort.

The plan for both of these mid-term is to insert a new more rigid acrylic partition with filtration being in my opinion an improved design and easier to maintain. It would consist of a simple 3 chamber layout using an under/over action between 2 sets of baffles as the illustration below should demonstrate. C1 would hold some kind of *mechanical filtration, C2 would hold some biological filtration e.g. ceramic media along with Purigen or Carbon if I chose it then finally C3 would hold the return pump and heater. Shelving will be added to hold media etc.

Now, here's the thing I'm considering adding a filter sock as my filtration to C1 as I think it's less messy than foam but it's not something I've read about too often so leaves me wondering about peoples' experience.

I know @zozo has a thread which although interesting doesn't involve the design I have in mind, it does use a filter sock so I'm wondering if it could be a good option for me also. Hopefully people with experience can fill me in with info like size, brand/model, what micron they ran, the need for any further mechanical if any, frequency cleaning needed etc.

I only have around 75mm depth in the Flex (which I could make 85mm tops if I really needed to) and a width ideally not exceeding 100mm. The overall height before I take into account the intake slots is around 355mm, I'd guess the slots won't be any further down than 50mm.

If people can point me to some smaller diameter socks that would be great also. :)

As for my larger system if appropriate I can simply add an acrylic shelf, rested on ledges with a hole cut out of the center to act as a holder and push the sock into it. I have around 150x190mm to fit it in so a 4" should be a good option if opinion or more experience might suggest it's a good idea.
waterbox cube filtration layout.jpg
 

Ed Wiser

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I have used a filter sock in a All in one design. The issue becomes that the sock will clog fast and so it requires you to change them out and clean. The AIO design also is sensitive to water levels.
So as the filter sock clogs it will cause the water level in the pump chamber to lower. This will cause the pump to Cavitate.
I changed to poly fill to filter as you can cut up pieces and replace them when needed.

https://intankaquatics.com/filter-floss-holders/
 

Andrew Butler

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I have used a filter sock in a All in one design. The issue becomes that the sock will clog fast and so it requires you to change them out and clean. The AIO design also is sensitive to water levels.
So as the filter sock clogs it will cause the water level in the pump chamber to lower. This will cause the pump to Cavitate.
I changed to poly fill to filter as you can cut up pieces and replace them when needed.

https://intankaquatics.com/filter-floss-holders/
When you say fast, how fast in your experience? I know stocking levels etc make a big difference.
I saw it as a kind of filter floss but with a bigger area so was hopeful it might just work.
Also easy to whip out, rinse through, wash and have spares on hand to use while they're being cleaned.
Maybe it's because I'm used to Fluval G6 filters I simply find the pre-filter a great addition.

The shelves although will be removable won't be pull out trays like the inTank system but don't think this is something needed by myself if I have correctly fitting foam(s).
 

Ed Wiser

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The filter socks filter down to micron levels so it is a fine filter so it’s going to depend on your tank.
I first used filter socks 25 years ago.
An over the years I just got tired of washing socks and keeping a rotation. Over time the socks will become clogged even after cleaning so they are only good for 6 months before a new one will be needed.
The in tank shelf systems are made for AIO systems. An are very popular in the US for AIO owners
 
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Look into poret foam, Very versatile and comes in several porosity sizes. It’s all I have in my sump with exception of some lava rock for extra surface area for bacteria.

I looked into the socks as well for my sump but from my research it’s not worth it, clogs way too fast. The poret foam is simple, easy to clean, and won’t clog (at least not for a LONG time). I recommend going to Swisstropicals and emailing Stephen, he’s very quick with responses. Send him your design and your intentions and he’ll point you in the right direction.
 
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Andrew Butler

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The filter socks filter down to micron levels so it is a fine filter so it’s going to depend on your tank.
I first used filter socks 25 years ago.
An over the years I just got tired of washing socks and keeping a rotation. Over time the socks will become clogged even after cleaning so they are only good for 6 months before a new one will be needed.
The in tank shelf systems are made for AIO systems. An are very popular in the US for AIO owners
I completely appreciate the suggestion of the inTank system. The convenience of being able to just pull out a media basket from a chamber as one makes sense and maybe something for me to further consider but having custom parts manufactured or even source material for the 3 systems will add quite some expense. The inTank deigned for the Fluval Flex 57 tries working around what in my opinion is a flawed filtration system which isn't incredibly well constructed either (the Fluval part) and doesn't cure the problem I'm trying to.
As for the middle section a few removable shelves on supports and some media bags on top I think is easy enough.
The main weir section is something I could maybe think about but is a wasted expense that isn't going to gain me much if I have correctly fitting foam that's easy to pull out to rinse through; again on shelves?
Look into poret foam, Very versatile and comes in several porosity sizes
I believe 'Poret' is the brand? I can source 10, 30 and 45 PPI all cut to my exact dimensions, not the Poret brand but a product equivalent in terms of material makeup and is infact cheaper than most sheet like products around. Just leaves me wondering how thick to make a chunk?!? :bookworm:

I think socks are written off really as probably not such a good idea given the reading and just stick to foam, I've hard water too and it's not like a marine system so I think the stainless steel insert is probably one to avoid also @sparkyweasel

As I said I'm just too used to removing the pre-filter from a Fluval G6 and rinsing it really quickly and simply weekly when I done a water change.

I've no real idea how long people actually clean sponge type filters out to be honest! - just not really been there before.
 
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I would make a square just wide enough to get stuck in the chamber. You could go with a low porosity at the inlet and a higher one before it hits the media you choose or just before it goes back into the tank return.

I believe poret is touted as superior due to its lack of plasticizers to keep the foam shape and it’s porosity is consistent due to its strict engineering standards in Germany where it’s made. I liked that I knew where the foam was coming from and not worrying about it possibly introducing toxins or other unknowns into my tank.

You could really just use foam for all your media, just cut it up into pieces or buy it cubes that way from Poret. The sponge could be removed weekly just like you do with your G6, quick rinse and back into the tank. Hope that helps
 

dw1305

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Andrew Butler

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Thanks for the input @Mr.Shenanagins and @dw1305 - going to see about sourcing it in different grades and sizes if it really is that much different to some of the other available.

It looks like a couple of people are selling 'Poret' foam through ebay now. Has anyone sourced it direct from EMW in Germany before?
 

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