sponge filters

atmmachine816

Member
ok I hav some questons on this topic tryiing to find if I should swith from biowheel to sponge watst he maintence do u just hav to rinse the sponges every week or do u hav to do something else and is ther and $ maintance and how do u know how many or big of a sponge filter do u need

thnks

big mo
 

chickadee

Member
I have my first sponge filter in my tank right now and the directions I got with it said to rinse the sponge filter in USED TANK WATER every 30 days or so but the general belief around here has been from those with the most knowledge about them is that you don't rinse them until the water won't go through them anymore, so that you aren't washing out the good bacteria. I love the sponge filters. The size will depend on the size of your tank and when you order one the sizes are listed plainly on the descriptions of the filters. There are several posts on sponge filters already on the forum. If you go to the search bar above and type in "sponge filters" it should give you the posts and so you can read what others have written about them. A lot of the really great fish experts use them here.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

Member
ok I was at my lfs today and these r the sponge filters they hav but ther double





wat do u think bout them
 

Butterfly

Member
I have the single ones in my fry tanks, the ones with two sponges in my 20 gal and a big round one in another tank. I prefer the double sponges because I rinse one sponge each week but that's just my preference.
Again it depends on the size tank your going to use them in.
Carol
 
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atmmachine816

Member
id like to use them in both my tanks but would two be enough in my 30 gallon but I would hav to find something smaller for the 2.5 tank right ???
 

chickadee

Member
I had the flat white round one and it worked great but it was about 3" in diameter and does take up a lot of room compared to the others. It also needed to sit on the floor of the tank and the others can be set up on the side wall. I like the ones Butterfly uses better.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

Member
how many sponge filteres will I need in my 30 gallon if I used the elite double ones 1 2 or 3 and would I hav to replace the sponges at all
 

chickadee

Member
I used my filter for "up to 10 gallons" in my 3 gallon quarantine tank. It worked great. I replaced it with the Duetto from the vase after the vase broke just because it took up less room.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

Member
well does anyboyd think I would save money if I replaced my HOB filter with a sponge fiilter even the the HOB is in perfect condition I just don like spending 10 dollars every few months
 

chickadee

Member
The sponge filter will definitely save you money.  It doesn't take cartridges and just needs rinsing in used tank water when the water won't go through it anymore.  If you read further in the filtration posts, I believe you will find references to sponge filters lasting for years without any more than a rinse now and then.  You can spend a fortune in replacement filtration media in that much time.  There are also sponge filters for tanks all the way up to 130 gallons at and they also carry the replacement sponges for each one they sell.  The pricing is extremely reasonable for sponge filters also. 

Rose
 

Gunnie

Member
I love my sponge filters! The maintenance is next to nothing. You should not be spending that kind of money on a HOB filter. Carbon is not necessary to add to your filter media, and unless you are getting no water flow through the filter cartridge, you should not be replacing them. Simply swish your filter cartridge through some used tank water when it needs it, and until the cartridge is completely clogged where rinsing no longer helps, or it's literally falling apart, don't replace it! I've had the same filter media in some of my filters for 6 months!
 
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atmmachine816

Member
so you do have to replace the sponges maybe once or twice a year do you think I should change over to sponge filters I already have a pump I would only have to get the filter I do that for the cartridges I have right now and I replace them when the bio-wheel won't spin anymore usually 1-2 months depends on how much the gravel has been stirred up more its stirred up the more **** the filter picks up
 

chickadee

Member
First of all you should never have to replace your Bio-wheel either. The problem is usually the impeller is plugged up with gunk and just needs to be cleaned. If it is cleaned, the wheel will usually begin to spin again and you will not have to replace anything.. It only takes a minute and you don't have to start the cycling process over on a new Bio-wheel. If you will check your manual that came with the filter or look it up on the internet or even call the manufacturer they will walk you through the process and save you a lot of money. The sponge filters are also the greatest, but the Bio-wheels are good and too expensive to be replacing just because the impeller is gunked up.

I hope this helps you. I had to go through this with my Eclipse Hex 5 set-up when I thought I had burnt up my filter. The Marineland people were very helpful in walking me through the process and all was well.

But I still use the sponge filters in my quarantine tank where I don't want the water flow to be very fast and the little guys needed the cycling process to proceed more quickly. I floated the sponge in the cycled tank for a period of 10 days before I started the new tank and it had a chance to start the bacteria from the other tank so it didn't take that long to cycle the new tank. Worked great!

Rose
 

Gunnie

Member
The sponges on the sponge filters should last for years! Even the sponges in the aquaclears and other filters should last a very long time. Dino just replaced an aquaclear sponge he had been using and rinsing for 15 years!
 
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atmmachine816

Member
no what I mean should I just stick with my bio-wheel now I clean the propeler monthly or should I get sponge filters because they wilil do a better job and cheaper
 

Gunnie

Member
Since you already have the bio wheel set up, I'd stick with that and just keep the impeller clean.
 
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atmmachine816

Member
ya I celan the intake tube and propeler once a month but do I need to scrub the filter cartridge in fish water and should I clean the inside of the filter out
 
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atmmachine816

Member
does anybody know if I should scrub the filter cartridge when I rinse it
 

Gunnie

Member
Is the filter cartridge the type you replace? If it's just some floss with carbon in it, don't scrub it, just rinse in old tank water.
 
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atmmachine816

Member
ya its the type that you replace do you think it would be a good idea to run a sponge filter for extra filtiration since I have an extra air pump
 

chickadee

Member
There would be one really good reason to have an extra sponge filter running in the tank, regardless. If you ever need to start a new tank or need a quarantine tank to put new fish into, you will have a cycled filter all primed and ready for it complete with all kinds of nice bacteria. Now if you are going to put it into a sick tank, be prepared to perhaps not be able to put it back into the main tank, but just to quarantine new fish, you could probably move it back as long as there are no problems that you wouldn't want to take back to the main tank. Also, when MTS sets in (you notice I didn't say IF) you will have a filter already set to start a new tank with. Even if the new tank comes with a filter of its own, you can run the sponge and other one simultaneouslly and it will be okay to add fish because technically the filter will already be cycled and the sponge filter will cycle the new filter in a matter of a couple of weeks usually, instead of waiting 4 - 6 weeks like you would ordinarily.

Hope this has made sense. I did it with my 3 gallon and it worked great.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

Member
yup makes sense as soo as I get some money I will get one

should I scrub my bio-wheel cartridge though
 

chickadee

Member
I heard it said on another thread that it could be rinsed when it didn't spin real well (in used tank water) , but my tanks are 8 months and 2 months old respectively and not at all ready for that yet. I have had to clean the impellers but not the Bio-wheels. and scrub ... no not scrub... just swish them in the water to get some of the gunk off of them, then put them back. They are supposed to look a bit gunky. That is the bacteria build up. If you scrub, you get rid of the bacteria.

Have a good day and enjoy your fishies.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

Member
are you saying don't scrub the wheel or cartridge and yes you should clean your impellers on monthly basis I do but do you know if you should empty all the water out of the filter before you take the impeller out or can you have water sitting in it
 

chickadee

Member
I don't know what kind of filter you have, but mine is a Marineland built into Eclipse tanks, and in order to get to the impellers you have to turn the filters upside down so the water has to be removed and the Bio-wheel as well for a small time but I hurry so the Bio-wheel is not out of the water for any more time than necessary. (about 10 minutes) This isn't something I do once a month but about every 6 weeks as the intake tube doesn't get that dirty and the impeller is usually not that dirty with only the the small number of fish I have in the tanks.

Otherwise if you have a biowheel with an accesible impeller I don't suppose you would have to empty the water but it would be a bigger mess.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

Member
what type of filters do you have in your 2.5 tank
 

chickadee

Member
Since it is only a plant tank and has never had anything but plants in it, I have never had any type of filter in it but the undergravel filter that came with it. If I had fish in it or were going to have fish in it, I would put the Marineland Duetto Filter in it that came out of the vase that I had.. It is excellent and has seperate, chemical, biological, and mechanical filters so you can change one at a time. It is also fully adjustable to control both air flow and water flow so it does not need an air stone with it. I provides all the aeration a tank needs. It can be used in water as shallow as 2" so can be used in reptile tanks also. The minI model that I have is good for 2 gallon to 10 gallon tanks. They have 2 larger models for larger tanks but I don't know how large they go. I am doubting they would be good for really big tanks, but they are great for the smaller tanks. All the other small tank filters I found, you had to change the whole filter cartridge at once and start the cycle process almost from the beginning all over.

Rose
 

Gunnie

Member
I thought this was a good buy. 5 sponge filters for $10.00 including shipping!
 

Isabella

Member
My LFS has Hagen's sponge filter but not the one that Atmmachine gave us links to. And these sponge filters are great for fry from what I hear. I hate my LFS - they have everything except the things that are most necessary. How ironic! I don't know what kind of people work there. Do they know anything at all about fish? (I never got any useful info from them on fish either).
 

Gunnie

Member
Isabella said:
My LFS has Hagen's sponge filter but not the one that Atmmachine gave us links to. And these sponge filters are great for fry from what I hear. I hate my LFS - they have everything except the things that are most necessary. How ironic! I don't know what kind of people work there. Do they know anything at all about fish? (I never got any useful info from them on fish either).
Just keep at your LFS about what you buy! I usually ask for the product first, and if they say they can order it, ask them if they can order it in the ballpark of what you can get it for online including shipping. That way you give them a chance for the sale, and you don't pay twice as much for it. If it doesn't work out, then at least you have given your LFS the opportunity to be competitive and order your stuff online. I like to buy locally as much as possible to keep them in business, but I'm not gonna pay twice as much for the stuff either!
 
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atmmachine816

Member
I usually have to pay more but if I were to order online the shipping makes it usually only a few dollars cheaper or more expesinve so I just buy locally
 
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atmmachine816

Member
ok so if I were to buy those do you think one running in my 2.5 gallon tank would be enough???? The only problem I would have is buying them. Hopefully I can use my friends paypal account. Thanks
 

Gunnie

Member
atmmachine816 said:
ok so if I were to buy those do you think one running in my 2.5 gallon tank would be enough???? The only problem I would have is buying them.  Hopefully I can use my friends paypal account.  Thanks
Not sure about that one! Usually what size tank the companies say they are good for is not enough gph for most hobbyists, but you will be getting more than 1 filter. Do you have an air pump with 2 outlets?
 
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atmmachine816

Member
no but I can buy a valve that separates the air two multiple items for a few bucks and I have tons of tubing so two should be ok but I only have 2 6 week old guppies in there right now.
 

Isabella

Member
I suppose it varies from product to product and from location to location. But when I asked for a 24" long, 20W, Hagen's Sun-Glo bulb, my local store had it for $36! I bought it then. However, after a while I searched for the same bulb online and found it on Petsmart for about $16-17!!! So it looks like it's cheaper for me to order online. Even with sh&h I'd pay much less for the same bulb if I ordered it online. That's crazy. But, I'll ask them about the sponge filter and if they could order it for me, and how much it would be. Still, I hate this store because I saw them selling painted fish - and that I cannot forgive them. I keep buying small and cheap things there like fish food, etc ... but I'll never again buy anything expensive there - won't let them make money. That's a payback for selling painted fish. Period.
 
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atmmachine816

Member
Ok big problem I tried the filters out and all it does is put airbublles out and I don't feel any suction at all.

I connected tubing to the black part in the middle and all it does is put air bubbles out the tube on the top and I feel the suction where the sponge is. Any ideas on what to do to make it work.
 

Gunnie

Member
I believe it is working especially if you are feeling suction. I've never felt the suction in my sponge filters but I know they are working in my tanks. Anyone else have a thought?
 

chickadee

Member
as long as they are bubbling I think they are working. mine didn't seem to have suction but did a wonderful job.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

Member
ok I have four running in my large tank to start to get them ready for the fry tank
 
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