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RE: Ehfimech and Ehfisubstrat

>The Eheim EHFIMECH and EHFISUBSTRAT looks like they can last forever.
>It is necessary to change any of these media? When to change?

Eheim is another one of those companies from Germany who provide excellent
products but who continue to fail to provide the English speaking world with
less than their full attention (check out their German language website, and
compare it to the English language version).

Be that as it may (I'm still smarting from Dupla's departure from North
America, so anything originating in the "Fatherland" is fair game for my
tongue these days), Ehfimech is a ceramic material, formed into tubes, sort
of like fat macaroni. It is totally inert and functions wonderfully as a
biological substrate. I have 5 L of it in my Eheim 2260 canister filter and
it has been there for years. It does get rinsed off every six months or so,
but the material itself is  probably going to be around and useful long
after I am history.

Ehfisubstrat is described as sintered glass. It is supposed to be totally
inert and it is also supposed to have loads of internal pore spaces which
can function as homes for bacteria, perfect for bacterial filtration. It too
should last forever, but might need to be rinsed off once in a while.

However, and this is a big "however", a number of years ago I purchased an
Eheim Aqua Pulse wet/dry filter. It came with 2 litres of Ehfisubstrate. I
placed the unit into a marine aquarium and proceeded to ignore it for about
a year (the filter, not the aquarium). That's one of the nice things about
Eheim units - they work so dependably, you can forget that they are even
"there". Anyway, when next I checked, the Aqua Pulse media containers (there
are two) were E-M-P-T-Y. There was NO indication of a problem in the tank,
no debris within the filter chamber, nothing. The material apparently simply
dissolved. I cannot explain it, as to the best of my knowledge, sintered
glass should be inert chemically and not subject to disolving in either
freshwater or marine water. I live alone, and nobody ever messes around with
my aquariums except me, and I know that I never removed the media. I also
haven't taken mind altering drugs since the mid seventies. Where it went is
a mystery - does anybody have Agent Mulder's phone number? This might be an
"X file".

James Purchase