The Thieling Roller Mat is a very ingenious aquarium device that goes well beyond filter socks. Automatic filter rolls are not new, we did our first feature of an automatic aquarium filter roll way back in 2010, so why isn’t everybody using one by now?
The first automatic filter roll we came across was made for pond use, with heavy duty PVC construction and all-titanium parts and it cost a whopping 3000€. Two years later in 2012 D&D had comissioned a flat-pack version of this same device, the PowerRoll Filter E200 with a reduced cost of 1000€, but like its predecessor, it relied on gravity to ‘automate’ the advancement of the filter roll.
At InterZoo 2014 we caught wind of two newer generation automatic filter rolls, one from HP Aquaristik and another one from Thieling Roller Mat. The new version from Theiling came across as especially appealing since it used a small motor and float switch to replenish clean filter material on it filter drum but most importantly, it only cost 350€, about $475 at the time.
Fast forward to this last week in 2015 and we are excited to learn that Bulk Reef Supply is now distributing the Theiling Rollermat in North America, and for the totally reasonable price of $399! This is extremely good news for those of us who really believe in the effectiveness of mechanical filtration, but are beyond tired of changing and cleaning filter socks.
BRS features the new Theiling Rollermat in the latest installment of their 52 weeks of reefing series in which they state that they’ve been testing the Rollermat for months. In that time the automatic filter roll has lived up to its purpose of removing large particles and organics before it’s had a chance to break down and foul the aquarium water. We are greatly encouraged to see this new technology become available this side of the pond and you can be certain that we’ll be considering the Rollermat for our next reef aquarium system.