Sponge Filter- Ineffective?

bell_18
  • #1
So I decided to stray from my HOB filter as it is loud, disturbs my angelfish and replacing the cartridges for the Marineland brand filter gets to be pretty expensive. I read sponge filters are good for mechanical and biological filtration. I have it running in my 29 gallon with angelfish, EBA, rummynose tetras, cory catfish and bristlenose pleco. I bought it off of Amazon , it's about the height of a water bottle.
Is it okay to use it as the main filtration? along with an air stone and a large amount of live plants, seriously there is no square inch of the tank that isn't planted besides where the rocks and driftwood are covering the bottom. The tank is pretty new (1 month), I cycled it using media and 50% water from my previous 40 gallon (that was 4 years old).
 
AWheeler
  • #2
As long as you have access to a "normal" filter to remove medications if you ever need to, a sponge filter does the job, so long as you remember to clean it out and you change the water on a regular basis. I keep them as back ups on my tanks
 
bizaliz3
  • #3
personally, I only use sponge filters on tanks 10 gallon or smaller, or as 2ndary filtration on larger tanks. I don't think one medium sized sponge filter would be enough.....Especially with a heavily stocked 29 gallon like your own.

The cartridges do NOT need to be replaced!! They only need to be cleaned in a bucket of tank water on occasion to remove the excess filth. Marineland is just trying to make money off you.
 
Fashooga
  • #4
You can certainly use the sponge filter as your main source...with that said you will need to at least have it running with your HOB for a few months so it can be seeded and when you do take the HOB out you shouldn't have any problems.

The thing with sponge filters are that they only do one thing, it's 100% biological...that's it. If you want crystal clear water (mechanical) you won't get that with a sponge filter.

The HOB allows you to have both biological and mechanical working at the same time. You don't need to replace anything in the HOB. I have the same of stuff in mine packed with biomedia and filter floss as well as sponges. I like crystal clear water.

But if your ok with a little dust in the water, sponge is fine and yes, it's a little more quieter.
 
mattgirl
  • #5
Like others I run a couple of sponge filter in my tank. They are great for an emergency such as needing to set up and cycle a tank quickly but I personally wouldn't count on them for my only filter. I like crystal clear water and it is next to impossible to get that with just a sponge.

If your HOB is that loud then I'm afraid it has a problem. I run 2 of them on my 55 gallon and seldom ever hear them. I did have to replace one of them a while back because it had an irritating grinding noise. I thought it might just need a good cleaning and a new impeller but that didn't stop the noise. Fortunately I had another one just like it so just move the media over to it and instant quiet again.

I agree with those that say there is no need to be replacing the cartridges on a regular basis. I buy filter menda by the sheet and just replace as necessary. It is only necessary when the pad is literally falling apart.
 
Mike1995
  • #6
personally with my big cichlids I never really sponge filters. They're just too messy. If you get a good size sponge filter, it would definitely be effective. you'll have to.clean it every so often but I had one in with my 29 gallon before I sold it. Had a bunch of livebearers and a few bottom dwellers. It doesn't really do a whole lot for keeping he water clear, so if you have driftwood, expect tannins. They're not harmful but not that attractive.
 
bell_18
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Wow,
personally, I only use sponge filters on tanks 10 gallon or smaller, or as 2ndary filtration on larger tanks. I don't think one medium sized sponge filter would be enough.....Especially with a heavily stocked 29 gallon like your own.

The cartridges do NOT need to be replaced!! They only need to be cleaned in a bucket of tank water on occasion to remove the excess filth. Marineland is just trying to make money off you.

Wow, I did not know that. I always assumed the carbon just went bad after too long, and I was religiously replacing the cartridges every month. I think my main reason for trying the sponge was I felt like my angelfish was avoiding the areas of the tank where the filter was running and creating a large current, but I think I just needed a smaller filter.
 
bell_18
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thank you everyone for all of the extremely useful information!!
As long as you have access to a "normal" filter to remove medications if you ever need to, a sponge filter does the job, so long as you remember to clean it out and you change the water on a regular basis. I keep them as back ups on my tanks
Okay, how often do I need to clean it out? I’m assuming you do this with a bucket of the tank’s water
 
bell_18
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thank you everyone for all of the extremely useful information!!
As long as you have access to a "normal" filter to remove medications if you ever need to, a sponge filter does the job, so long as you remember to clean it out and you change the water on a regular basis. I keep them as back ups on my tanks
Okay, how often do I need to clean it out? I’m assuming you do this with a bucket of the tank’s water
 
bizaliz3
  • #10
Wow,


Wow, I did not know that. I always assumed the carbon just went bad after too long, and I was religiously replacing the cartridges every month. I think my main reason for trying the sponge was I felt like my angelfish was avoiding the areas of the tank where the filter was running and creating a large current, but I think I just needed a smaller filter.

Carbon isn't a necessity. I only use carbon to remove medication from the water if I've used any.
 
AWheeler
  • #11
I squeeze mine out in a bucket of tank water at least once a month!
 
Sanderguy777
  • #12
Primetime aquatics on YouTube only uses sponges. He even uses three large ones on a 75 Oscar tank. The only maintenance they need is every week or so, the sponge needs to be squeezed out to remove waste.
 
bgclarke
  • #13
I recently switched two tanks over to a sponge filter + corner filter combo from HOBs.


20180317_085943.jpeg

This is the 10 gallon that's been running for a week.
Fish and shrimp really like it and I'm getting more water circulation than I did with the original internal filter or the HOB I replaced it with.
Tank is rimless with a higher back panel than the front panel, so the HOB sat way too high and water fell straight down.
 
oldsalt777
  • #14
So I decided to stray from my HOB filter as it is loud, disturbs my angelfish and replacing the cartridges for the Marineland brand filter gets to be pretty expensive. I read sponge filters are good for mechanical and biological filtration. I have it running in my 29 gallon with angelfish, EBA, rummynose tetras, cory catfish and bristlenose pleco. I bought it off of Amazon , it's about the height of a water bottle.
Is it okay to use it as the main filtration? along with an air stone and a large amount of live plants, seriously there is no square inch of the tank that isn't planted besides where the rocks and driftwood are covering the bottom. The tank is pretty new (1 month), I cycled it using media and 50% water from my previous 40 gallon (that was 4 years old).

bell...

If you just change out most of the tank water a couple of times a week, you don't need any filtration and you can run a large air stone into the tank and use a good quality air pump to run it. This will maintain good oxygen levels for the fish and plants. The filter system doesn't do a very good job of keeping the tank water clean. It's just taking in polluted water and returning the water a bit less polluted. It's the large water change that's the real filter.

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