Pond Filter Media » Matala Media
First, a little history on Matala filter mats. Marc Talloen is an aquaculturist for over 25 years. He has grown food fish including carp and tilapia in Africa, Europe and Asia. His extensive knowledge of fish culture took him around the world consulting for various aquaculture companies. He eventually laid his eyes on nishikigoi and that was it, he fell in love. He opened his own Koi business in Belgium over 15 years ago. He searched a long time to find specialized filter media that could help solve many of the problems associated with other materials.
Being the energetic optimistic type he set forth to develop Matala. Matala is the first media which is actually made for the express purpose of filtering koi ponds. Matala had to have certain characteristics to give him the desired results. First of all it had to handle the high solid waste levels associated with koi. It had to be easy to clean. The media would also act as a substrate for biological filtering, a home for the good bacteria. A high surface area per cubic foot is necessary. However, the media could not plug up too quickly or the bacteria would go anaerobic. The media would have to provide good movement of highly oxygenated water throughout the entire filter in order to be efficient.
Furthermore, a good biofilter media requires what is called interstitial spaces. These are the small open spaces in between the media where bacteria can "fill up" in a safe and slimy bacterial matrix. Bacteria love interstitial spaces. The perfect media would let go of the dirt during cleaning but sustain the bacteria attached. He realized that many of these requirements are contradictory to one another. Marc, knew that water will always travel the path of least resistance; so his media would have to be positioned in a filter so the water does not go around it. This would require a somewhat rigid type material in order to be wedged in place. He found that another benefit to being rigid was that the media could be self supporting. Always thinking, he concluded that the material would actually be easier to work with if it had a very slight bouyancy. This way it would not end up at the bottom of the filter tank. After many trials and sleepless nights he came up with a series of 4 filter pads with progressive densities which could be used separately or together to complement one another. He gave them different colors so they would be easy to differentiate. Each pad has it’s own unique structure lending itself to a different job in filtration.