The Hydra Internal Power Filter is a unique filter which claims to be an almost miraculous cure to the problem of aquarium maintenance. Upon reading the information on the box, the filter appears to contain revolutionary technology. This is a sentence taken from the instruction manual; ‘It consists of two electro-plates to energize a cartridge box containing special Cata-Pure Media to release strong reactive Hydroxyl (OH) ions’. The filter claims to ‘bypass most of the stages in the Nitrification process’ and includes a diagram showing ammonia being converted directly into nitrogen gas. However, upon pulling the filter apart, most would be surprised to find that it resembles ordinary internal power filters in almost every way. The only difference is the presence of two metallic plates, positioned above the ‘Cata-Pure’ cartridge, which resembles ordinary activated carbon in every way, and just below the impeller.
The filter has a very simplistic design, which allows for ease of maintenance. Maintenance is as easy as; removing the filter from the aquarium, clipping off the bottom unit, removing the sponge and cartridge, rinsing both the sponge and cartridge and then reassembling the filter.
There are several other features which contribute to making this filter versatile and easy-to-use. The outlet on the filter can be rotated and adjusted to allow for directional flow. This is extremely useful in a planted aquarium where certain plants may be uprooted if subjected to constant and direct flow. The flow is also substantially less than conventional internal power filters, which is a bonus when working with a smaller aquarium, where most internal power filters will produce too much flow for the inhabitants. The filter has a sleek exterior design which makes it unobtrusive in the aquarium.
So, does it Work?
The simple answer is, yes. The filter does what it claims to do. After purchasing this filter, it was placed in a newly set-up planted aquarium with a soil substrate. The aquarium has been set-up for several weeks and there has been no trace of ammonia since setting up the aquarium. On top of that, I have also witnessed this filter deal with ammonia levels in heavily stocked tanks within a matter of days, with limited fish losses.
The only criticism I have of this filter is that it does not provide adequate information about the science and mechanics behind the filter. This is in part understandable, as obviously the company will try to limit competition by keeping essential information confidential.
This product was supplied by Coburg Aquarium. To buy this product, click here: http://shop.coburgaquarium.com.au/accessories/filtration/filters.html