Sponge filter question.

flyin-lowe

Well Known Member
Messages
618
Reaction score
55
Points
188
Experience
2 years
I have my 125 native tank up and running. It currently has a Fluval FX4 canister filter. I was going to add an air stone just to help with the live plants. I know some people say they help others say they make no difference. I got to thinking, if I was going to pump some air into the tank I might as well do it via a sponge filter. Any reason not to do this? I figured the more BB the better and the additional filtration would never hurt. I know nothing about them, so I am curious as to your input on them. If I go that way what size air pump is recommended to run one in a 125?
 

DeborahJeanne

New Member
Messages
18
Reaction score
17
Points
3
I have a 20G with a HOB Aqua clear filter. It was recommended to add an air stone, and I felt exactly like you - if I’m going to add an air stone, I might just as well use a sponge filter too. I’m pleased with the results. The HOB filter does a good job as does the sponge filter. My water is crystal clear. I also have a 15G with a divider for 2 bettas. It has a tidal 35 on one side, but because of the divider, I put a small sponge filter with air stone on the other side for better filtration. That water is also crystal clear. The nice thing about 2 filters is you’re not messing with all the good bacteria at the same time. I clean one with a water change, and the other at the next water change. Aquarium Co-Op has a nice little pump for their sponge filters that is amazingly quiet and only costs $8. They also sell sponge filters, air stones, tubing and the check valve. I put one of those cheap little stick-on holders from Walmart on the back of the tank - the pump has a ring on it, and I hung the pump on the holder - it works great. Plants in front of the sponge filter hide it really well.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,829
Reaction score
7,476
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
I like your way of thinking. As long as you are going to run an airline or two in this tank you may as well have it working for you. I actually run 2 dual sponge filters in my 55 gallon tank along with 2 HOB filters. The beauty of having these sponges in there growing bacteria is they can be easily pulled to start another tank.

Buy the best and strongest air pump you can afford. Just recently I bought a fluval air pump that was supposed to be fairly quiet....It isn't. Fortunately I am able to run it inside my closed tank stand so the sound is muffled. I have several other no brand name pumps that are fairly quiet. For a tank the size of yours it will take a pretty powerful pump to operate your sponge filter(s) so look for one with the highest psi you can find.
 

DeborahJeanne

New Member
Messages
18
Reaction score
17
Points
3
I like your way of thinking. As long as you are going to run an airline or two in this tank you may as well have it working for you. I actually run 2 dual sponge filters in my 55 gallon tank along with 2 HOB filters. The beauty of having these sponges in there growing bacteria is they can be easily pulled to start another tank.

Buy the best and strongest air pump you can afford. Just recently I bought a fluval that was supposed to be fairly quiet....It isn't. Fortunately I am able to run it inside my closed tank stand so the sound is muffled. I have several other no brand name pumps that are fairly quiet. For a tank the size of yours it will take a pretty powerful pump to operate your sponge filter(s) so look for one with the highest psi you can find.
So I just went on the Aquarium Co-op website, and while it doesn’t list the psi, it does say it’s for nano tanks, betta, shrimp, etc. It does seem to be effective in my 20G as a second filter, but it’s a guppy tank so not a lot of poop! In my 15G, there’s only 2 bettas and some snails. She’s looking to aerate, so it’s probably not as important, but I guess I wouldn’t use it as the primary filter in anything bigger than 5G. Thanks for bringing that up. I’m setting up a fluval 5G and the filter that came with it isn’t very strong. I didn’t rinse the gravel as well as I should have and after 5 days the water is still cloudy. I’m putting a small sponge filter in with this pump and we’ll see if that makes a difference. The fluval is cycling right now. I got it for guppy fry, once they’re big enough not to eaten, they’ll go back to the bigger tank. I don’t expect to need it for about a month. I bought a second fluval for another betta. I don’t think gallon tanks are big enough - not even 2G. It’s a shame you can’t have a tankful of bettas they’re so gorgeous!
 

JayH

Well Known Member
Messages
609
Reaction score
353
Points
83
Experience
5 to 10 years
If you want to effectively filter a 125 with a sponge filter, you're going to need a very large sponge and a lot of air. If you just want some air bubbles and the sponge filter is coming along for the ride, the size of the tank it's going into is irrelevant. Get a sponge filter you don't find aesthetically unpleasing and a pump that will be adequate for that sponge. Most aren't going to need a great deal of air.

If you want one that could reasonably serve as a backup to the primary filter, you might want to have a look at the Swiss Tropicals cube filters and tower block filters. Those will need a substantial amount of air if you get a medium to large one. You might also find this article useful. They did tests on 60 different air pumps. The results are in a table a ways down in the article. I found it useful for determining the actual output of various pumps.
 

Islandvic

Well Known Member
Messages
3,093
Reaction score
1,806
Points
208
Experience
1 year
Amazon and Chewy has the Tetra AP150 air pump on sale for $11.xx.

They usually sell for $34-$40 I believe. 1 or 2 of those would be great on a 125g.

I agree with JayH, Swiss Tropicals has an awesome selection of foam sponge procducts.

Another option for sponge filters are the Hydro Sponge Pro line from ATI.

Their "Pro" sponge filters use a coarse foam for higher flow rate. Our 10g, 55g, and 75g tanks use ATI sponge filters as secondary filtration. They pick up a ton of muck. They work extremely well. The key is using a decent air stone that allows for a good flow of air.

For a 125g, out of the ATI line if sponge filters, I'd go with a pair of their Hydro Sponge IV (or V) Pro's in the corners.

ATI also make foam sponge pre-filters that attach to intake tubes.

I use their Filter Max-III pre-filter on our FX4 and Hydor canisters. They work great.

In our African cichlid 55g tank for example, I have a Hydro Sponge III Pro, and a HS-II (fine foam) stacked on top running in the corner to supplement an Aquaclear and a Hydor canister.

I get my ATI gear (and fish food) from the Ken's Fish site.
 

JayH

Well Known Member
Messages
609
Reaction score
353
Points
83
Experience
5 to 10 years
Amazon and Chewy has the Tetra AP150 air pump on sale for $11.xx.
Wow! That is a great price! I paid $32 for one back in June. I think I'm going to order another just to keep as a backup.

For anyone interested, the AP150 and AP300 are different than the rest of the Tetra air pump line. They're designed for larger/deeper tanks, so they'll deliver more air at depth. They also don't double as swooping modern art statements.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

flyin-lowe

Well Known Member
Messages
618
Reaction score
55
Points
188
Experience
2 years
I saw the AP150 for 11.00 last night on Amazon but was scared of it because it was so cheap. It had great reviews though. I'm not really relying on it to filter the tank as I have an FX 4 that is doing fine. I just thought the little bit of extra filtration wouldn't hurt if I was going to getting an air pump anyway. I'll probably order the AP 150 and look at the filters mentioned above.
Edit, just saw the great reviews in the link above of the AP 150. It seems like a bargain at 11.00 and they voted it quietist pump and best pump for large tanks.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

flyin-lowe

Well Known Member
Messages
618
Reaction score
55
Points
188
Experience
2 years
I ended up ordering the AP150 and a Hydro Sponge V. I wanted to get the 4 since it's a little smaller and since I'm not using it as my primary filter. If I get the 5 and just feels it's too large I'll just get a smaller sponge for it. I have a few large pieces of driftwood I can somewhat hide it behind.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10

flyin-lowe

Well Known Member
Messages
618
Reaction score
55
Points
188
Experience
2 years
I just wanted to update in case anyone is interested. I got my sponge and pump yesterday. The pump is a beast and definitely a bargain at 11.00 on Amazon. I had to put a valve on it to restrict the airflow. Even sitting on the ground, up and over and then to the bottom of my 125 it was really pushing the air. I choked it back a little bit. I tucked the sponge filter behind a piece of driftwood so it's not visible when looking head on and the bubbles do an OK job of hiding the tubing.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,829
Reaction score
7,476
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
I just wanted to update in case anyone is interested. I got my sponge and pump yesterday. The pump is a beast and definitely a bargain at 11.00 on Amazon. I had to put a valve on it to restrict the airflow. Even sitting on the ground, up and over and then to the bottom of my 125 it was really pushing the air. I choked it back a little bit. I tucked the sponge filter behind a piece of driftwood so it's not visible when looking head on and the bubbles do an OK job of hiding the tubing.
You did get a good deal on that air pump. I see it is up to $16.00 now. Just in case you didn't know so didn't add one. Did you add a check valve to your airline? A check valve prevents water being pulled into the pump if your power should go off for any reason.
 

Rcslade124

Valued Member
Messages
284
Reaction score
153
Points
53
Experience
Just started
Yea that's a great deal on the air pump. I might get one and use my tetra 100 for backup. The 150 would power my jetlifter better
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14

flyin-lowe

Well Known Member
Messages
618
Reaction score
55
Points
188
Experience
2 years
Yes I did include a check valve, forgot to mention that. The "sale" must be over. This morning I checked and they were at 20.00. I also didn't see any new ones with Prime shipping. It's possible Amazon suppliers are out of them and only private sellers have them and that is why the price is higher.
 

RileyMocha

New Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
12
Points
83
Experience
Just started
I agree that adding a sponge filter just for the extra filtration would be a good idea. There's really no downside to it. I use one in my better tank and it's great at keeping the water crystal clear.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom