Pre-Filter Sponge Maintenance

  1. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    Is maintaining a pre-filter sponge just like maintaining the mech media inside the filter? I don't even swish those out unless nitrates start climbing faster or water flow is inhibited, but the pre filter sponge I have to baffle my QT filter is big and really visible, so I could imagine it would get pretty gross. So should I just deal with it or swish it out with WCs?

  2. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    Swish it out at water changes. It is an extra sponge for beneficial bacteria to colonize, so I treat is like the rest of the bio media. If it's ever real bad I may rinse it off real good in the sink, since it is just extra from my normal bio-media (which I have a ton of matrix in my SunSun HW-302.
  3. Thai Aquarium owner Well Known Member Member

    I would treat a pre filter the same as the Mechanical element in your filter.
    Rinse out weekly using the tank water you would throw away from a water change.
    I personally would never allow tap water that contains Chlorine / Chloramine anywhere near anything to do with a tank and its filters.
    Maybe I am paranoid on that one, but I believe its best to take no chances at all of possibly losing the BB content of any tank due to water treatment chemicals.
  4. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    Trust me, neglected pre-filter sponges get foul very quickly so you want to aggressively rinse them every time you do a water change, but like all other filter maintenance use the old tank water, or dechlorinated water.

    The good thing about a prefilter, is in makes maintenance on the rest of your filter very light because they catch the majority of the crud.
  5. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    Thanks guys. That's what I wanted to hear at _Fried_Bettas_. I don't treat my mech media that aggressively I wait till they tell me they need it but pre filter...that's out there for the world to see and it's a goldfish QT. Every WC. Got it :)

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  6. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

    For over a year I have been doing water changes almost every five days, the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th of the month. However, I rinse my prefilters, depending on the tank, every other day. If I don't, the flow of the filters slows down.

    The flow of the filters also significantly slows down, regardless of whether prefilters have been rinsed out or not, when media floss gets clogged up.
  7. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    I find that most pre-filter sponges are made with such small pores they get clogged really easily over time. I have been making my own pre-filter sponges from the Aquaclear AC-70 sponges and they seem to work much better. They have larger pores and I rarely have to clean mine. You can get a box of 3 of them at Petsmart for around $8, so enough to make at least 3 and maybe more for various filters depending on their size.

    Pro tip for making them yourself, soak the sponge in water then freeze the sponge. This make is much easier to use a drill to drill out the hole in the middle for the intake strainer to slide down in.
  8. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    That's actually the sponge I used for that very reason haha. Since I figured it'd be holding the bulk of the waste, I wanted it to be easy to clean.

    To set it up, I just cut a really deep X into the sponge and slid it over the intake. But the freezing - that's a cool idea!
  9. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    BTW, the dual sponge filters that are a couple bucks on eBay are designed in such a way that they can attach to the filter intake of a typical canister filter and give you two prefilter sponge intakes instead of one. Since I discovered that I have been using them on many of my canisters. This also makes it take longer for them to get fouled up since there is double the surface area. I imagine the larger versions of the filter (all I have are small ones) would work even better.
  10. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

    I don' t have a canister yet, but, if I am to stick around here much longer, canisterS are in my future. Could you please elaborate so non canister owner can understand. Sorry I am so dense. Just finished my WCs, and I don't know why, but my clothes still partially wet :)
  11. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    It just slides onto either of the two standard sizes of intake pipes after your remove the bulb or whatever you normally have on the end, pictured is on one the smaller size. Either way it just fits on there like it belongs. I imagine it would work just as well on a HOB filter, except I don't use any HOBs anymore.

  12. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    I love this idea FB. I just love it haha. I think they come in 2 packs on ebay right? One for my betta tank and one for my canister :)

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  13. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    For some reason, I love that your cory is photo bombing.
  14. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, they come in 2 packs, I have so many, I've been buying 8 packs.
  15. Dark Sky Member Member

    What a fantastic idea! I'll have to remember that when I (inevitably) get a canister for the goldfish tank. Thanks!