Tetra unveils the Whisper EX, with Timestamp

by Owen James

The Tetra Whisper EXTetra has announced a new hang-on-back filter, the Whisper EX, which features Timestrip technology to tell you when the filter carbon has expired.

Timestrip technology is apparently already being used by Whirlpool in refrigerator filters and in Febreze True Air Odor Eliminators; Tetra says it will be the first pet manufacturer to employ it when the Whisper EX hits stores in September.

It’s just one of eight patent-pending technologies that Tetra says it’s squeezed into the new package.

To quote the press info for the Whisper EX, the patents comprise:

1. Continuous system tank flush
Due to the rounding of the bottom of the filtration system, water flow and filtration actions are increased and the possibility of debris collecting in corners and causing adverse health conditions throughout the entire aquarium has been decreased.

2. Quick-drain carbon filter design (rounded bottom)
Filter cartridge changes just got faster because water no longer has corners in which to collect. Tetra’s new Whisper EX filter cartridges have been engineered with a rounded bottom that directs water flow, allowing water to more quickly and completely drain, helping to speed up and clean up the process of changing a filter cartridge.

3. Carbon filter carrier quick-drain feature
A rounded bottom on the carbon filter carrier has been engineered to direct and drain water quickly out of the carbon filter.

4. Carbon filter carrier anti-drip feature
Filter cartridge changes have now become cleaner, drier, and faster. A “cup” at the top of the filter carrier collects any leftover drips from the filter cartridge drainage.

5. Carbon filter point-and-drop feature
Consumers will be able to install their replacement filters quickly, cleanly and with confidence that it faces the correct direction, optimizing the filter’s cleaning capabilities. A strategically placed tab, or “key,” on the filter carrier helps the consumer correctly install the filter cartridge.

6. Carbon filter change indicator (Timestrip)
Many aquarium owners see clear water and assume that the filter is still providing clean water when in fact it may not be. A revolutionary timing device, the Timestrip filter change indicator, takes the guesswork out of when to change the filter by changing colour, reminding an aquarium keeper when the carbon in the filter has expired and needs changing.

7. Stay in place/no-drip carbon filter access door
Aquarium keepers no longer have to juggle pieces to replace their filter cartridges. Tetra has designed a filter cartridge access door that flips up, stays out of the way, collects condensation and redirects it back into the filtration system, and limits access to only those components that need changing.

8. Multi-stage/frameless carbon filter
This is the proverbial better mousetrap. Designed to more effectively filter aquarium water, the filter cartridge contains multi-density flosses that serve as a dual-layer barrier that more effectively filters both large and small particles. The flosses, collared on one side of the filter cartridge, help consumers identify the front of the filter cartridge. As a third layer in the filter cartridge, uniformly distributed activated carbon works to eliminate odours, discolorations and toxins that adversely affect the health of fish.

Some of those features don’t seem particularly revolutionary, but the proof will be in the testing.

Tetra called in an industrial designer, Jeffrey Warden of 1859 Design, to create the filter. He observed aquarium owners in their homes, watching them interact with their current filtration systems, where he discovered two common problems:

  • People placing their filters in backwards, thus flushing debris into aquariums during filter changes
  • An aversion to touching expired carbon filters.

Personally we like nothing more than getting fish poo under our nails, but we accept it takes all types. You can see how Warden’s findings have been mapped onto those patent-pending features.

Another point to note is that the motor is submerged, cutting noise by 50 per cent.

The Whisper EX Filter will come in four official sizes:

  • EX 20; 10 to 20 US gallon aquariums
  • EX 30; 20 to 30 US gallon aquariums
  • EX 45; 30 to 45 US gallon aquariums
  • EX 70; 45 to 70 US gallon aquariums

Tetra makes good, affordable equipment in our experience, and we imagine the new filter will be looked at by both beginner aquarists and experts ever seeking some new hardware to modify.

Let us know how you get on with it in the comments when it launches.

Check out Katy's Tropical Fish Guide for more aquarium info.

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