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Cleaning the Water Column with Poly-Filter

Posted on Friday, May 7th, 2010 at 11:09 am by

I discovered Poly-Filter years ago when I was keeping fresh water aquariums. It was the miracle goto for pulling about anything out of the water. The makers, Poly-Bio-Marine states on their web site, “It is a formulation of a special patented material bonded to a synthetic matrix. By means of a unique proprietary process, the POLY-FILTER is made impervious to salt and is also organic loving to certain materials. It can absorb and adsorb contaminants and other toxic materials found in nature or added to fresh and salt water with or without fish and invertebrates.”

Saltwater? This got me wondering how it would do on my reef tank. Either through personal contemplation or through suggestions of others I came to the conclusion that Poly-Filter was just to good to use in a reef aquarium. A common fear is that the filter will work so well that it will pull the trace elements out of your water. Digging through their site I see extensive experiments have been done to ensure that Poly-Fiber will not pull trace elements from the water column. For the other ReefToolers that skate the fine line between geek and the unmentionable you may find the write ups on their site very informative.

Ok.. I’ll give you a small taste: Standard Specification for Substitute Ocean Water (ASTM) Standard D 1141 lists only six (6) trace elements which are : Barium (99.4 ug/L) , Manganese (34.0 ug/L) , Copper (30.8 ug/L),
Zinc (9.6ug/L) , Lead (6.6 ug/L) and Silver (0.49 ug/L).

More interesting reading can be found on Poly-Filter’s ability or lack of ability to absorb silicates, which can be found here:

Poly-filter is long known for pulling medications such as quinine sulphate, copper sulphate and formalin and Malachite green from systems after treatment. It also pulls out antibiotics. The Poly-Filter was developed to fill a specific need in the area of chemical filtration of aquarium water. One of the interesting aspects of Poly-Filter is the color changing properties that indicate what is being pulled from the water column. Through state-of-the art technical advancements in the patented hydrophilic materials and processes used to manufacture the Poly-Filter, unique performance characteristics have been proven in the application of the media to aquarium filtration.

These include the following:

1. No particulate release.
2. No leachable or extractable monomers, ions (anions, cations), binders, or cross-linking agents.
3. No desorption upon saturation.
4. Linear absorption/adsorption chemical filtration properties.
5. True color changes indicating filter function and replacement timing, i.e., blue – copper; red = iron; green = free copper ions; brown = normal organic loading; and black = heavy organic loading.
6. Effective removal (absorption/adsorption) of low molecular weight organics, volatile organics, high molecular weight organics, and ultra-high molecular weight organics.
7. Effective performance under adverse conditions such as water conditioners and slime coat restorers.
8. Removal of chelated and non-chelated metal complexes.
9. Guaranteed quality control by the actual media manufacturer (Poly-Bio-Marine)

The final say from a Poly-Filter fan: A very technical and thorough product! What’s in it for us hobbyists? Plenty! Poly-Filter Pad material, when used accordingly, removes ALL traces of copper treatment. Continued use of kalkwasser leave lead behind. Poly-Filter Pad material get-the-lead-out! Phosphates? Not a problem. The use of Poly-Filter Pad material in high-flow areas work like carbon, only better. All heavy metals are attracted to the woven matrix of polymer threads and are held there… no leaching back into the solution!

What are the downsides you ask? I don’t know of any.

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One Response to “Cleaning the Water Column with Poly-Filter”

  1. Felicia says:

    I have been using these for a long time in my seahorse tank. I love Poly filters. The only downside I can think of is that they are a little expensive.

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