The Pearl Aqua is one of the newer companies to try their hand at creating a useful and practical automatic filter roll with an interesting take called the Pearl Eco Vlies. This model of roll filter is quite different from many others we have seen because of being mostly vertical in its construction, the Pearl Eco Vlies has a more horizontal layout which aquarist might find to be more flexible in our ever expansive sumps.
Pearl Aqua makes the Eco Vlies in three sizes which each have the same side plates with the only difference being the width of the transverse components such as the spool, spindle, and retaining bars to hold it all together. Horizontal being the dominant dimension of the Pearl Eco Vlies, most of the ‘active’ water filtration surface area is on the bottom side of this machine which has the added benefit of making it very easy to load new fleece filter material since you don’t have try to navigate your hand inside a deep dark Auto Filter Roll chamber.
Due to the large filtration area the Pearl Eco Vlies have a very respectable flow rate for their size starting at 3,500 liters per hour for the small, 6,000 liters per hour for the medium and up to 10,000 liters per hour – that’s a range of 924 to 2,600 gallons per hour. The smallest €379 Pearl Eco Vlies has a footprint of 43 by 14 centimeters and it’s only €100 more for the largest model with a 43 x 31 cm footprint but there’s also a €179 conversion kit available to upgrade from the small to medium or larger models.
What impressed us the most about the Pearl Eco Vlies is not so much the filter as it is the very affordable replacement filter rolls – many companies seem to have leaned into the razors-&-razorblade sales model a little too much with very expensive replacement rolls. Whereas some manufacturers sleep at night selling a single roll for $50 to $80 which might last a tank one to three months, Pearl Aqua sells their rolls in packs of three for roughly the same price or a little bit more, making the operating expense of an automatic filter roll much more palatable.
If you haven’t tasted the sweet release of no longer having to clean filter socks anymore by using an automatic filter roll, the Pearl Eco Vlies is one of the newest way to set yourself free of tedious mechanical filtration maintenance. The German made Pearl Eco Vlies from Pearl Aqua is currently only available in Europe but we hope to see more companies pushing the envelope of automatic filter rolls for clearer water and cleaner tanks. [Pearl]