Our aquarium customers have experimented with a variety of filter materials and micron ratings. The general consensus is that either 100 micron polypropylene felt OR 200 micron polyester felt provide the best solution. The bags that are industrial size #4 seem to fit as the most generic size on the market.
If you have any questions or concerns, please use Contact Us form or just give us a call.
Why are there bubbles in my aquarium when I replace filter bags?
You are using polypropylene singed felt (PONG) bags that contain small traces of foreign chemical from the production process, this chemical is NOT harmful to the aquarium life. These bubbles can be reduced by pre-washing your filter bag in clear fresh water (three rinses should do it). The other option is to go with Polyester filter bag, since they do not react the same way.
When should I replace my filter bags?
This depends on the size of your aquarium and the amount of sea life you have present. Below are some before and after pictures of what one of our customers does. You can be the best judge of your own aquarium.
Why does everyone recommend a different micron rating bag?
This is the most popular question out there! Here is why....and let’s hope that this answer does not add to the confusion. The bag PONG100P4P is a NOMINAL rated bag, which means that roughly 80% of the time it will capture particles that are 100 microns in size. In reality it's a 150 micron bag 98% of the time. However, it is also a three dimensional bag in the sense that it catches particles throughout the felt material since it has depth to it.
If you substituted your PONG100P4P for an ABSOLUTE rated bag such as NMO100P4P, then it will capture 99% of the time particles which are 100 microns in size. Now, here is the component that changes the performance of the filter, the NMO or nylon mesh filter is a single layer material without any depth to it, so as particles clog each opening, the bags films over much faster.
So what does that mean for you? That depends on how you want to handle your aquarium filtration and how often do you want to replace the filters. The felt bags will normally last longer before needing change and we have been told that they reduce some of the noise of the running water. The mesh bags would probably be easier to wash out, but you would have to do it more often. In the end, the consensus among our customers is that the FELT filters are the best way to go, but this is ultimately your decision. In conclusion, each aquarium is different and therefore needs different filtration, but on average you should be somewhere in the range of 50-200 microns. Here is a graph comparing Nominal and Absolute rated bags as a general reference: