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Re: Open-celled foam/sponge

Chuck H wrote:
> Like many of you, I'm always on the lookout for inexpensive
> alternatives to 
> the materials and tools we use.  One of the few things that I haven't
> been 
> able to locate is a good source for the type of open-celled foam used
> for 
> coarse mechanical filtration in Eheim "classic" and other cannister
> filters 
> - -- the stout, blue stuff.  Something suitable for fine mech
> filtration 
> would be peachy, too.

It would be nice to find a source of bulk open-cell foam.  I have been
keeping an eye out for that too.  Paying several dollars per sq. in. in
a LFS or even an on-line fish store (OFS) seems like paying for the
screw that costs 20 cents in the hardware store but $5 in the Sailboat
supply store.

For fine filtration, regular floss (polyesther  fiber) works well, how
much you compress it determines how finely it filters.  If you need
very fine filtration but aren't ready to step up (or shell out) for a
diatom filter, you can use needled felt which works very well -- this
is felt cloth that has been punctured with needles to increase is
"permeability" and is used in large amounts as filter bag material on
wood shop dust control systems.  But it's hard to find in small lots. 
You might try contacting one of the manufacturers of woodshop dust
colletion systems (a source might be http://www.oneida-air.com/    -- 
800-732-4065   --    info at oneida-air_com ) to see if they will sell you
a few sq yds. of felt.

An alternative that is readily available is regular felt from a fabric
store.  Plain white, washed and very well rinsed should be free of any
contaminants.    Any felt will load up relatively quickly, of course.
Emperor Aquatics markets such felt in small pieces (about a sq. yd.)
for fine (measure in microns) filtering -- but it costs about $8 to
$12/yd in those small "aquarist size."

Landscaping supply companies sell various types of "filter cloth" used
as silt barriers in landscaping and landscape engineering.  Nurseries
sell the material in smaller rolls.  Most of this stuff looks like
Tyvek.  Has anyone tried Tyvek or similar; I can't think of a reason
why it wouldn't work.  Tyvek is a water vapor barrier but not a water

Another way to get fine filtering is to let whatever media you are
using load up -- the more it cakes up, the finer it filters ;-) .

Scott H.

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