Battle Of The Sponges!

  1. Gilly

    Gilly Valued Member Member

    I know that anyone with a good budget will tell me "Go with a canister. Eheims are good, sunsuns are marinelands with different colors, etc." and I would agree. However, I am building a budget tank, meaning that I do not yet have the ability to afford top notch display tanks. I cant justify a 150 dollar canister when I know that a 40 dollar HOB will probably filter my 56 gallon well enough. I will have A LOT of plants in my tank, and really hesitate to use any chemical filtration. I would have to supplement carbon with a power filter should I ever need to medicate. I would like to know who here has run/currently runs ONLY SPONGE FILTERS in their tanks. I understand breeding tanks are pretty strait forward for fry concerns, but who uses them in their display tanks? Without the need for chemical filtration and with a pretty good handle on mechanical, does anyone have good luck with them? and would a powerhead or an airstone be better for circulation? and how do people secure powerheads to sponge filters? Lots of questions, I know, I apologize. Just trying to get my feet under me with this stuff
     
  2. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    I personally don't run display tanks solely on sponge filters but I know many here do. @AngelTheGypsy , any comments for this application?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Gilly

    Gilly Valued Member Member

    I'm definitely hoping for some good opinions because it kind of determines where I go first. I can get a big sponge and a maxi-jet for a total of about 30 bucks on amazon, or my next step would be a sunsun 303b, but am concerned at the basket configuration, and it would cost me twice as much. I used to have a Penn Plax 1200 that had 4 baskets in it that were generically shaped and I was able to jam home-made bags of any material or wads of floss, etc. The SunSun doesn't show the baskets too well online.
     


  4. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    Oooh, darn. Some one just got a SunSun. They have become very popular. I know several were talking about what they would put in them. If my brain will engage and I can remember who it was, or they were, I will give them a shout out.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Gilly

    Gilly Valued Member Member

    thank you
     
  6. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsy Fishlore VIP Member

    I don't use sponge filters at all. I know I'm behind the curve...
    I do run penn plax cascade 700 canisters on my 40 gals, and am very happy with them. I got them on amazon for about $70 each.
    The use of only sponge filters in your tank will probably work depending on pump size and bioload.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Gilly

    Gilly Valued Member Member

    If its only a matter of 20 or 30 dollars I wont mind getting a different filter. I just wanted to scope out other people's luck with sponges. Per cubic inch a sponge filter is unmatched in terms of biological filtration, its just a fact. You would have to slow your flow in a 5 stage canister and stack it with nothing but foam media and bio balls to get the same effect as one sponge filter. With proper bio and mechanical filtration you don't need carbon, unless you are removing medications. I used to run aquaclears with nothing but a sponge and floss and had crystal clear, proper-smelling water. I want to keep the tank against the wall and eliminate noise, so HOB is a no-go. I would consider a canister only if there was significant proof that a heavily planted tank would be deprived without the extra mechanical filtration that the canister provides. If a 400 gph maxi-jet powerhead was hooked to a sponge filter, it should filter the same amount of water as a good canister as well as provide the current and circulation to eliminate dead spots. The only thing that keeps me from being confident is whether or not the canister filter can do a better job of recycling water because of a spray bar. I guess the one thing that I could see being an instant plus is that medicating and adjusting water flow is easier with a canister, and you technically add a few gallons to your system's overall capacity, giving a hint of a buffer for bio-load. Just need to justify the extra 30-40 bucks
     
  8. Samuel97

    Samuel97 Well Known Member Member

    I'm planning a canister for my new 55gal im building but both of my 20gals are run on a single sponge filter and are always crystal (two airlines from one air pump too!)
     
  9. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    I use HOB filters with only sponges as media - Aqua-Clears and unnamed Chinese brand ones. They are great.
    I have used powerheads with large sponge filters designed for air modified to fit. They worked extremely well, if hidden from view. I mean, that's why wood falls into water, right?
    They clog fast, and I have always used them in tandem with an HOB. I like 2 filters, and I have flow loving fish that need powerheads, so I figure why not filter when I'm at it?
     
  10. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    I use Matten Filters these days, ~5-10 for the reticulated sponge sheet and a cheap power head to run it. You give up some space in your tank to the filter but it lasts freaking forever and needs to be cleaned every 3-6 months.
     
  11. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsy Fishlore VIP Member

    Both of my tanks are moderately planted, and the amount of mulm that accumulates in the canister is astounding. (To me). I don't use chemical filtration, just course sponge, filter floss and biomedia.
     
  12. tocandesu

    tocandesu Well Known Member Member

    You can get the rough shape of the basket with the media it ships with

    Aquarium Sponge Filter Pads Media for SUNSUN/PERFECT/GRECH/Super Canister Filter

    I would say that each basket is about 3-3.5 inches thick.