Recommended Prefilter?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Florida Slav, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Florida Slav

    Florida SlavNew MemberMember

    At the moment I use a small coarse prefulter sponge for my AquaClear 110 HOB filter. I was considering an upgrade and after some difficulty with the fine pores of the Fluval Edge prefulter I've decided on a more appropriate filter. I've narrowed it down to 2 prefilters. On one hand the ATI prefilter is smaller and more appealing but I've heard many bad stories of it cracking often. On the other hand, the Aquarium Co-Op prefilter is only sponge and much simpler to clean without worrying about cracking the elbow pieces. However the Aquarium Co-Op prefulter is HUGE (5 in or so in height).

    I wanted to get a more experienced opinion on which filter is better!

    Aquarium Co-Op

    ATI Prefilter
  2. Islandvic

    IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    Here is a link to my write up on my AC110.

    Included is some pics of the ATI Filter Max III.

    Yes, sometimes the ATI adapters for their pre-filters will crack of you use to much force with them.

    You can't handle them like standard PVC fittings. They are not brittle, you just have to adjust how much pressure or twisting force you use by hand with fmdry fitting everything.

    None of the adapter fittings that cracked caused them to be not useable.

    I use a little teflon tape anyways, so if there is a small crack, it doesnt make a difference.

    Check out the websites of the following aquarium hobby stores, they have a large selection and better pricing on ATI products than Amazon. They sell all the adapters and fittings separately also, which allows you to build anything you want, since ATI products are modular....


    With my experience with the Hydro Max III mated to the AC110, it works very well. I have not found it to restrict flow at all. Also, just by looking at in while in the tank, you would think it's not catching very much muck, but it does.

    I am always amazed how much stuff it catches when I rinse it out in a bucket of tank water.

    I also feel like it enables me to slightly extend the time between cleaning the AC110.

    On mine, I actually cut down the block foam sponge in the media basket so it wasn't as tall. That way I could fit more media in the basket. What I lost in sponge volume from the block in the media basket, I gained it back from the sponge on the intake tube.

    I would recommend looking at the ATI Hydro Pond IV also. It is the same pre-filter you're looking at, but it uses the Hydro Sponge Pro V (the largest reticulated coarse sponge they offer).

    Or, for about the same price, you could order the Hydro Max III and order the Hydro Sponge Pro IV or V.

    Then swap the sponges between the pre-filter and the regular sponge filter. Thay way you have the huge Pro coarse sponge as your intake pre-filter and then the normal size sponge for the air pump drive sponge filter you can tuck into the back corner of the tank.

    I suggest this because I am contemplating the same thing.

    My idea is to use the large Pro sponge as the pre-filter, which will allow me to eliminate the foam sponge block altogether in the media basket.

    This will allow even more room for additional media inside the basket of the AC110.

    Again, check out those websites I suggested. ATI stuff is all modular. The same fitting that work on the pre-filter work on their regular sponge filters.

    Let us know what you go with.
  3. OP
    Florida Slav

    Florida SlavNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply I appreciate it! My concern with the cracking is that I've read reviews about it cracking from slight pressure and that it came in the mail cracked. On another note would using a bigger sponge such as the Aquarium Co-Op prefilter be better in filtration?
  4. Islandvic

    IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    The larger sponge from Aquarium Co-Op has a lot less ppi (pores per inch) and way more coarse than the ATI coarse sponge.

    So it's physically longer, but may have less ability to trap as much muck, compared to the wider sized ATI coarse Pro IV or V sponges for comparison.

    The Co-Op sponge is 5 1/2" long x 3 1/2" wide, or about 53 cubic inches in volume.

    The ATI Hydro Pro IV sponge is 4" long x 4 3/4" wide (about 70 cubic inches in volume) and the Pro V is 4" long x 5 3/4" wide (around 103 cubic inches).
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019