Sponge filters for Betta tanks?

capekate
  • #1
Ive been concerned about the water flow in my Betta tanks for awhile. I'm using aqua clear, HOB filters now. My problem is that when the water is at the top level of the tank, the over all water flow is pretty strong, even at the lowest setting. It whips the food pellets all over the place and at times it looks like my Bettas struggle in the current. When the water level is low, the flow is much more directed in a downward current, but Id rather have the tank full of water.
I have been doing some research into sponge filters, like the Hydro sponge filter. My questions are this..
Would the sponge filters be better for my little guys?
Has anyone had good experiences with sponge filters?
And do they filter as well as the HOB filters?
Thanks so much... I'd like to get some opinions before I go out and order them.
~ kate
 
COBettaCouple
  • #2
I use & like sponge filters, but I don't think they filter as well as HOB filters, not even close really. The thing I like most for Bettas is an adjustable-flow HOB.
 
capekate
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
HI Dave,
I have the HOB adjustable flow filters now..
But in Phoenix's tank I have the Top Fin 10, which when I bought it,didnt realize that it has no flow valve. But the aqua clear minI and the aqua clear 20 in the other betta tanks do.
thanks for the information, I appreciate it. Since the sponge, in your opinion do not filter as well, I'm wondering if a more powerful sponge filter may? Or a few in a tank better than one?
I guess, this is something I'm going to have to do some more thinking on before buying any. Just thought I would try something new.

~ kate
 
AggieYen
  • #4
I'd love to use HOBs but my tank hood prohibits that, so I use the Eheim Pickup - which, I believe is a sponge filter - haven't had a problem with finrot yet.. So i'm hoping for the best. And it comes with flow control... had to put in a bubble wall to increase surface agitation though.
 
Allie
  • #5
I was told sponge filter clean better than all filters, which is why people use them in fry tanks. Personally I haven't noticed a difference.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #6
I've only tried the sponge filters in a tank with an HOB going, fry tanks and now in the q. tank the plecos are in. I think they work good for what they are, but are to me, like 1/2 of an HOB filter.
 
capekate
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
HI AggieYen
thanks.. I can see where some type of aeration is necessary w/o the flow that a HOB gives off. So would have to add some type of bubble wand or air stone along with the sponge filter. Thanks...

HI Allie
I see there are a lot of different size sponge filters, so I am guessing a larger than necessary sized sponge filter may work more efficiently than one rated for the tank size? I agree as well that they are most likely best used for fry and QT tanks and probably a good idea to have one on hand just in case...

HI Dave,
I have always liked my HOB AquaClear filters and will continue to use them. But for the betta tanks... I'm still thinking about ways to cut down on the water flow problem, even tho I have not had any fin rot on my guys/gals, just thought that the current is too much for them. But maybe I'm over reacting and all is well, as it is.

Thanks for the input ;D

~ kate
 
chickadee
  • #8
I love sponge filters in my betta tanks but I also always try to run a secondary bio-wheel filter of some sort usually in the hood but in the new tank it will probably end up as a HOB like a Penguin 100 or 150 that has a flow rate adjustment on it. I like the Bio-wheel for its ability to keep the water super clean and the sponge for its ability to do the aeration of the tank and filter at the same time. It also has the added benefit of being able to be connected to my battery back up air pumps and will run and keep my tanks cycled even if the power fails and the other filters lose their cycle. It happens often where I live for some reason. Our power can be off for several hours and then I have minI cycles. My battery operated air pumps will operate 50% on and 50% off for over 20 hours on a single charge. I have all my tanks hooked to them and they are wonderful. I have not had a minI cycle since I did this due to outages. I always run sponge filters rated at two times the capacity for the tank size too. (25 gallon filter for my 12 gallon tanks and 2 25 gallon filters for the 25 gallon tank and 25 gallon filter for the 10 gallon tank and 10 gallon filter for the 5 gallon tank) They have not let me down yet.

I use the sponge filter as my source of aeration in my 12 gallon tanks in most cases and it is plenty adequate. They do not need another airstone or wand. It provides plenty of bubble actions and the fish love them. The only way the bubble action would be not for them is if I would use it for the only filter as the bubble action would need to be too strong for them to be able to get near it to play. While I keep it turned to brisk movement and the water does move it is not so brisk that the fish are bothered by it and they can still come near and play in it if they wish.

I am getting the tanks ready for the two new arrivals to be in and they will both be filtered at first with only sponge filters. The only drawback that I do recognize with them is they do not remove medications if you need to use them. This is another reason that I do not limit the tank to one filter (sponge only). There still needs to be a recourse to using carbon to remove medications and occasionally if you have an algae problem. Otherwise I never use carbon.

Rose
 
Butterfly
  • #9
I use sponge filters in several tanks and while they grow all kinds of good yummies for fry they have to be taken out more often and the debris rinsed out of them in used tank water.
Hob filters pull the water up and through a filter pad of some sort and that pad strains(for lack of a better word) the water and keeping particles trapped in the pad which then has to be rinsed in used tank water occasionally.
Either way the filtering mechanism(sponge or filter pad) has to be rinsed. I usually have to rinse the sponge filter sponge more frequently. just my :
Carol
 
capekate
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I love sponge filters in my betta tanks but I also always try to run a secondary bio-wheel filter of some sort usually in the hood but in the new tank it will probably end up as a HOB like a Penguin 100 or 150 that has a flow rate adjustment on it. I like the Bio-wheel for its ability to keep the water super clean and the sponge for its ability to do the aeration of the tank and filter at the same time. It also has the added benefit of being able to be connected to my battery back up air pumps and will run and keep my tanks cycled even if the power fails and the other filters lose their cycle. It happens often where I live for some reason. Our power can be off for several hours and then I have minI cycles. My battery operated air pumps will operate 50% on and 50% off for over 20 hours on a single charge. I have all my tanks hooked to them and they are wonderful. I have not had a minI cycle since I did this due to outages. I always run sponge filters rated at two times the capacity for the tank size too. (25 gallon filter for my 12 gallon tanks and 2 25 gallon filters for the 25 gallon tank and 25 gallon filter for the 10 gallon tank and 10 gallon filter for the 5 gallon tank) They have not let me down yet.

I use the sponge filter as my source of aeration in my 12 gallon tanks in most cases and it is plenty adequate. They do not need another airstone or wand. It provides plenty of bubble actions and the fish love them. The only way the bubble action would be not for them is if I would use it for the only filter as the bubble action would need to be too strong for them to be able to get near it to play. While I keep it turned to brisk movement and the water does move it is not so brisk that the fish are bothered by it and they can still come near and play in it if they wish.

I am getting the tanks ready for the two new arrivals to be in and they will both be filtered at first with only sponge filters. The only drawback that I do recognize with them is they do not remove medications if you need to use them. This is another reason that I do not limit the tank to one filter (sponge only). There still needs to be a recourse to using carbon to remove medications and occasionally if you have an algae problem. Otherwise I never use carbon.

Rose
HI Rose, ;D
Thank you so much for your input. It has really helped me in my decision on getting them for the betta tanks. I love your idea that they work well with the battery back up air pumps. And those batteries are in my plans as well.
I have heard so many good things about the penguin bio wheels as well, and may have to invest in them at some point too. For now, tho no medications have been needed for my bettas, and if the need arises I can always use some carbon in one of the HOBs that I will have left over.
I am doing some research on the best type of sponge filter to buy for the ten gal tanks now.
Thanks again.. I really appreciate the help!

~ kate
 
chickadee
  • #11
Let me suggest one thing, get the ones that stand on a small pedestle if you can. They are so much easier to clean around. The ones that sit directly on the gravel/substrate are such a mess to deal with! I do not like them nearly as much, they draw all the fish waste right up to them and when you move them to clean around them it flies and the filter scatters it. When the filter is on a pedestle it draws the waste up onto the filter and you can still do the syphoning around the filter without a mess.

I get the ones from

Rose



These are the ones I usually order
 
capekate
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
HI Rose,
thanks for the link. I was looking at them at the F&S site today. I did see the pedestal ones you are talking about and liked them. I'm not going to get a cheap one, I think that I would end up running into problems if I went the least expensive route on these. Tho they sure are a lot cheaper than HOB filters! I was very surprised at the price. So can afford a good one. I was looking at the hydor brand but haven't finished my research yet.
thanks,

~ kate
 
Butterfly
  • #13
I have some like the one rose has and I have some like this
and I like them both
Carol
 
chickadee
  • #14
You know Carol I think I would love those but I cannot figure out how to attach them to anything. I got one and I do not know how to use it. How do you use them? I am just clueless!

Rose
 
capekate
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I have some like the one rose has and I have some like this
and I like them both
Carol

HI Carol.
I see these have a totally different design, as they actually stick to the side of the glass. Interesting for sure... they may save on some space in the tank too?
Thanks for letting me know about them and that you have used both kinds and find they work out well for you.
I'm really getting excited about trying these new filters out.
Thank you,

~ kate
 
Butterfly
  • #16
You know Carol I think I would love those but I cannot figure out how to attach them to anything. I got one and I do not know how to use it. How do you use them? I am just clueless!

Rose
Rose mine came with suction cups that allowed them to be stuck to the glass.
In the fry tanks I stick them high enough on the glass that I can clean under them with out disturbing the filter Other wise I just rest the little plastic l shaped bottom on the gravel.
Carol
 
COBettaCouple
  • #17
We have some sponge filters that sit on pedestals and some of those from DFS. I'm only running 1 sponge filter now, but all of the sponges from the other sponge filters are stuck in HOB filters to use when we need to seed a newly setup tank.
 
Butterfly
  • #18
We have some sponge filters that sit on pedestals and some of those from DFS. I'm only running 1 sponge filter now, but all of the sponges from the other sponge filters are stuck in HOB filters to use when we need to seed a newly setup tank.

Great idea Dave!
Carol
 
voiceless_kat
  • #19
I first bought sponge filters when I had guppy fry. I did put an airstone in that tank. It worked much better, IMO, than putting something over the intake. I have the pedestal ones.

Then because I like to be prepared for anything barring a nuclear attack, I ordered sizes that I could use as backups or whatever in my 55; 10's & also my eclipses. I use them when I set up a Q tank, or a hospital tank temporarily. I have a regulator on the airtube so I can adjust the bubbles. they do a good job on Q & hosp, haven't used them in a reg tank, but if your little bettas don't like the outflow, I think this could be the solution. I also didn't have substrate in the tanks, and had to put a river rock on top of it to keep it from moving around.

Now I think Rose is a genius for having one running in her big tanks to use to cycle if she has to..never thought of that...dah.

They are inexpensive enough that you can buy a couple.

Val
 
capekate
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
HI Val
your right about them being very inexpensive! I think they must be great to have around when you need to set up a small QT in a hurry. I love how they can hook up to the air pump battery pack for those emergencies when we loose power. Ive got to invest in these asap.
I'm going to check out petsmart first and if I cannot find the ones I want I will have to order them online.
~ kate
 
mlinden84
  • #21
I used this one for my cichlid fry when they were tiny. Now I have it in my community tank running just in case I need to seed a new tank. It kept the 20 gallon cichlid fry tank surprisingly clean (I did water changes every 3-4 days).


Here's what I did for my betta tanks. I ordered extra sponges for the sponge filter, and slipped them on the tube of the hob filter... sorta like a prefilter. Not only did it provide more places for the good bacteria but it also slowed the filter output (which reduced the current)
 
capekate
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
HI Mlinden
thanks for the link... ;D and the suggestion! It sounds like it would work on slowing down the current. I will have to try that! ;D

~ kate
 

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