This is what a pre barrier filter does for the aquarium!

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This is what a pre barrier filter does for the aquarium!

Post  liquidg on 1st March 2013, 12:12 pm

I know many are told that a skimmer does it well, no it doesnít, well it does some but no where near the organic matter as a barrier cleaned each day can achieve that can be left from time to time when you go on holidays.

I gave up on skimmers in the late eighties and have relied in a barrier since then.
Back then I used my own home made venturi and skimmer after a few years of home made wood stone skimmers and the two venturi style I made worked a treat and pulled out heaps, but the results have been far better with a barrier and no skimmer.

Off course that is with the support of algae to affectively reduce orthophosphate, toxins and phosphorus content.
A barrier does allow a lot of the nitrogen cycle to go inorganic; itís a trade off for me. Some nutrients are important for photosynthetic-symbiotic life and the single celled algae keeps it just low enough to not affect even sps,yet still encourages the production of the correct algae they need for up take that is their colouration and used for 70 percent of food needs.

I am not saying to not use a skimmer; this is just my preferred way.
Lots of hobbyists use filter socks, they let quite a bit get passed and this would take time to show or for you to see for your self and valuable anaerobic space and time would be lost during that time so that you can see for your self that actual filter socks are not that great.
An affective barrier needs to have a large surface area as the water passes gently through it catching most of what is in the water as organic and inorganic particles. They are more so for your long-term aquarium success, for the short term, anything works to a degree.

The first pic is of my first pre filter barrier with only one quater of intended life already in that aquarium at this stage with no live rock at all.
From 5 to 20 feeds per day, this, over all waste and other life deposits are depositing organic particles-matter that is quite obvious on the barrier wading.

Further along the system are my settling pre filters that take out everything else, they get cleaned each 5 to 10 days or when they get blocked.

A skimmer removes around one quarter more or less of this over all as the more rigid particles wear away the skimmers pump impellor causing some very serious issues! Most hobbyists donít notice skimmers reduced functions or failure until there has been to great a load put on their bio media that was established with a highly functioning skimmer that was handling what the skimmer doesnít take out.

Whatís left over after the skimmer extracts what it can, these will get converted to inorganic and inspires cyano, hair algae and more mostly from the inorganic orthophosphate and to a lesser extent, phosphorus, which is part of whatís left over as the nitrogen cycle finishes off dead tissue.

Its nothing great, just a simple thing that helps a hobbyist far more then you can imagine, so they wonít use it!
12 hours build up after last clean with high-pressure hose water.


Straight after clean off with hose.


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Re: This is what a pre barrier filter does for the aquarium!

Post  kindcorals on 13th March 2013, 2:32 pm

Is this the same stuff you can buy at Spotlight that is supposedly treated with an anti-bacterial solution?

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Re: This is what a pre barrier filter does for the aquarium!

Post  liquidg on 14th March 2013, 8:55 am

Oh its not just treated with that, its also anti fungal, anti allergen and another, I forget which one, but yes it is treated with those.
As with anything you put into salt water in any way, you wash it in hot water and dishwashing detergent then rinse before using and i sometimes bleach things as well.
Even my pumps I use and glass I make tanks out of, anything dead or innate, I wash them all properly before using, thatís a given even if it is supposedly safe for use straight away, I trust nothing that is to go in salt water!
My wadding barriers I have been reusing these ones since June 2011,I made around 20 of them to fit over the egg crate tightly.


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Re: This is what a pre barrier filter does for the aquarium!

Post  kindcorals on 14th March 2013, 9:57 am

Will hot water and dishwashing liquid alone remove all the treatments? I'm sure the bleach would.

It's a good idea to use the eggcrate, I was just thinking of a much smaller version for my tank and make a couple so I can swap them easily. Keeping the dirty ones in water, I should be able to rinse all the dirty ones a few days later too

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Re: This is what a pre barrier filter does for the aquarium!

Post  DeadSled on 10th May 2013, 2:54 pm

I've always agreed with Liquidg that a pre filter is a godsend. Ever since he first mentioned it to me i've run one ever since. My 200 micron filter sock goes almost a dark brown after a fortnight or so and whenever i notice it starts flowing water out the top of it i take it out, flip it inside out and give it a hose and it goes from dark brown back to a clean white. Definitely a good thing to have.
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