Let's talk filters


In your personal opinions, what are the pro's and cons of filter types. Sponge vs HOB vs external filters.

I have a 29 gallon currently with 2 sponge filters, one with a fine sponge rated for a 60 gallon and one with a course filter rated for up to 55 gallons. The water is not cloudy but it's not clear either. Wondering if I do not have the proper filtration.



Sponge filter:
Pros- Can quick seed a emergency tank with a well seeded sponge filter.
Easy to clean, just squeeze it out during water change.
Cons- I think they are eye sores.

Pros- Still pretty easy to clean
You can change up the media
Cons- I think they are too noisy

Pros- Out of sight
Lots of room for media
Cons- Slightly hard to clean, but I don't think its horrible
Some people have had them fail and leak.

My 5g with the sponge filter is crystal clear. Maybe extra vacuuming would help with the cloudiness? How old is your tank?


I think Stargirl covered most of it for those three, but for sponge filters its a bit annoying to have air pumps running especially if it is somewhere you frequently go to - although you get used to it.

For sump systems the pros would be extra volume, great filtration capacity but its hard to get plumbing in and it takes up alot of space.

There are several more filtration systems out there, the three Stargirl mentioned are the 'main' types :D

Personally I prefer sponge due to the amount I can get for little amount of money. Matten filters are great aswell.


Another idea for sponge filter running is to do like in this video... I know there are many other videos that show the same design/setup too, but it was just in my feed.

Its a great way and you can use it just when needed to get that extra "polish" and not always run.



My honest thought....

hob’s are useless, unless using as a heavy duty surface skimmer. Yes, even Including the Seachem Tidal. Everyone acts like it’s this wonder of the filtration world. It’s just a hob. One with a basket that creates a lot of bypass.

sponges are ok because they are gentle and they oxygenate the water.

canisters are my favourite. You just won’t get cleaner water.

sumps-has very little value to me for fresh but is incredibly important for brackish and salt.

again this is just my opinion.


I like hobs. They are easy to clean and just about CAN'T spill water.

I have had 4 marineland Penguin 350 hobs and 2 aquaclear 75s.... I still have 2 penguins...
They are actually quieter than the aquaclears in my experience.

I like sponge filters for low bioload tanks, but they aren't much good for mechanical filtration (at least not bubble powered ones...)

My personal favorite system was kind of oldschool, but kept extremely clear water. It was two Penguin 350s on a 55g tank and 2 Odyssea 350gph powerheads attached to 2 filter plates. Cyrastal clear water and plenty of surface agitation!


We haven't yet talked about internal canister filters, I have the marineland magnum, it's an eye sore and kind of expensive too. Just my opinion.
Top Bottom