water circulator and a sponge?
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:44 AM   #1
bmeate
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water circulator and a sponge?


so ive been running my 55gal with maybe 10 small fish for a while with no filter. everything has been steady for a while now. decent amount of plants and surfaces for bacteria to grow on and i have an airpump run air through a foam tubey thing throughout the tank at different times coming out to about 1/3 of the day.

Im thinking if I add a water circulater with a sponge on the end, that should be a good place for a bactera colony to grow and help make things steadier. I dont really wanna buy an hob. something cheap would be cool

your thoughts?
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:55 AM   #2
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you need a filter.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:04 AM   #3
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Just buy a sponge filter if you don't want to run a Hob or there are plenty of diy air driven filter ideas on u tube
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:43 AM   #4
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A powerhead with a large enough sponge is a fine filter, just run it all the time so the bacteria don't suffocate. Air going through a foam thing is also a good filter, just run it all the time.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
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A powerhead driven sponge filter is what you're looking for. I would get two powerheads, put one at each end of the tank.

The powerheads can just be placed with suction cups inside the tank and will move around more water than an air-pump while still being much quieter...this type of filter is usually completely silent, (unless you feed air into the powerhead for added aeration, which you wouldn't need, especially with such a low bioload). Just point them along the surface to get a slight ripple...what you want is Laminar flow across the surface to break up any films and aid in gas exchange while the sponges below provide a massive surface for bacteria to colonize.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:01 AM   #6
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I used a small powerhead and a sponge filter rated for 80 gallons on my 55 in conjunction with an AC 70 for three months no problem. My bioload is a bit more than double yours though. A couple of sponges with powerheads is advisable to get good water circulation ensuring even distribution of heat and preventing dead spots while aiding in mechanical filtration. Although mechanical filtration is more limited with sponges for the number of fish you have and if you feed lightly they should do just fine. Hydro Pro sponges are excellent and come highly recommended so you might want to take a look. Since you already run an air pump you could probably save a bit by running one sponge on an oversized powerhead and the other on the air pump. This will also prevent the film that collects on the surface in the absence of a good ripple.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
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I have 24 tanks running and only two have canisters. The rest run on simple air-driven sponge filters. The key is to match your bioload to your filter's capacity. No, it's not X inches per gallon. The formula is way more complicated and pretty much unique to each tank.

You mention that you're trying to make things "steadier" which I read to mean that you may be having or have had issues at some point. As suggested, running whatever filter you choose full-time is a minimum. Whatever bacteria you've accumulated is either starved or suffocated during the down time and may likely cause mini-cycles.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:06 AM   #8
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I never really have any issues but I suppose I want things to 'steady out' easier if say a fish died, I disturbed too much gravel, changed my parameters in any sort of form. Tank has been running great.

Yeah so what's a low gpm rate I could add? For no legitimate reasons I really don't like the huge volume flow I would get when running my cannister filter and the oscilating powerhead I used to have

Cheaper is better. I'm gonna look up my options right now, but does anyone have any other suggestions suitable to low cost, minimal water flow
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:16 AM   #9
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API sponge and a air pump you can turn it down to flow slow not going to get much cheaper then that to buy& run ....
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:54 AM   #10
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what kind of sponge should i get with this, and how would i attach it?
Amazon.com : Rio Plus 50 Aqua Pump - 69 GPH : Aquarium Water Pumps : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Rio Plus 50 Aqua Pump - 69 GPH : Aquarium Water Pumps : Pet Supplies
There is also a 211gph version which i believe isnt that crazy of a flow, thats almost a gallon every 15 seconds... hmmm maybe that is a lot
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:32 PM   #11
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anyone?
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:15 PM   #12
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I'm not quite sure I understand the advantage of a pump with a sponge. If you want filtration, get a filter. Looks nicer and is a lot less messy when you need to clean it. If you just want water movement, get the pump with just the inlet basket thing and without a sponge (unless you need to protect small fish, shrimp, etc.). If your tank is well established and you do your water changes, you can probably get by without a filter.

In any case, I would still recommend getting a stronger pump. Pumps and filters slow down quite a bit over time, and that Rio 50 is tiny.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmeate View Post
what kind of sponge should i get with this, and how would i attach it?
Amazon.com : Rio Plus 50 Aqua Pump - 69 GPH : Aquarium Water Pumps : Pet Supplies
There is also a 211gph version which i believe isnt that crazy of a flow, thats almost a gallon every 15 seconds... hmmm maybe that is a lot
I drilled lots of holes in a short piece of PVC pipe that fit over the pump's output and put a prefilter sponge on my intank filter. The other pump has a nice plastic mesh cylinder that supports the foam, not sure where that came from though. Since neither support really grabbed the pump's outflow tube very well I put a couple zip ties on the support tube to narrow it down just a bit. Your pump needs 1/2" PVC and will be able to hold on to foam with a 3/4" hole in it.

If you really want to beef up biological filtration look into a mattenfilter. Foam going from bottom to top of tank, across one end or just in a corner with a power head behind. You can hide your heater back there as well. There have been a couple pretty well documented journals here, this is one. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...084&highlight=
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:27 PM   #14
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you don't even need a filter just get a small powerhead to keep things moving.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:11 PM   #15
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Your nickname is awesome!
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