First DIY sponge filter


I made one today! Cut a small kitchen sponge (the kind with the scrubby side) into a cube, hooked it up to a standing tube, got the airline all ready to go.

Then it occurred to me that I have no idea if brillo sponges are safe for use in my tank. Any thoughts?


Check the package and make sure it doesn't have preservatives or chemicals in it. Some have soap already in them -_- yikes


haha yeah I did make sure it wasn't a pre-soaped one. Last thing I need is another random shrimp genocide because I used the wrong sponge in their tank lol.


Hmm the package doesn't say anything about it.


Run some tap water on it. It has soap you'll know quickly.


Not just soap. Some sponges are treated with antibacterial agents. I don't know if this would harm fish, but I would assume so.

Thai Aquarium owner

Soap and Anti-bacterial agents will both knock out the BB in the filter, or stop them from accumilating
IMO you are better off going to LFS and getting the correct sponges that are sterile, and just cut to size if needed


I would not use that sponge Junebug, sorry. Most kitchen sponges have anti-bacterial agents in them these days, plus they are not made with the right sized pores to have good flow through. Buy one of the Aquaclear 70 sponges and cut it to the size you need. A box of 3 of them sells at local petsmart for around $7. Better yet, get an actual sponge filter that is manufactured and designed for aquariums. Here is a link to the sponge filters that I have heard a lot of good things about.....

$3.88 for the smaller size and $5.25 for the larger size, and that includes shipping. I don't think anyone can make them cheaper than that. Many shrimp keepers use these and they are highly rated. They have 2 sponges so you can clean out one side when needed while leaving other side with undisturbed bacteria colony. Then in a few weeks clean out other side, great way to stagger cleaning and not destroy all the bacteria at one time.


Yeah, this was just to tide me over until I could get back down into town for a real one Might just go without for a few days

K I feel silly. I'm gonna put a nylon over the intake for one of my internal filters and use that instead. hahaha silly me


This company delivers right to your front door. They have all the sizes and extra parts also.


Yeah , I did once. It melts in 3 days ... , and when I tried to remove it, it spreads all over my 12 gallon tank


On a facebook group someone posted some homemade sponge filters using a plastic bottle, airline tubing, and filter floss. It looks very easy and doable. Let me see if I can find the picture on the group for you.

Okay, let me know if you're not able to view this pic:

Basically, it's a plastic Gatorade bottle that has been rinsed and the label removed. This was actually made to run carbon but it would also work as a sponge filter. Cut a hole in the lid big enough to fit a piece of plastic or PVC pipe. Make sure the hole is just big enough to hold the pipe so it doesn't come out. Punch some holes into the bottom of the bottle to allow water to flow in. Run your airline through the top of the tube/pipe and put your bubble stone in the bottom of the bottle. Fill the bottle with media (floss, sponge, carbon, whatever). Voila, instant filter.

The link doesn't seem to work right, try this:

As for what to use in your DIY sponge filter, you can always use the plastic pot scrubbers. They are perfectly safe, though they don't have very small holes. I wonder if loofah would work?


Sea sponge works, but I wanted something with smaller holes so no babies got sucked into it.

The one I made works great, just not sure if it's cycling as I haven't left it in a tank yet. However the sponge wasn't treated with antibacterial agents, so it would probably be fine if I used it in one of my tanks.


so I decided to try and make my own sponge filter for my stage 1 platy fry tank tonight. I watched several tutorials on YouTube (LifeOfPets, DIY King and a few others) and thought, I have all the stuff, so why not try. I have 11 2 day old platy fry currently in this tank and they only had an air's a 1 gallon bowl, so there is really no way to put a filter in other than a sponge filter. It's just a temp. tank I put the new fry in for the first few days after they are born to make sure they are strong and eating well. They will be going in with my 24 2week old fry in a few days in a larger tank with a regular filter. So I have a small glass jar, a layer of gravel from my main adult tank on the bottom, a layer of poly-fill, a layer of ceramic rings from my main tank filter, another layer of poly-fill then a little more gravel on the top to hold the poly-fill in. Seems to be working well so far, but I think I would like to find some type of clear tube to put the air stone into that comes a little above the top of the jar to better direct the air flow, and it seems to sometimes push the debris that is trying to suck into the filter back out. It looks way bigger then it is because the photo was taken they the side of the bowl which is like a giant magnifying glass, but it's only about 5in tall.


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Interesting. I made my diy sponge filter a different way but if it's working that's all that matters.


Did you put holes in the bottom? That helps the water flow up and through the filter


I did's a glass jar. I only saw 1 video that was made slightly different then the design I decided to go with. I'm gonna live with it a little, see how it works and adjust as needed. The bioload isn't that large, it's for newborn platy fry for their first 5 days or so then they go into the larger fry tank.


Looking at the filter I just don't understand how the water flows through it Maybe an explanation or more photos ?


So it's an airstone in the bottom of the jar with the layers, as the air is pushed thru the stone and comes out the top, water from the tank is pulled into the jar and filtered thru the layers, then pushed back out the top. LifeWithPets on youtube made a good video on diy sponge filters, I also think Rachel O'Leary and a few others did YouTube videos on them too. You can also add carbon on top,of the poly-fill before putting the gravel or ceramic rings in as needed. I elected not do use carbon in my fry tanks unless I have to medicate.

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