30 Gallon Tank Best way to cover external filter intake without decreasing filtration?

V1K

Member
I noticed that when I feed fish, a lot of food gets sucked into the filter before the fish can grab it. Today I wanted to treat my fish with some grindal worms, but instead of settling to the bottom, they were sucked into the filter in half a minute or so. It's both a waste of food and unnecessary pollution of the filter. I have two possible ideas to prevent it - one, put a coarse filter sponge on the intake, two, put a think pantyhose on it. However, wouldn't that undermine my whole point of getting external filter, as all the visible mulm would get stuck on whichever cover I put on it, instead of getting into the filter, and I'd need to clean that cover every few days?
 

RayClem

Member
Some people turn off their external filters during the few minutes of feeding time. I do not turn my filters off but use prefilter sponges on my intake tubes. Some food does get sucked onto the sponge, but my fish gladly nibble at the food that they find there.
 

Spudsssy

Member
Make a feeding ring out hose from airpump and feed in area of tank with least current away from filter intake. Food should then hopefully drop in one spot instead of blow around tank. I use sponge over intake and clean it twice a week.
 

RelaxingBettas

Member
I am wrangling this now, I need to put some amanos in one, and without a coarse sponge handy, I will probably be stuck with pantyhose, and I'd really rather not- I have fine sponge I could McGyver, but I am kinda leaning on mechanical filtration flow because a) hex, and b), sand (no bubble wand). I guess amanos would probably be ok, but I hope to have fry in there one day, and... :/
 
  • Thread Starter

V1K

Member
RayClem said:
Some people turn off their external filters during the few minutes of feeding time. I do not turn my filters off but use prefilter sponges on my intake tubes. Some food does get sucked onto the sponge, but my fish gladly nibble at the food that they find there.
And how does the prefilter sponge affect your mechanical filtration?
Spudsssy said:
Make a feeding ring out hose from airpump and feed in area of tank with least current away from filter intake. Food should then hopefully drop in one spot instead of blow around tank. I use sponge over intake and clean it twice a week.
The food gets carried away AFTER it goes underwater, so that wouldn't change a thing.

I guess turning it off would be easier; the dangerous part is not to forget to turn it back on :eek:
 

Flyfisha

Member
Hey all,
Its not advisable to use pantyhose because it will block up in no time. A large sponge will not need rinsing as often. Aquarium co-op sell what looks exactly like a sponge filter with a simple pipe connector. If you are handy with an electric drill and can walk around a hardware store PVC pipes I am sure you can fashion a pre filter out of a small sponge filter and PVC connections ?

A red hot wire can be used to burn a whole in aquarium foam if necessary.
 

RayClem

Member
Prefilter sponges do get filled with debris over time, but that just keeps the debris from getting into the main filter. I consider that to be an advantage. The prefilter sponge provides both mechanical and biological filtration, so it becomes part of your overall filter system.

If you allow the prefilter sponge to get clogged, the flowrate through the filter will start to drop off. If you notice that happening, it is time to rinse out the sponge.
 
  • Thread Starter

V1K

Member
So I put a sponge on the intake. It was kind of a happy coincidence that I had it too . I ordered some new sponges for my internal filter before New Year, before I decided I need a new filter, because my old filter sponge got ripped due to frequent washing. It was a fine sponge, and I thought that the replacements I ordered will be just like that. They only arrived yesterday, and surprise, they are coarse. However, in this case it's a good thing, because I don't really need them to do that much filtering, and they won't clog as fast as the fine one would. Also, since I'm keeping the internal filter just in case I need to quarantine something, I'll always have a cycled sponge on hand. The opening of the sponge was a bit tight, but I managed to get it on the intake. As I took the intake off to do it, it convinced me that putting the sponge on is definitely a good call not just for feeding - there was a lot of moss stuck around the ball valve inside it (puuled them out with tweezers), I think it would have clogged in no time.
 

RayClem

Member
V1K said:
So I put a sponge on the intake. It was kind of a happy coincidence that I had it too . I ordered some new sponges for my internal filter before New Year, before I decided I need a new filter, because my old filter sponge got ripped due to frequent washing. It was a fine sponge, and I thought that the replacements I ordered will be just like that. They only arrived yesterday, and surprise, they are coarse. However, in this case it's a good thing, because I don't really need them to do that much filtering, and they won't clog as fast as the fine one would. Also, since I'm keeping the internal filter just in case I need to quarantine something, I'll always have a cycled sponge on hand. The opening of the sponge was a bit tight, but I managed to get it on the intake. As I took the intake off to do it, it convinced me that putting the sponge on is definitely a good call not just for feeding - there was a lot of moss stuck around the ball valve inside it (puuled them out with tweezers), I think it would have clogged in no time.
Prefilter sponges come in various sizes. Larger filters come with intake tubes about 1" in diameter. They need a larger sponge. Smaller filter come with intake tubes about 1/2" in diameter. They need a smaller sponge.
 

Islandvic

Member
Check out the ATI brand of sponge filters and pre-filters. The Ken's Fish and Jehmco websites have them. I like the Ken's Fish website because I buy their house brand of food, and other fishkeeping supplies from them.

ATI sells the Filter-Max III, which is a coarse foam sponge prefilter that comes with multiple plastic fittings. It can attach to almost any intake tube that is round.

I have one attached to my Fluval FX4 canister and each of my Aquaclear 70 and 110 HOB's.

I like them a lot.
 

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