Help Keep Losing Sponge Filters On Gang Valves

Lacey D

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I run sponge filters in all of my setups, and many of them either have 2 sponges, or the setups are close enough that I'm running multiples off of one air pump. My issue seems to be the gang valves I have on the 37g and the 2 10g's. I can't count the times I've gone in and one filter will be completely dead, even though I haven't touched anything! I mess with the valves until both start bubbling, but this has me frustrated to say the least. What is your favorite gang valve, or are there any I should really avoid? Any other advice or tips on running multiple sponge filters off one air pump?

For reference, I have the following:
37g:
  • Tetra Whisper Air Pump (I think it's a 40, but not entirely sure),
  • 2 sponge filters (a generic XY 2-sponge and a medium Bacto-Surge),
  • 2 check valves
  • Accuair 2-way gang valve(). **This actually BROKE on me last night, snapping one of the plastic pieces that fits into an airline, causing BOTH filters to stop dead for who knows how long. It's in the cabinet under my stand and doesn't get jostled that often, so I have no idea how it broke. But for at least a week before each sponge had much lower flow than it has now that I've replaced it, which I didn't even really notice :/
20g L + 7.5g:
  • Generic air pump (will be getting a higher powered one for running dual sponge filters in the 20L)
  • Small Bacto-Surge for the 10g, and just an airstone in the 20 gallon L for now since I'm still setting it up
  • 2 check valves
  • Plastic T-splitter
27g:
  • KollerCraft TOM Aquarium Stellar Air Pump(link) --dual output, no issues
  • Medium Bacto-Surge and a line running to a brine shrimp hatchery
  • 2 Check Valves
  • 1 control valve
10g + 10g:
  • Aquatop AP-50
  • 2 Small Bacto-Surge
  • 2 check valves
  • Plastic 4-way gang valve **Don't know the brand, but solid grey opaque plastic bought at my lfs. This has been a POS since I bought it, with one of the valves not working at all. It's not a pressure issue, because even with the other 3 turned off, one just doesn't expel air. I had to move this one to my 37g to replace the broken Accuair, and since these are only my ramshorn & bladder snail breeding/plant grow-out tanks, they just don't have a filter running for now.
 

Galathiel

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mattgirl do you run multiple air driven items with one pump? That's the only reason I use gang valves .. so I can run two sponge filters from one air pump. They are a pain. What do you do?
 

DarkOne

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Throw out the Accuair valves. The plastic is brittle and will break. I use metal gang valves and they work great.
 

bgclarke

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Gang valves can be a major pain.
The only ones I've had good results with are the Penn Plax aqua life ones.
I recently bought a kit from Petsmart that has something like 4 Y splitters and 6 air valves.
Works much better and gives better control.
 

bgclarke

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DarkOne said:
Throw out the Accuair valves. The plastic is brittle and will break. I use metal gang valves and they work great.
I find with gang valves where the air enters from the side, the lines closest to the entry point get better pressure than the ones further along.
Takes a lot of adjusting to make them even.
 

mattgirl

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Galathiel said:
mattgirl do you run multiple air driven items with one pump? That's the only reason I use gang valves .. so I can run two sponge filters from one air pump They are a pain. What do you do?
Yes I do. I use a control valve on each run of air line going to my sponge filters.

I put a check valve a few inches from the pump. I then attach a short piece of tubing to the other side of the check valve.

I put a T- splitter on the end of that short piece. I then connect a piece of tubing long enough to reach the top of the tank to each side of the T-splitter. I put a control valve on the end of that tubing and put a piece of tubing long enough to attach to the sponge filter or air stone on the other side of the control valve. You control the amount of air going to each filter with the control valve.

If you have an air pump with 2 outlets just put a check valve on each outlet and if you are just going to run 2 filters you won't need the T-splitter. If you are going to run more than 2 filters then you will need it. I have found that most of the air pumps I have ever had really don't put out enough air to run more than 2 air driven items even though they have 2 outlets.
 

DarkOne

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bgclarke said:
I find with gang valves where the air enters from the side, the lines closest to the entry point get better pressure than the ones further along.
Takes a lot of adjusting to make them even.
Actually, the air escapes to the path of least resistance. If you have the 1st valve in 20" of water and the last in 5" of water, there will be a greater volume of air exiting the last valve. It doesn't take much to adjust the valves but it is a balancing act.
 

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