Oliver Knott: Protecting filter inlets in the aquariumAbout the use of filter guards
In the world of aquascaping, filter in- and -outflows made of glass or stainless steel are a popular means of spicing up the look of the installed filter technology. The so-called inflows (filter inlets) are usually bent filter tubes with slits in the suction end. These are narrow enough to prevent fish and standard sized shrimp from getting sucked in, but baby shrimp and fish are in danger of getting swallowed by the filter - which would be deadly for them. In this video Oliver Knott presents some useful helpers to secure the filter inlets appropriately.
Of course it is possible to just seal a filter inlet with a sponge so no small creatures get eaten by the filter, but first of all, sponges are quite voluminous and not really nice to look at. Apart from that they tend to clog up since fine sludge gets caught in its pores, densifies the sponge and severely impairs the filter’s performance.
In the video Oliver Knott shows the installation of filter guards using Aqua Rebell glass wares. Filter Guards are very fine-meshed baskets made from stainless steel, which fit precisely over the glass filter tubes. Consideration should be given to the pipe diameter, the length of the slots and the selection of a suitable model. For example, Filter Guards are available for the standard sizes of 13 and 17mm Lily Pipes. If an inflow with long slit is used, a Filter Guard of an according length should be picked. Oliver Knott is installing an Aquasabi Filter Guard Fine mesh L - which is accordingly longer - on an Aqua Rebell - Glass Inflow IF4 - 17 mm.
Hang-On glass wares, such as the Aqua Rebell Glass Mini Inflow MI2 - 13 mm seen in the video, can be equipped with a fitting filter guard. Even glass surface skimmers (e.G. the Aqua Rebell Skimmer Glass) are equippable with special Filter Guards. These protect the bottom, water-aspirating part of the glass wares.
By the way: More info on the topic of intake protection can be found in our Aquascaping Wiki.