When we discuss mechanical filter media, filter pads are a very common media type used. Filter pads can be made of polyester, felt, or sponge. Usually precut to fit in an exact filter model. Can be purchased in a roll and you can cut it to customize your filtration. Some filter pads are made with a combination of material to better filter particles out of the water column. Mechanical filter media that can be used several times when cleaned properly. After 2-3 cleanings should be disposed of and replaced.
Micron Filter Pads
Pads that are made to polish the water. Made of polyester and nylon, these pads trap the very fine particles that are loose in the water column.
This type of mechanical filter media comes in several different styles. The most popular is the polyester filter floss. Most in the fish keeping hobby simply stuff a filter media bag with it and place in their aquarium filter. Filter floss does an excellent job in removing very fine particles from the water.
Sponge Block Inserts and Sponge Pads
Sponge filter media are a favorite they are available in very fine, fine, medium, and course. Multiple sponge pads can be used together to have superior mechanical filtration. The greatest benefit to using sponge media is that the sponges are easy to clean and can be reused. They tend to hold up far longer than some of the other filter pads available.
Ceramic rings and cylinders
Ceramic pieces that are great mechanical and biological media. Ceramic rings or cylinders will trap the larger particles in your tropical fish tank’s water. So you would have to use another finer media to filter out the smaller particles. Ceramic pieces are usually hollow and allow for great water flow while debris sticks to the walls of the ceramic pieces. I use these in my tanks and absolutely love them.
Please note that when selecting your mechanical media, keep in mind the coarseness of the media. If the filter pad is fine, or medium, you will need to clean them often usually every 2 weeks. If the media is course, you can get bye with 3 weeks but I suggest 2 weeks for course also. Clogged media will lead to dirty water, water parameter problems, poor fish health, low water flow, and possible filter leaks.
** Note** Cleaning your filter media is dependent on several factors including how many fish you have, the amount you feed, and how many filters you have on your tank. So you should make a judgment call on how often to clean your mechanical filter media. You do not want an overflowing filter due to clogged filter media.
Sponge blocks or pads can be bought to match your filter make and model. Some can be cut to fit. Sponge blocks and pads are excellent in cleaning your water and are very cheap. They can be reused as long as kept clean. Sponge blocks or pads are great money saving media.