Dirty filter socks? How about no sock at all?

PAcanis

Is there a reason built in sumps, like Waterbox and Fiji Cube use on some of their AIO tanks, use a filter sock prefilter? Why does it need the sock? HOB filters don't use two filtration methods. At least not mine. The water goes through a sponge, then some bioballs, then back into the tank. Just the one sponge to collect debris or fish waste. If I removed the socks in my tanks that use them, the water would go through a sponge, then bioballs, then another sponge, then back into the tank. It would actually be filtered more than my HOB Tidal 35's.

So yes, cleaning filter socks has started to be a pain. Sometimes a tank will go a week with normal water levels and sometimes, like just now, the water flow will get backed up because the sock that was changed just a few days ago is dirty again. That shows it's doing its job, but if I eliminate the sock and use the two sponges and the bioballs I don't see a problem with that. The top sponge will collect the debris and I'll be able to see it and clean it. Unlike the sock that gets dirty inside and simply slows down without me noticing right away.

Seriously thinking about eliminating the socks unless needed. Like startup where I might have botanical or substrate debris after filling the tank and turning on. Or maybe for cloudy water.

Thoughts?
 

coralbandit

I washed my socks when I used them in washing machine [ no soap] and then soaked them .
They are hard to clean for sure .
Most who really use them are marine keepers IMO [they are used to throwing money away !] .
 

PAcanis

I washed my socks when I used them in washing machine [ no soap] and then soaked them .
They are hard to clean for sure .
Most who really use them are marine keepers IMO [they are used to throwing money away !] .

I've been washing mine, also, but even on a small load cycle it seems like a waist. And the ones for my Waterbox are too small a diameter to turn inside out.

Just getting tired of seeing the water 1/8" below the top of the tank when I get up in the morning :eek:
 

coralbandit

I found turning them inside out a pain also .
I eventually got extra and would soak dirty ones in bleach and water for days then rinse and soak.
But it too was a pain
 

PAcanis

I've seen folks saying they use a filter pad on top, or put some floss in the top of the sock, but like I said, it just seems like an extra step that isn't needed except for special instances.

And the sock I love the best is the nylon sock. It doesn't require the constant care and monitoring of a felt sock. But then I'm sure it doesn't filter the finer particles either.

I appreciate the replies.
 

coralbandit

I stopped using them in favor of cut to fit pads with different micron values .
They are the same pain to clean but being flat makes it easier to place on say eggcrate and blast clean with hose ..
 

RayClem

I like using prefilter sponges on the intakes of my filters (both HOB and cansister). When the sponges get clogged with debris, I rinse them out to remove the debris and then replace the. Over time, the sponges do lose their integrity and will need to be replaced with new sponges, but that is not a frequent occurrence.
 

MrMuggles

Hmm I don't understand "cleaning filter socks is hard" but maybe it's because mine are extra long? They're easy to turn out and then I just scrub the fabric in the kitchen sink with mild dishsoap and a plastic bristled brush. Only takes a couple minutes.
 

RayClem

Hmm I don't understand "cleaning filter socks is hard" but maybe it's because mine are extra long? They're easy to turn out and then I just scrub the fabric in the kitchen sink with mild dishsoap and a plastic bristled brush. Only takes a couple minutes.

I would never use a mild dish soap to clean anything used in an aquarium. Yes, I do wash my hands before reaching into the tank, but if your filter sock retains any detergent, it will be harmful to the fish. Also, washing them in chlorinated water will kill any beneficial bacteria that may have colonized the material.

When dealing with any filter media, it is best just to rinse it out in aquarium water removed during water changes. For soft media such as sponges, socks, and filter pads, it is OK to squeeze gently, but I would never scrub with a brush or use any type of cleaner.
 

MrMuggles

No, My socks do not retain any of this gentle, plant-based dish soap. They are rinsed in reverse osmosis filtered water when done. It is completely safe for my fish and bio filter.

Unless one intends their socks as a bio filter surface it does not matter what one washes them with, so long as they are rinsed properly.
 

PAcanis

Hmm I don't understand "cleaning filter socks is hard" but maybe it's because mine are extra long?

No, the length has nothing to do with it.
It's the small diameter that prevents them from being turned inside out, making them easy to clean. Assuming your filter socks also have the plastic ring around the top.

And to update, all four tanks that used a sock as a prefilter before the sponges are running just fine without the filter sock.
 

RayClem

No, My socks do not retain any of this gentle, plant-based dish soap. They are rinsed in reverse osmosis filtered water when done. It is completely safe for my fish and bio filter.

Unless one intends their socks as a bio filter surface it does not matter what one washes them with, so long as they are rinsed properly.
I am sorry to disagree with you, but it is impossible to remove all traces of dish soap from any cloth material. Some will always get trapped in the weave of the fabric. Whether it is enough to create a significant problem is a matter of degreee.

Also, whether you intend it or not, anything put into an aquarium becomes a surface for the growth of beneficial bacteria. It does not matter whether it is cloth, plastic, rocks, gravel, glass, sponges, or ceramic media. The bacteria are just looking for surfaces on which they can attach. Thus, a filter sock or sponge prefilter becomes part of the biofilter. There is simply no way of avoiding it.
 

MrMuggles

Whether it is enough to create a significant problem is a matter of degreee
This is Exactly what I said.

So knowing that I dunk my socks in RO water and agitate to remove any significant amount of soap, the degree is so small that it is impossible for it to have a measurable effect. In my opinion This is not up for debate, it is a mathematical fact that a few ppm in a few drops (assuming that I’m absolutely terrible at rinsing my socks, which I’m not) added to 100+ gallons will have absolutely zero measurable impact.
Also, whether you intend it or not, anything put into an aquarium becomes a surface for the growth of beneficial bacteria.
I know, and I’m saying I do not care about the bb on the sock, it would be a waste of my energy. I cycled my tank to grow bacteria in the bio media, not in the socks (which have a tiny fraction of the surface area I need). They exist only for mechanical filtration in my system. If they grow bb between cleaning that’s their business, not mine

Do people avoid scrubbing algae from their aquarium glass to preserve BB? It would be the same idea. I scrub that glass wherever I feel like it because it doesn’t need to be a bio filter.
 

PAcanis

I found that if I have floating debris to clear up that filter floss media laid either on top of the top sponge or in the sock's compartment (where I keep my heaters now) is just as effective as the sock was. And when it gets dirty it still allows flow through it.

But I still have a love/hate relationship with AIO tanks and their sumps.
The positives are very positive and the negatives are very negative.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
3
Views
95
jtjgg
Replies
40
Views
4K
Innocent159
Replies
16
Views
510
Jimmie93
Replies
20
Views
914
AZL
Replies
2
Views
250
aussieJJDude

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium Filter Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom