Sponge Filter Questions - Page 2

fyshfuud

Aquarium Co-Op has created a sponge filter specifically made for adding an air stone. I think I’m going to try a couple of those.

Yeah, the clogging is another reason I was considering 2; that way, I can alternate which one I clean when I do water changes. I know rinsing it in the old tank water doesn’t get rid of all your BB, but I’m sure it’s still quite a disturbance.
 

FishRFriendz

Aquarium Co-Op has created a sponge filter specifically made for adding an air stone. I think I’m going to try a couple of those.

Yeah, the clogging is another reason I was considering 2; that way, I can alternate which one I clean when I do water changes. I know rinsing it in the old tank water doesn’t get rid of all your BB, but I’m sure it’s still quite a disturbance.

They have certainly improved on the old standard XY-380. I especially like that they use a lower density sponge. I just wish they'd made it based on an XY-2822/2831 dual sponge design. Those single sponge that use an anchor require removal of the whole thing and some fiddly disassembly to clean.

Anything based on an XY-2822 intake tube are much easier to maintain as the sponge slides off (upwards and right out of the tank unless you went with a weird sideways mounted sponge like a 2820), the dual sponges are better because they allow you to maintain alternating sponges so there's less risk of losing too much beneficial bacteria.

Even better are the ones with the media compartment, for either more bio media or chemical filtering media.
 

JayH

Another option you might want to consider is a Hamburg Matten Filter (HMF). It's a giant sponge filter where the "sponge" is a sheet of foam and fits all the way across one end of the tank. It sits just an inch or two from the end. You put a lift tube or a small pump behind the foam and aI'm the output into the main portion of the tank. This pulls water through the sponge. You get excellent filtration this way.

If you haven't set the tank up yet and don't like the idea of a hunk of foam across one end of the tank, an alternative is a corner matten filter. Same basic concept, except you silicone in a couple small pieces of glass to act as support and then bend a smaller piece of foam into a quarter-circle in a back corner of the tank. If you get black foam it's quite unobtrusive; just a dark blob in the rear corner. You can also hide your heater in the small well formed behind the foam.

The links above are to the Swiss Tropicals site. They also sell very good quality conventional foam sponge filters that have Czech lift tubes. These move incredible amounts of water. Way more than you're likely to see with other sponge filters, even with an air stone. If you get a Jetlifter that's long enough the curved top will push water across the surface and give you good circulation.
 

Islandvic

I wouldn't rely on how many gallons a sponge filter is rated for.

A sponge filter rated for "20 gallon tank" for example is purely arbitrary.

I would use two sponge filters "rated" for 40 gallon tanks or larger.

An Ehiem 200 or 400 model air pump would work well. They have dual outlets and are quieter than most other air pumps. They cost more, but they are made in Germany and are quieter.

My second choice would be a Fluval Q1. It also has dual outlets. Online you can find them for $16-$19. I would not pay over $20 for them. I own 2, and never had an issue with them.

I use ATI brand of sponge filters and also pre-filters that attach to HOB's and canister's.

They come in regular foam sponge of around 40 ppI and the coarse style foam of around 20ppI have the word "Pro" in the name.

Here is a pic of a Hydro Sponge II stacked on top of a Hydro Sponge III Pro.

View media item 250281
View media item 250280
If I had to use it sponge filters for a 40g, I would use a Hydro Sponge IV and a Hydro Sponge IV Pro, ran off one of the air pumps I mentioned before.

The Pro models with coarse foam sponge have a higher flow rate through them.
 

fyshfuud

They have certainly improved on the old standard XY-380. I especially like that they use a lower density sponge. I just wish they'd made it based on an XY-2822/2831 dual sponge design. Those single sponge that use an anchor require removal of the whole thing and some fiddly disassembly to clean.

Anything based on an XY-2822 intake tube are much easier to maintain as the sponge slides off (upwards and right out of the tank unless you went with a weird sideways mounted sponge like a 2820), the dual sponges are better because they allow you to maintain alternating sponges so there's less risk of losing too much beneficial bacteria.

Even better are the ones with the media compartment, for either more bio media or chemical filtering media.


I had considered using something like that. Would one of those at one end be efficient? Or would I want to run one at each end of the tank? My whole thought of using 2 single sponge units was so that I could alternate cleaning them and have filtration at both ends of the tank. Is it necessary to have at both ends of a 36” x 18” tank?
 

fyshfuud

Another option you might want to consider is a Hamburg Matten Filter (HMF). It's a giant sponge filter where the "sponge" is a sheet of foam and fits all the way across one end of the tank. It sits just an inch or two from the end. You put a lift tube or a small pump behind the foam and aI'm the output into the main portion of the tank. This pulls water through the sponge. You get excellent filtration this way.

If you haven't set the tank up yet and don't like the idea of a hunk of foam across one end of the tank, an alternative is a corner matten filter. Same basic concept, except you silicone in a couple small pieces of glass to act as support and then bend a smaller piece of foam into a quarter-circle in a back corner of the tank. If you get black foam it's quite unobtrusive; just a dark blob in the rear corner. You can also hide your heater in the small well formed behind the foam.

The links above are to the Swiss Tropicals site. They also sell very good quality conventional foam sponge filters that have Czech lift tubes. These move incredible amounts of water. Way more than you're likely to see with other sponge filters, even with an air stone. If you get a Jetlifter that's long enough the curved top will push water across the surface and give you good circulation.


I’m not sure I’d like looking at a a huge Matten filter, but the corner unit is intriguing. I already have the tank up and running, but now you’ve got me scheming ideas on how to create a drop in corner unit. Do you think a unit with 6” sides in one corner would be efficient?
 

fyshfuud

I wouldn't rely on how many gallons a sponge filter is rated for.

A sponge filter rated for "20 gallon tank" for example is purely arbitrary.

I would use two sponge filters "rated" for 40 gallon tanks or larger.

An Ehiem 200 or 400 model air pump would work well. They have dual outlets and are quieter than most other air pumps. They cost more, but they are made in Germany and are quieter.

My second choice would be a Fluval Q1. It also has dual outlets. Online you can find them for $16-$19. I would not pay over $20 for them. I own 2, and never had an issue with them.

I use ATI brand of sponge filters and also pre-filters that attach to HOB's and canister's.

They come in regular foam sponge of around 40 ppI and the coarse style foam of around 20ppI have the word "Pro" in the name.

Here is a pic of a Hydro Sponge II stacked on top of a Hydro Sponge III Pro.

View media item 250281
View media item 250280
If I had to use it sponge filters for a 40g, I would use a Hydro Sponge IV and a Hydro Sponge IV Pro, ran off one of the air pumps I mentioned before.

The Pro models with coarse foam sponge have a higher flow rate through them.

I checked out the Eheim pumps and they have really great reviews. In your opinion, are they enough better than the Fluval to make themworth the extra expense? How about the longevity?
 

FishRFriendz

I had considered using something like that. Would one of those at one end be efficient? Or would I want to run one at each end of the tank? My whole thought of using 2 single sponge units was so that I could alternate cleaning them and have filtration at both ends of the tank. Is it necessary to have at both ends of a 36” x 18” tank?

I have a 40b with 1 on one end, and on the other end I have another hooked up to a powerhead. The problem with sponge filters is they don't provide much flow. If you're into low flow then they're great, but I wanted more directional flow so I added a powerhead to the 2nd one. That one needs cleaning more often tho.

The 380 style ones have absolutely no directional control too.
 

JayH

I’m not sure I’d like looking at a a huge Matten filter, but the corner unit is intriguing. I already have the tank up and running, but now you’ve got me scheming ideas on how to create a drop in corner unit. Do you think a unit with 6” sides in one corner would be efficient?
The full matten filter is definitely more aesthetically pleasing if you have the tank turned so the narrow side is the viewing side. This is common with breeders because it allows more tanks on a single rack. Then the foam is on the back wall and it looks like a dark background. Putting it at one end with the tank positioned more normally, I'd probably put something on that end to block the view. It would end up looking like one of the all-in-one tanks that has a built in filter on one end.

I don't see why you couldn't build a free standing version. The corner of the tank just forms a well to pump water from, and any well on the back side of the foam should work. I have the braces in my 20 long at 6", but I purposely went bigger than recommended because I wanted more room in the well. With sufficient water flow these things will readily handle tanks much larger than what might be initially considered. I would think a 6" box that was the full height of the tank would work just fine in a 40.

I would suggest putting some weight on the bottom to keep it anchored though. As the filter gets dirty the water level in the well will drop. Without the weight that would cause the filter to float up.
 

FishRFriendz

Oh, I'll also mention box filters since those are also sometimes considered sponge filters.


I have this exact model that says it's for 40 gallons. I will not recommend it for filtering anything above 10 gallons.
While it does have flow directionality, it also fits into the same disadvantages that the xy-380/hydrosponge filters have, ie requires complete removal to clean and is much more fiddly than a 380 since it's made of hard brittle plastic and has many more pieces.

I have a tote full of old filters I don't bother using since I tried many different kinds and then gravitated to what works and is easy. It's filled mostly with xy-380s, and smaller versions, corner versions, etc. Some matten filters for 10 gallon tanks. And this box filter.

They all work. I'm just lazy and prefer filters that are easier for me to maintain. I'm past the phase where I want a cool rube goldberg machine for a filter.

Dual sponge, HOBs and canisters I continue to use. Oh and an undergravel with 'EZ Clean'.
 

Islandvic

The Eheim 200 has dual outlets rated at 100lpm each. It probably has the better warranty.

The 400 is rated at 200lpm for each outlet.

Also, the Eheim's have a dial on the case, to regulate the flow of each outlet. This is very handy.

The Fluval Q1 has dual outlets rated at 124lpm each.

If you look around online and find a decent price for the Eheim, I would go with that. It will be quieter than the Fluval.

I have 2 Fluval Q1's. One is slightly louder than the other. I had to take the case off the other once, and tighten some bolts that had loosened inside. Very easy to do. When some of the small fasteners inside became loose, the air pump started to become loud.
 

FishPatrol

I am pretty new to sponge filters, but bought one early in July to use in my new quarantine tank. Being that it was just for the 10 gallon quarantine tank, I got the Aquaneat 10 gallon sponge filter and it’s powered using my Whisper 60 that is shared between the quarantine tank and my 40 gallon breeder (just as a bubbler there - I also have an Emperor 400 HOB for that tank). The sponge IS seeded as I kept it in my big established tank for a few weeks and the water in the 10 gallon is testing ok (and has a healthy amount of nitrates present), BUT to get to my long winded question, is this size sponge too small??? I bought 5 black skirt tetras yesterday to quarantine, and started to worry afterwards whether or not that size sponge is adequate to support them. Should I buy one that’s rated for 20,30,40, etc gallons or is the 10 gallon one adequate as long as it’s just short term and I don’t have any more fish than this in it (with frequent water changes)? It’s also bare bottomed. If I were to start over I’d probably start with a bigger one but now with this one seeded, I’m not sure if I should switch things up mid quarantine or if that’s necessary (if these fish will be ok). Please help! I’m overly paranoid about my fish dying and I need a little reassurance or redirection.
 

FishPatrol

Note: All the fish currently look very healthy, I just don’t want that to change, and so I wanted to get opinions.
 

FinalFins

Don't pay attention to "rated for x gallons". That is just indicating the size of the filter itself.

The amount of flow the air has really determines the efficiency of the filter.
 

FishPatrol

Don't pay attention to "rated for x gallons". That is just indicating the size of the filter itself.

The amount of flow the air has really determines the efficiency of the filter.
So are you saying what I have is ok because it’s powered by the Whisper 60 (even though it’s split between two tanks)? Sorry if my question is silly.
 

FinalFins

Just because it is powered with the whisper doesn't make it good- its the bubbles that determine efficiency- if the bubble flow is the most it can go then its fine, if the bubble flow is weak and the bubbles are small then you need to crank the air flow up.
 

Tallen78

Just because it is powered with the whisper doesn't make it good- its the bubbles that determine efficiency- if the bubble flow is the most it can go then its fine, if the bubble flow is weak and the bubbles are small then you need to crank the air flow up.
Yes it’s the air u put to it I agree and I only grab bigger ones for the bigger sponge more surface area for bb to grow on being that there is no media
 

FishPatrol

I turned it up as much as possible. It’s also placed in the middle of the tank for maximum circulation. Here it is - look ok? I’d say there are a lot of bubbles... (Also, that tower decoration was a piece from my big tank, so I used that to help bring in a little extra BB)

Quarantine tank:
Bubble flow
(Sorry if it’s a little blurry. I didn’t know how to upload here other than YouTube link, and they downsized my video quality)
 

Tol

I like to run airstones inside sponge filters. I have not used the aquaneat ones, just the ATI hydrosponges, but they look about the same. The stone will make the bubbles finer, quieter and may help oxygenate a little better. What you have is perfectly fine IMO though
 

Katie993

I like to run airstones inside sponge filters. I have not used the aquaneat ones, just the ATI hydrosponges, but they look about the same. The stone will make the bubbles finer, quieter and may help oxygenate a little better. What you have is perfectly fine IMO though
I have heard of people doing this but how do you set it up?
 

Tol

I have heard of people doing this but how do you set it up?

So the airline already runs down into the filter and connects to the top of the bullseye piece. On the bottom side of the bullseye, just add a short piece of airline to the it and then a stone at the end of the airline, turn the filter back on and done. Very easy and I prefer it to the glug glug of sponge filters without them. I make the airline long enough so the stone sits close to the bottom of the filter, not sure if it matters that much about that though.
 

Islandvic

FishPatrol , can you post pic of your sponge filter, that way we can correctly recommend how to use an air stone? Maybe pic of it in tank and pick of it out of tank taken apart? If not, a link to it online will suffice.

Just want to make sure your model is what I'm picturing, so I can give a correct answer for adding air stone

I've got a good idea about what it looks like, and the mod I might suggest will be similar to the mod I did on a Azoo and Hikari sponge filter to accommodate the air stone.

I mainly use the ATI brand like Tol referenced, which do not need any mods to use an airstone
 

Tol

True. I am speaking just on experience adding stones to ATI branded ones. The Aquaneat looks very similar based on the video FishPatrol shared, but the inside of it may be a bit different and may need some extra steps to fit.
 

FishPatrol

FishPatrol , can you post pic of your sponge filter, that way we can correctly recommend how to use an air stone? Maybe pic of it in tank and pick of it out of tank taken apart? If not, a link to it online will suffice.

Just want to make sure your model is what I'm picturing, so I can give a correct answer for adding air stone

I've got a good idea about what it looks like, and the mod I might suggest will be similar to the mod I did on a Azoo and Hikari sponge filter to accommodate the air stone.

I mainly use the ATI brand like Tol referenced, which do not need any mods to use an airstone

This is it in my 10 gallon tank:
Filter in tank
And picture of it:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y5Z6V8Z/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_fpejFb5EY28YC

F5783DC4-C6C6-438D-BBF9-0E8E665C0B17.png
 

BettasAreSuperior

For a low-tech planted tank should I add a air stone or will a sponge filter aerate the tank just fine?? ( I will put a air stone inside the sponge filter)
 

SilverLake

As far as I know the airstone in filter should provide plenty of aeration.
That being said, is the sponge the only filter, and what kind of tank will help determine if it's true.
 

BettasAreSuperior

It will be a 20 long with a aqueon quietflow 30 (prefilter sponge) and a medium sponge filter with an air stone inside of it.
 

Derek88242

You should have plenty of oxygen coming in with those filters. May I suggest moving the sponge filter opposite side of the hob for better flow.
 

BettasAreSuperior

Okay. The opposite side... oh I get what you mean.... Okay. Will do.
 

Pfrozen

Do not put an airstone inside your sponge filter, they arent designed like that. Air goes in and water gets drawn in as the air escapes out the top. Adding an airstone just impedes fow, it already creates bubbles on its own
 

BettasAreSuperior

Do not put an airstone inside your sponge filter, they arent designed like that. Air goes in and water gets drawn in as the air escapes out the top. Adding an airstone just impedes fow, it already creates bubbles on its own
okay so i will probably just skip the airstone then.
 

BettasAreSuperior

Hi guys, what are some recommendations for a sponge filter with a aqueon filter in a 20 gal long.
 

smee82

I prefer dual sponges so you can take one of an instantly cycle a new tank.
 

Fisch

I prefer dual sponges so you can take one of an instantly cycle a new tank.
Never thought of a dual sponge that way, but that is a very good reason.
 

Flyfisha

I like to have more than one sponge in any tank but I am moving away from the double sponge filters that suck on to the glass. I find once in a while the sucker lets go and it’s 50/50 if it is working at half capacity when I see it laying on its side.
Give me a pair of the traditional free standing filter anytime.
 

smee82

I like to have more than one sponge in any tank but I am moving away from the double sponge filters that suck on to the glass. I find once in a while the sucker lets go and it’s 50/50 if it is working at half capacity when I see it laying on its side.
Give me a pair of the traditional free standing filter anytime.

Ive only seen free standing dual filters here but yeh always falling over would be a pain to deal with. I wonder if you could glue a spike to the bottom to stop it falling or even chopsticks to make an x to make the base stable.
 

DK314

I recently purchased sponge filters. They are a course filter but works great in my 20 high. Bottoms are weighted nicely so they don't float or move around easily. I use it with their recommended no clog airstone.
 

Flyfisha

Yeah I have tried bits of string to hang them from but at $7 for a second hand and $9 for a new standard size I am seriously just getting the sucker models out of my life .
 

Ambie

I prefer dual sponges so you can take one of an instantly cycle a new tank.
These filters have become a mainstay in my aquariums for this reason.
Being able to take a sponge and setup a qt tank has been such a time saver.
 

BettasAreSuperior

So I was looking at some sponge filter and deciding between these two. The reason I am not going with dual because I prefer single. lol my reasons are great. Aquarium co op's is super coarse and I would prefer a fine one. Which one is better out of these two??

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002ARE98/ref=twister_B084WPQGGH?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

For the hydro I am going with size III

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VM7TS53/ref=twister_B07VKP6QZ4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

For this one I am going with large size
 

Flyfisha

Both of those brands are double the price compared to hunting around LSF. They are not cheaper than the most expensive shop . While a few dollars means nothing much if you are buying multiple filters you may want to look for a better price? Or it’s just amazon Australia that has an issue?

Personally I am now buying just the large / standard size for any tank .
 

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