Air vs water for sponge filter?

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Andyfischer

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I've just installed a large sponge filter in my 75 cichlid tank to supplement my bio. All I had was an air pump. I'm wondering how air driven compares to a power head.

I suspect the power head gives much higher flow but don't know if that is desirable.

what is best flow such I don't blind it. The sponge looks to be about 8" diameter. It's a Lustar hydro V. Not pro model.
 

CHJ

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If you want flow, air can't compete with a powerhead.
 
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Andyfischer

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Right of course but is air sufficient. And how to size the power head flow?
 
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Andyfischer

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Maybe the question is flow per surface area. Gallon/(hr sq inch)
 

andy305mia

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I think sponge filter is the way to go, 2 for 1. They filter and they create surface agitation. As long as you have surface agitation you should be getting oxygen in the water. Now as far as circulation inside the tank and dead spots, that's different. A power head would be good for circulation so both wouldn't hurt. Any other type of filtration? I have spray bars on all my tanks which create surface agitation and movement in my tanks, my canisters give me that option. I have air stones in a couple of my tanks as well where I dont get a lot of flow.
 

CHJ

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Sponge filters work really well on air. You see fish shops all over just running foam and air in most of their tanks.
What the air doesn't give you is the stirring up of waste so it can get eaten by the foam (With air you can try putting a 90 degree PCV pipe corner on your output tube to get some movement but it is not going to stir up a tank). Air of course also runs way less GPH through your foam and the bacteria living in it.
So a power head on foam will give you cleaner substrate/plants/etc than air.

For sizing I usually run maxijet 1200s that I keep laying around as my preferred power head solution for everything. I have a smaller one somewhere in case I have to hook up a smaller tank like a 20 gallon or want flow but not lots of flow.
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Andyfischer

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Sounds good. I don't need any stirring just best flow for bio cycle. Too high a flow would result in blinding the surface but there is an optimal flow for bio. I think ill stay with air for now. If I go with power head, maybe a aqua clear 30 or 50 both adjustable.
 

Islandvic

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Stick with an air pump. I have a couple of ATI Hydro Sponge filters, both regular and the coarse Pro.

If you want to put a powerhead on it, look at something like a Marineland Maxi-jet 600. They should be around $10-$13 online.
 

smee82

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In a 75 gallon cichlid tank tank you will probably want to go with a power head over an airpump to give you more circulation.
 
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Andyfischer

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I’m running two canisters and two HOBs. All I need is bio. I’ll stay cheap and use the 4 watt i have. Thanks for your input. You guys are great.
 
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