Sponge Filter/air Pump Questions

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Georgie Girl, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. Georgie Girl

    Georgie GirlValued MemberMember

    I have a five-gallon tank for my new Betta, Boris Karloff aka Fishy Fish. I got him a sponge filter as the one that came with the aquarium package would've caused a lot of turbulence. I got a Tetra pump, rated for 10 gallons.

    I'm doing *something* wrong... The filter gives off just a couple of small bubbles every 30-45 seconds (I timed it).

    What is wrong? I asked The Guy at Tong's Tropical Fish (my favorite LFS), and he suggested putting the air pump higher than the tank. What do you think of this advice? No matter; it didn't change anything.

    Could I have put the check valve into the hose the wrong way? Unfortunately, I recycled the package already, and don't remember where the arrow is supposed to point.

    Is the sponge just too much for this pump? I have the smallest filter I could find.

    What could it be? I surely appreciate your suggestions and advice.
  2. leftswerve

    leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    I would investigate the check valve first.
  3. bitseriously

    bitseriouslyWell Known MemberMember

    Even without knowing which way the check valve goes, can't you just switch which end goes which way and see if that fixes the problem?
    Have you checked for kinks in the hose lines?
    Have you confirmed the air pump is working with nothing attached to it (with the hose removed from the air pump, can you feel air pumping out of the outlet)?
    What happens if you pull the hose off the air pump and blow into it with your mouth, to confirm if the filter is working, ie it's not blocked or plugged)?
    How much hose (length) are you running between the air pump and the filter (anything less than 3ft is fine and can't be the source of your problem, but if you're running 10 or 20ft that could be an issue)?
    P.S. when setting up air pumps/tubing/airstones/sponge filters, I always fit everything loosely to test it out. If something isn't working, or needs to be changed/tweaked, I can then pull hoses from nozzles easily. When it's all checked out and running the way I want, I push the hoses onto the nozzles/connectors/valves as tight as they can go.
  4. yukondog

    yukondogWell Known MemberMember

    The arrow on the check valve shows the direction of air flow, have you tried running the line without the check valve? I have gotten bad check valves before.
  5. ParrotCichlid

    ParrotCichlidWell Known MemberMember

    You definitely don't have to put the air pump higher than the tank, that is ridiculous.

    Its either the value or the pump. I would guess the valve, try it the other way around as people here have advised.