Prefilter Sponges, Yay Or Nay?

tfreema

Member
On the topic of prefilter sponges for HOB and canisters, I always had the mindset that it kept the junk in the tank and prevented the filter from doing its job, which is to suck up all the stuff. Also, I was told that it would decrease the effectiveness and strain the motor.

I have only used them on my power heads or tanks with fry.

I have seen some video and posts where folks swear by them and the benefit of added beneficial bacteria on the medium.

Here is one I found interesting about optimizing your HOB in which prefilter sponges are an important step.


Thoughts, opinions, experience?

Also, if you use them, can you give recommendations, show pictures, etc?
 

HORNET1

Member
YAY !!!
I always use a pre-filter on my HOB. As a matter of fact, I make my own out of foam paint rollers. I patiently remove the foam from the spindle and place it on the intake tube. It makes the best water polisher I have ever used and lasts about 2 months before it starts to break down.
 

ASHLEY R COOK

Member
tfreema said:
On the topic of prefilter sponges for HOB and canisters, I always had the mindset that it kept the junk in the tank and prevented the filter from doing its job, which is to suck up all the stuff. Also, I was told that it would decrease the effectiveness and strain the motor.

I have only used them on my power heads or tanks with fry.

I have seen some video and posts where folks swear by them and the benefit of added beneficial bacteria on the medium.

Here is one I found interesting about optimizing your HOB in which prefilter sponges are an important step.


Thoughts, opinions, experience?

Also, if you use them, can you give recommendations, show pictures, etc?
I have been using a prefilter since I started up and have been wondering the same thing but the filter is more for removing ammonia nitrite and such. If you're wanting to remove bigger particles I'd not use a prefilter but your filter will clog faster and need more cleanings I would guess.
 

TLeTourneau

Member
I haven't been but I am going to try them with my FX6's and see how it goes.
 

Rtessy

Member
I like using them, mainly for peace of mind, and honestly it's easier to clean. I make my own, and it slightly decreased water flow, but I usually use filters a bit bigger than what I need, so most of the time it's a good thing.
 

ASHLEY R COOK

Member
Also, if u notice a lot of debris in the water I remove the prefilter and turn up the flow for awhile whike I watch the tank. Then I put it back and adjust the flow back. It is usually after a PWC or if I move something in the tank.
 

DarkOne

Member
I tried one on my 206 canister and it clogged within a week so I stopped using it. I have one on my AC50 in my shrimp tank to protect the shrimplets. That also clogs within a week so I clean it every week but the HOB can go for about a month before cleaning. I would only use it to prevent small fish/shrimp from getting sucked up.
 

TLeTourneau

Member
Not the OP but I am planning to clean mine every week during the water change. That should help curtail the clogging issues.
 

CPARKTX

Member
I am not a fan...they do keep the media in your filter clean, but at the expense of having to very frequently clean the pre filter itself. Plus, the whole point of the filter is to get the bunk away from your fish, the pre filter traps it in the tank, and tends to release detritus when removing to clean.
 
  • Thread Starter

tfreema

Member
Thanks everyone for your responses!

So I am getting mixed responses. I have to agree with those that say you impede the filter flow and are not removing the stuff from the tank.

As far as releasing it back into the tank when removed for cleaning, for my powerhead sponges, I use the regular baggies and put that around the sponge to remove it. That way a portion the stuff stuck to it is not just released as I pull it out.

I think if I am going to use intake prefilter sponges, I need to be prepared to clean at least weekly, and really more often. I just did filter maintenance and honestly don’t see how a prefilter sponge would handle all that stuff.
 

TLeTourneau

Member
I've been using the pre-filter for a bit over a week. I picked up two of the Filter-Max III Prefilter by Aquarium Technology and they have worked well on my FX6's. I haven't noticed a decrease in the flow and the canisters have been much easier to clean. I am going to keep an eye on the filters and hope to extend the period for cleaning them to every two or three weeks rather than weekly. I have been cleaning the prefilters weekly when we do the water changes and have not had an issue with them releasing back into the aquarium when I remove them. I will likely order another pair of the sponges and use them for rapid replacement to increase efficiency during the water change process.
 
  • Thread Starter

tfreema

Member
You clean your fx6 weekly? I am good to do mine every 8 weeks.
 

TLeTourneau

Member
I clean both of them every week, we have about 50 fish in the tank. Also, my wife tends to overfeed - we've had discussions about it with varying degrees of success. Bloodworms will do a number on filter media.
 

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