With a Hamburger Mat Filter (HMF), you not only provide the filter bacteria in your aquarium with a large area to colonize, where they can quietly break down pollutants and improve the quality of the water. The HMF also provides shrimp, crayfish and, of course, many species of aquarium fish with a good area to graze. Dwarf shrimp in particular love biofilms and eat mostly aufwuchs, which they find abundantly on the surface of the mat filter. A hamburger mat filter is absolutely safe even for the very smallest juvenile shrimp and fish larvae. The filter mats are impenetrable for the tiny ones and the HMF is driven in most cases by an air lifter, which also actively protects the offspring.
Advantages of the mobile mat filter
A mobile Hamburg mat filter can be installed or relocated in the aquarium at any time - a great advantage over the permanently installed self-constructed variants of the HMF. Also optimal for quarantine tanks or as an emergency filter.
Construction of a HMF
The most important component of a Hamburg mat filter is the filter mat. It sits in a housing or stands freely on a base plate. Behind the mat or in its center sits the drive: Usually this is an airlift, which uses air to move the water upwards out of the outlet and constantly draws new water through the filter sponge due to the negative pressure. Alternatively, there is also a mat filter, which is driven by a centrifugal pump
The right filter for the aquarium
Please choose the right mat filter for your aquarium height. The top edge of the HMF must not be below the water surface for the open top models. If the Hamburg Mat Filter is closed at the top, this does not apply, of course. Water will always seek the easiest path and would then flow into the filter almost exclusively from the top, robbing the filter mat of its effectiveness.
Installation of a Hamburg mat filter
Then simply place the HMF with bottom plate in your aquarium and cover the plate with some aquarium gravel. If you have decided to purchase a hamburger mat filter that you can attach to the aquarium wall using suction cups, you should clean your aquarium glass thoroughly to ensure that the suction cups hold well.
For models with an airlift, you will now need an air pump and a piece of air tubing of suitable length. Connect it, plug it in, and you're done. Thanks to air operation, a hamburger mat filter is power efficient and long lasting.
Cleaning a hamburger mat filter
If you notice that the performance of the filter is decreasing and less water than usual comes out the top, remove the complete hamburger mat filter from the aquarium, wash the filter sponge well with clear cold water or aquarium water and put the mobile HMF back into your aquarium or hang the housing with the suction cups back on the aquarium glass.
Another advantage compared to the do-it-yourself version is the easy cleaning of a mobile Hamburg mat filter. Whereas with the do-it-yourself variants you have to laboriously fumble the filter mat out of the guide rails and always run the risk of the substrate getting out of place and sliding into the filter area, you simply remove the mobile HMF from the aquarium, clean the filter sponge, reinstall it and return the filter to its place.
Planting the HMF
It looks beautiful if the filter mat of the HMF is planted with moss - such a moss wall is not only an incredibly beautiful piece of aquarium decoration, it also increases the settlement area for the good filter bacteria again immeasurably.