The Aquatic Gazette

Colourful CF-A2 | Hang on Filter with UV

In Filtration on June 16, 2011 at 00:01

Colourful is a Chinese aquarium brand which is little known outside its local market. For this article, we will be taking a look at this unique hang on filter, one that has ultraviolet capabilities built into it.

It was difficult to get any kind of information off the internet in regards to this filter. We could not find any official website, so the only details we have for this filter is found on the box.

Front of box

The quality of the plastic used in the Colourful CF-A2 are not of the high quality that is found in other competing brands. Our filter came with numerous scratches and with a slight discolouration. This build quality certainly does not inspire much confidence in the product or its long-term longevity.

Similarly, the box that houses the filter spots a lower printing quality compared to other brands. It is a small issue but attention to such details can speaks volumes of the company’s vision.

Side of the box
Side of the box

The Colourful CF-A2 is a filter that is different from other mainstream hang on filters by incorporating ultraviolet as part of its filtering capabilities. Ultraviolet works by passing a thin layer of water over a ultraviolet lamp that produces ultraviolet rays. These rays produce radiation which kill micro-organisms as they pass by, penetrating the cell membrane and destroying them. Harmful disease causing bacteria or algae spores are some of the cells that can be dealt with. However this radiation will not discriminate between good and bad bacteria, so any extra vitamins or nutrients that were added into the aquarium may be eliminated as well.

Ultraviolet lamp

The ultraviolet lamp is housed in a black plastic compartment that dominates the filtration compartment. Right before the ultraviolet lamp is a filter cartridge which contains a ‘biofoam’ and activated carbon. Water from the aquarium enters the filter and passes the filter cartridge before going through the compartment that houses the ultraviolet lamp.

The filter cartridge that Colourful has provided is inadequate for the job. The biofoam is of a very thin layer and it will get clogged with detritus before long, not to mention the lack of surface area for beneficial bacteria habitation. Behind the biofoam is a chamber than houses activated carbon, however the amount of activated carbon provided is disappointing. Because of the poor design of the filter cartridge, effective biological and chemical filtration is not going to be this filter’s strength.

Filter cartridge
Note the thin layer of biofoam and the dismal amount of activated carbon

The ultraviolet lamp is inserted into the base of the filter and screwed in place. As with all connections in this filter, the screw threads are not machined to exact precision and we do have some concerns about water leakages over the long run. The slots holding the filter cartridge are also not exact in its fitting and there will be some water bypass.

Colourful CF-A2’s only strength is in its ease of use. Looking at its almost non-existence biological and chemical filtration properties, one would only purchase this filter if there is a need for an ultraviolet that is easy to set up. Unlike tradition ultraviolet lamps which require its attachment to the filtration path by the use of hoses, the Colourful CF-A2 can be hung on the aquarium and easily removed.

We would only recommend this filter if you are on a very tight budget and you need a ultraviolet filter that hangs on the aquarium. If you do not need these two requirements to be made, there are much better constructed, and designed products out there.

Ultraviolet lamp is inserted into the base of the filter

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