It is not really correct to state a micron size for this type of filter material as it can lead to confusion.
Like all fleece filters of this type, including bag filters, the size of the particle removed by the media will continuously reduce as the fleece dirties.
Example; with a 200 micron filter sock, the largest particle that should pass through when new is 200 microns, however as the media starts to collect dirt, the holes get blocked creating smaller and smaller passages and so the bag collects out smaller and smaller particles. It continues to do this until the head pressure can no longer force water through the small holes and it overflows.
The ClariSea works in exactly the same way except that instead of overflowing and having to change or clean the bag, it automatically rolls on to expose a fresh piece of material. The fresh fleece will allow larger particles to pass through and the dirtier material will stop smaller particles.
Flow Rate vs Filter Life
The higher the flow rate through the fleece, the less time the roll will last.
Imagine it as a large group of people trying to leave a building through one door. The slower and more organised they try to leave, the easier it is for individuals to bunch together and to fill into small gaps in the crowd, like water and small particles finding their way through small holes in the fleece.
Compare this with people trying to leave quickly in a panic, and chaos is created, so that people back up around the door, like the water level backing up and triggering the float to move on the roll in the ClariSea without it becoming fully saturated with dirt.
The chart is based on actual metered flow rate readings on a fully stocked established reef aquarium.
ClariSea Installation Height vs Filter Life
The pressure to force such a large flow rate of water through such a fine fleece is created by the head height of the water in the ClariSea unit above the water level in the sump.
The higher this difference is between the two levels, the higher the head pressure, and the easier it is to force the same amount of water through smaller and smaller holes created as the fleece blocks. The perfect height would therefore be with the opening to the silencing plates being about 1-2 cm (1/2-1") below the water surface. (On the tests for the 'flow vs filter life' chart, the bottom of the ClariSea was submerged 11cm below the surface).
The deeper the Clarisea sits in the water, the less head pressure exists to force water through the fleece and therefore the shorter the life of the roll.
Other Factors that Affect Filter Life
Factors affecting the life of the fleece are:
1 - Water flow (volume)
2 - Filter installation height above the water.
3 - Dirty tank.
With most aquariums you will find that they act as large settlement chambers and that particles of food, detritus and dead bacteria settle within the sand or substrate. The clarisea will remove this detritus from the water before it gets a chance to settle but will also remove sediments from the substrate as it is stirred up by fish or manually.
The rolls in the early days may last for a shorter length of time and should be seen to last longer and longer as the tank is cleaned.
4 - Greedy fish
Tanks with high stocking loads of hungry fish will dirty the roll faster but keep your aquarium sparklingly clean whilst removing uneaten food before it breaks down.
5 - Excessive Carbon Dosing
Carbon dosing works by growing bacteria in the water column that are then exported out of the system by skimming or filtration. Excessive carbon dosing can result in bacterial blooms which are seen as a slight cloudiness of the water. The ClariSea fleece is fine enough to remove these bacteria from the water but when in high volumes will blind the fleece and reduce it's life. If you notice this then we suggest slowly reducing the amount of carbon source added. Equally the installation of the ClariSea after a Nitrate Filter will also reduce the life and give a pale coloured roll from the white bacteria.