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Old 10-30-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
discoveringmypath
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Sponge Filter Question


Hello all,

I've never used a sponge filter before, but I"m going to get some for a couple breeding tanks.

I'm just wondering how effective they are at filtering the water?

And I'm wondering on what size (GPH) for a power head or what size of an air pump should I use?

I'm probably going to have 10G tanks, but I'm also wondering about 20G and 40G.

Will this be the only filter I would need for the tank?


Thanks for answering my questions in advance. I have been searching for awhile now and haven't been able to find a good answer on the size of power head or size of air pump.

Most pages that I have read, just say hook up an air pump and your good; but What size air pump?

Thanks again!
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:43 PM   #2
xmas_one
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This is actually one of few cases where the manufacturer recommended sizing is correct. So if the box says good for 10-30 gallons and you have a 10 gallon, you're all good. I wouldn't use a powerhead on a sponge uplift filter, it's just going to clog up super quick.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas_one View Post
This is actually one of few cases where the manufacturer recommended sizing is correct. So if the box says good for 10-30 gallons and you have a 10 gallon, you're all good. I wouldn't use a powerhead on a sponge uplift filter, it's just going to clog up super quick.
Thanks for the comment. How quickly would it clog up?

Also are sponge filters good for planted tanks? Or grow tanks?
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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Sponge filters are mainly biological with some mechanical. Its the only filter on my 5g betta with good plant growth.
I'm adding a dual sponge along with an hob with presponge for my 10g shrimp

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Old 11-12-2013, 01:24 AM   #5
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I would strongly recommend against using a Spongefilter on a 40 gallon. A 20? Well maybe two good sized ones. On the 40 I would get a canister.. if you want to try some DYI there are canisters that can be built and I'm currently enjoying a trickle filter system inhereted from a friend which can be built as well. Honestly, buying a canister for the 40 is probably the quickest and easiest way though.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
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Sponge filters are great for fry. A lot of microorganisms will grow on them and the fry can eat these things.

But fry are not strong swimmers, so I would use only air, not a PH to run a sponge filter in a breeding or grow out tank.

If the tank needs more cleaning than one sponge is doing, then add more sponge filters, do not increase the water flow through a single sponge. A large diameter sponge will have a more gentle water flow at its surface compared to a smaller sponge.

If the tank has fine substrate then the sponge filter can plug up very fast, clogged by sand and finer materials. Keep the sponge filter high enough that this cannot happen. If you are raising the fry in bare bottom tanks, or with a thin layer of coarse gravel, then there are no worries about the sponge picking up sand or silt.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:15 AM   #7
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I have a dual sponge filter running on a 10 gallon, it's length wise so the sponge filter is on a side if glass and the lifter tube is facing the other way, gives me surface agitation and slow flow. This tank houses a pair of apistos so the little flow is good.

I actually just replaced my hob with prefilter on another 10 gallon with a dual sponge filter as the pre filter kept getting clogged and slowing flow. So far so good on this tank, only has tiger endlerS, Pygmy cories and cherry and chocolate shrimpso low bioloads, but sponge filters are awesome once established I usually run them in my heavily stocked tanks to seed them and then can place them in a new tank whenever
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:19 AM   #8
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If a breeding tank/fry grow out tank needs more than an air run sponge....You are not doing enough water changes/cleaning. When I was seriously breeding Angelfish* & Africans I use mostly 20L tanks. They were bare bottom, sponge & a heater. Daily syphoning of waste/uneaten food, typically daily 10% water changes while cleaning. Daily cleaning allows for more feedings a day and faster growth.

As Diana pointed out sponges are rich with biofilm for fry to graze on.

*My breeding angels were in taller tanks 20Hs & a 55. I raised the eggs artificially in gallon jars then grew out the fry/babies in 20Ls.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anastasisariel View Post
I would strongly recommend against using a Spongefilter on a 40 gallon. A 20? Well maybe two good sized ones. On the 40 I would get a canister.. if you want to try some DYI there are canisters that can be built and I'm currently enjoying a trickle filter system inhereted from a friend which can be built as well. Honestly, buying a canister for the 40 is probably the quickest and easiest way though.
So Sponge filters for smaller tanks then... I wouldn't mind a DYI canister filter. I"m not familar with a trickle filter system though, I would have to research that one. Is it like an overflow with a sump system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana
Sponge filters are great for fry. A lot of microorganisms will grow on them and the fry can eat these things.

But fry are not strong swimmers, so I would use only air, not a PH to run a sponge filter in a breeding or grow out tank.

If the tank needs more cleaning than one sponge is doing, then add more sponge filters, do not increase the water flow through a single sponge. A large diameter sponge will have a more gentle water flow at its surface compared to a smaller sponge.

If the tank has fine substrate then the sponge filter can plug up very fast, clogged by sand and finer materials. Keep the sponge filter high enough that this cannot happen. If you are raising the fry in bare bottom tanks, or with a thin layer of coarse gravel, then there are no worries about the sponge picking up sand or silt.
Thanks for the tips. When I breed fish I think I'm definitely going to be using a sponge filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tattooedfool83
I actually just replaced my hob with prefilter on another 10 gallon with a dual sponge filter as the pre filter kept getting clogged and slowing flow. So far so good on this tank, only has tiger endlerS, Pygmy cories and cherry and chocolate shrimpso low bioloads, but sponge filters are awesome once established I usually run them in my heavily stocked tanks to seed them and then can place them in a new tank whenever
What do you mean by seed them? Placing the filter in an established tank to quickly develop bacteria for a new tank?

I'm guessing this would speed up the cycle time for a new tank, if you plan on using a sponge filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish
If a breeding tank/fry grow out tank needs more than an air run sponge....You are not doing enough water changes/cleaning. When I was seriously breeding Angelfish* & Africans I use mostly 20L tanks. They were bare bottom, sponge & a heater. Daily syphoning of waste/uneaten food, typically daily 10% water changes while cleaning. Daily cleaning allows for more feedings a day and faster growth.
Thanks for the comment. Why does daily cleaning allow for more feedings?

I'm just wondering because I'm wanting to start breeding fish myself.

The plan is to get 4 40B tanks, put them on 2 stands (2 stacked each stand). I initially was only wanting to use these tanks for growing plants, but I figured I could try to breed certain fish in each tank. After reading all these posts, I can see maybe the sponge filters are not good for a 40B tank.

Let me know if this sounds like a decent idea: Maybe I can put in seporators in each tank for keeping the males and females apart for different species. and then have a few 10G tanks for the actual breeding/fry growing out. So I could pick a male and female, put them in the 10G and let them get it on, then put the adults back in there respective tank and side.

The idea behind this is to get the most out of each tank as far as plant growth and breeding because I'm interested in both.

I was thinking sponge filters would be good for breeding, and I could use them in the 40B tanks because they are cheaper. Maybe that isn't really the best method though.

My next idea would be to use an overflow and sump system for each tank. So 1 filter essentially for all 4 tanks and also one heater for all tanks. My only concern is loss of co2 with overflows...

Thanks for all the comments. They are all very helpful!
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:50 AM   #10
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Yeah my 75 is heavily stocked and the tank is like 8 months old so I put sponge filters in there hook them to airlines and let them run for a Few weeks then I can transfer them to tanks when needed. This has worked so far, but like dog fish said the key is water changes on smaller tanks, I have some heavier planted tanks that I only do weekly water changes on and then I have another tank with a bit plants and a single fish so I do 50% water changes on this regularly. All of these tanks are run on sponge filters.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Sponge filters are great for fry. A lot of microorganisms will grow on them and the fry can eat these things.

But fry are not strong swimmers, so I would use only air, not a PH to run a sponge filter in a breeding or grow out tank.

If the tank needs more cleaning than one sponge is doing, then add more sponge filters, do not increase the water flow through a single sponge. A large diameter sponge will have a more gentle water flow at its surface compared to a smaller sponge.

If the tank has fine substrate then the sponge filter can plug up very fast, clogged by sand and finer materials. Keep the sponge filter high enough that this cannot happen. If you are raising the fry in bare bottom tanks, or with a thin layer of coarse gravel, then there are no worries about the sponge picking up sand or silt.
+one.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:21 AM   #12
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You can use them on any size tank really. May need more than one or just use another airstone on the otherside of the tank for circulation. A lot of moss like java is also good for raising fry. If you put a bunch of moss in a tank with a sponge filter and no fish you will see a lot of copepods and such swimming around after a while. This the method I used to breed cpds and they are some tiny little guys.

By seeding he means squeeze out sponges and media from an established filter into a container and suck it up with the new sponge. Presto chango you have a cycled filter, more or less, and in the case of fry that would be plenty to get it started.

Hydrosponge make good ones with weighted pedestals to allow flow on the bottom and keep them in place.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:14 PM   #13
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I have sponge filters on my 125 gallon tank. As long as you have adequately sized sponges for your bioload and adequate means of moving water through them, there's no reason you can't have sponge filters on any size aquarium. The sponge filter for my 125 is rated for 1000 gallons of pond.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:53 PM   #14
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I use some of the cheap dual sponges of [Ebay Link Removed] If you have a larger tank load just use 2 of them!
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