Help: Is It The Sponge Filter Or My Air Pump?

Beta blue

New Member
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Points
26
Experience
Just started
Hi all-

It's been two months since I started my fishkeeping journey. Blue, my Half Moon double tail betta seems happy and the quality of my water is A+. Tonight I noticed my bio sponge filter was making gluging noises and every few minutes the bubbles would stop and then a bunch of BIG bubbles would come out.. I rinse the sponge in tank water whenever I do a water change so it's clean, and I just changed the air line thinking maybe there was a block or something. Same problem. Does that mean it's my "new" expensive air pump that's malfunctioning? I noticed a film on the top of the tank like a whitish oily which I tried to skim off. I unplugged the pump until I can figure this out. HELP, Blue needs his filter! I do have a check valve to prevent backflow installed closest to the pump and a control valve about 3 inches from that to tune down the air flow. Any idea from the gallery on what the issue could be? Please reply fast.
 

Gypsy13

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
3,043
Points
198
Experience
More than 10 years
Put your air line in a container of water and see what the bubbles look like not connected to the filter. If the bubbles aren’t glugging, it’s the sponge filter. If it is, the diaphragm may be giving up. If it’s the sponge filter, take it apart just to make sure there’s nothing gunked up inside. And one question, do you gently squeeze the sponge when you rinse in the aquarium water you’ve removed? I couldn’t believe the brown nasty that came out the first time I squeezed my sponge!
And depending on the pump, it can be a lot cheaper to buy the diaphragm than a new pump. I just replaced the diaphragm in my 50$ pond air pump for 4$. Hope this helps and sorry if I get carried away.
Keep us posted?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

Beta blue

New Member
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Points
26
Experience
Just started
Thanks Gypsy13. I'll try that test now. No worries. Yes I do squeeze out the gunk and I did remove the sponge and checked the inside of the sponge filter. Didn't see anything. It's only a month old. What's a diaphragm?
 

Gypsy13

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
3,043
Points
198
Experience
More than 10 years
betta blue said:
Thanks Gypsy13. I'll try that test now. No worries. Yes I do squeeze out the gunk and I did remove the sponge and checked the inside of the sponge filter. Didn't see anything. It's only a month old. What's a diaphragm?
It shouldn’t be the filter then. The diaphragm is a small part in the pump housing. It has bushings on it. Magnets make it act like a fireplace bellows so you’ll get air. One thing, also try the pump without the check valve.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5

Beta blue

New Member
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Points
26
Experience
Just started
Well it's not the pump. Bubbles look good until I put the air hose on the sponge filter. I guess I'll go get another one tomorrow. This one was $8 and lasted two months. Any suggestions?

Sorry- one month!
 

Gypsy13

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
3,043
Points
198
Experience
More than 10 years
betta blue said:
Well it's not the pump. Bubbles look good until I put the air hose on the sponge filter. I guess I'll go get another one tomorrow. This one was $8 and lasted two months. Any suggestions?
The check valve ok too? Have you tried turning the control valve up? I wish I was there. I love trying to figure things out! Lol
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

Beta blue

New Member
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Points
26
Experience
Just started
Yep, that all appears to be working fine. Wish you were too! Will he be ok overnight without the filter. Ackkkkk!!!! I worry. I have to go to bed now but I will buy a new filter tomorrow first thing and see if that solves the issue. Thanks again.
 

Mick Frost

Valued Member
Messages
482
Reaction score
157
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
betta blue said:
Yep, that all appears to be working fine. Wish you were too! Will he be ok overnight without the filter. Ackkkkk!!!! I worry. I have to go to bed now but I will buy a new filter tomorrow first thing and see if that solves the issue. Thanks again.
Sometimes the inside of the filter gunks up a bit. They either unscrew or just pull apart (top flange from base). Take the top flange, scrub what you can, and rinse well, then air dry and reassemble. Also if you rub your finger around the inside of the sponge, sometimes Algae gets in there somehow.
 

Gypsy13

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
3,043
Points
198
Experience
More than 10 years
betta blue said:
Yep, that all appears to be working fine. Wish you were too! Will he be ok overnight without the filter. Ackkkkk!!!! I worry. I have to go to bed now but I will buy a new filter tomorrow first thing and see if that solves the issue. Thanks again.
Other than the glugging, you could leave the filter in. Have you tried giving it more air?
 

JLeeM

Well Known Member
Messages
3,864
Reaction score
2,238
Points
308
Experience
2 years
Wonder if the actual placement of the pump when it's hooked up to the sponge filter in the tank has anything to do with it? Try putting the pump higher than the water level maybe? If it were this though, I'd get a new pump because that sounds weak.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

Beta blue

New Member
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Points
26
Experience
Just started
Hi Gypsy13-

Looks like the culprit was the check valve. All is working fine after I replaced it. Thanks!!

You seem so knowledgeable and interested. I wonder if you would advise me on Blue's fin rot. As I stated in my original post my water tests pristine and I do 30%-50% water changes every other week. When I got him from the big box store, what I thought was a pretty black edge on his fins (ugh! I am so dumb) must have been fin rot. I tried Melafix one time for 5 days but then got scared by all the reports of fish dying from treatment. Someone else said he would heal on his own if I kept the water correctly. That doesn't seem to be happening. See picture below. Can you give me any advice. I am thinking about trying antiobiotic in a smaller quarantine tank so I don't mess up my good bacteria in his main home, but don't know how small of a tank I can use to do that.
 

Attachments

Gypsy13

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
3,043
Points
198
Experience
More than 10 years
Hey. Glad you got that fixed!
Yeah. Melafix is a waste of money. And can damage the labyrinth organ. When you say your water is perfect, do you know the numbers? Which test kit are you using? And can you do more frequent water changes? What temp is the water? Is he alone in the tank? If he’s alone and you don’t have lots of plants you can add aquarium salt(dissolved in a cup of water first) to his water. If you have snails you’ll want a qt tank. I know it’s a lot of questions and I’m sorry. The main thing is 78-80 degrees, clean water. Doing water changes daily will help him a lot.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14

Beta blue

New Member
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Points
26
Experience
Just started
I use API Test strips 5-1. Nitrates and Nitrites 0, ph 6.5-7, KH 40, GH 30. His water is 78-79 degress. Hee seems happy and is eating well but his fins are definately not improving. Can I put him in a 1 gallon bowl to treat him so I don't ruin his sponge filter's good bacteria. How long do I treat him with aq salt? and do I change 100% water before every dose?
 

Mick Frost

Valued Member
Messages
482
Reaction score
157
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
betta blue said:
I use API Test strips 5-1. Nitrates and Nitrites 0, ph 6.5-7, KH 40, GH 30. His water is 78-79 degress. Hee seems happy and is eating well but his fins are definately not improving. Can I put him in a 1 gallon bowl to treat him so I don't ruin his sponge filter's good bacteria. How long do I treat him with aq salt? and do I change 100% water before every dose?
Numbers look good (except for Nitrates), but test strips aren't known for accuracy...
A "salt bath" would be 1tbsp (15ml) per gallon, for 15-30 minutes, preferably 2-3 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer than the normal tank water.
For dosing your tank, add 1tbsp per 10 gallons (opinions vary on this, but never exceed the recommended dosage on the carton for freshwater fish).
I would recommend doing a salt bath first, and keep an eye on him. Follow up with small daily water changes.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom