Switching to a Sponge Filter - Tips Please

scteel

Hello all!
I was looking for some advice on changing to a sponge filter. I currently have a 10 gallon tank with an Aqueon Quiet Flow 10 filter. I’ve had the tank for almost 4 years with no issues. The water is crystal clear. But because I have sand substrate sometimes when changing out the filter cartridge the filter itself will slip and all kinds of crud comes out and into the water. So from the experts I was wondering if:

Is it safe to switch from cartridge filter to sponge after 4 years?
Will this affect the pH in the water?
Will the water still stay crystal clear?
How large of a sponge filter do I need?

Lastly, can I use a sponge filter from an existing tank that no longer has fish in it? I had a 6 gallon tank with guppies, but a friend is starting the hobby and I'm giving him the fish so I can cut down my number of tanks. (His new one has cycled). Can I take the sponge from that tank and put it in my 10 gallon? If so, do I rinse it with tap water first, the original tank's water, or the new tank's water next time I do a change?


Thanks for any help and tips!!
 

BigManAquatics

You should be able to use that filter. I would rinse in tank water. How long since it has been in a tank with fish?
 
Upvote 0

StarGirl

Yes you can take the sponge out of the other tank, rinse it in tank water (doesn't matter which tank), never tap water. How long has the tank been without fish is the question. Is the sponge dried up?

I have a 20g size in my 5g. It is safe to switch, and will not affect your pH. My water is clear all the time, but you may get a little mixed up stuff taking it out to clean it (squish it out)
 
Upvote 0

Fishstery

Hello all!
I was looking for some advice on changing to a sponge filter. I currently have a 10 gallon tank with an Aqueon Quiet Flow 10 filter. I’ve had the tank for almost 4 years with no issues. The water is crystal clear. But because I have sand substrate sometimes when changing out the filter cartridge the filter itself will slip and all kinds of crud comes out and into the water. So from the experts I was wondering if:

Is it safe to switch from cartridge filter to sponge after 4 years?
Will this affect the pH in the water?
Will the water still stay crystal clear?
How large of a sponge filter do I need?

Lastly, can I use a sponge filter from an existing tank that no longer has fish in it? I had a 6 gallon tank with guppies, but a friend is starting the hobby and I'm giving him the fish so I can cut down my number of tanks. (His new one has cycled). Can I take the sponge from that tank and put it in my 10 gallon? If so, do I rinse it with tap water first, the original tank's water, or the new tank's water next time I do a change?


Thanks for any help and tips!!
You will not need an overly large sponge for a 10 gal, just make sure the air pump is the correct rating for the tank size. Just be aware that sponge filters are bulky so you will lose some tank space due to having it there. In my experience sponge filters are extremely good for biological filtration, but depending on how much free floating gunk is in the water after WCs they can become clogged quite easily reducing their flow and effectiveness over time and won't clear the water of free floating debris as well as a canister would. However the fish always benefit from the extra oxygen that a sponge provides. I keep a sponge in every tank I have as a SECONDARY filter, I'm always running a separate powerhead (internal powerhead or a canister) with the exception for my betta tank which has a sponge only. Your question regarding the used sponge filter, how long has the tank been empty without fish? If it's been longer than a week then the filter is no longer cycled and you will have to start from scratch from that aspect. As long as the fish that were in the tank with it are disease free, you can reuse that sponge but NEVER rinse your filters in tap water. The chlorine will kill off your bacteria and will ruin your cycle. Always take a bucket of used tank water and squeeze the sponge out in it to "rinse" and this goes for any other filter media as well. Swish in used tank water. If the sponge is no longer cycled, I would simply run your current HOB in conjunction with the sponge for 4-6 weeks until the sponge is cycled again. At that time you can remove the HOB and run the sponge by itself, just make sure to test your water for at least 3 days after removing your HOB to make sure the sponge is completely cycled. Using a new filter will not affect your pH. Hope this helps!
 
Upvote 0

scteel

You should be able to use that filter. I would rinse in tank water. How long since it has been in a tank with fish?
Only 2 days - do I run the old cartridge filter with it as well for a few weeks?
You will not need an overly large sponge for a 10 gal, just make sure the air pump is the correct rating for the tank size. Just be aware that sponge filters are bulky so you will lose some tank space due to having it there. In my experience sponge filters are extremely good for biological filtration, but depending on how much free floating gunk is in the water after WCs they can become clogged quite easily reducing their flow and effectiveness over time and won't clear the water of free floating debris as well as a canister would. However the fish always benefit from the extra oxygen that a sponge provides. I keep a sponge in every tank I have as a SECONDARY filter, I'm always running a separate powerhead (internal powerhead or a canister) with the exception for my betta tank which has a sponge only. Your question regarding the used sponge filter, how long has the tank been empty without fish? If it's been longer than a week then the filter is no longer cycled and you will have to start from scratch from that aspect. As long as the fish that were in the tank with it are disease free, you can reuse that sponge but NEVER rinse your filters in tap water. The chlorine will kill off your bacteria and will ruin your cycle. Always take a bucket of used tank water and squeeze the sponge out in it to "rinse" and this goes for any other filter media as well. Swish in used tank water. If the sponge is no longer cycled, I would simply run your current HOB in conjunction with the sponge for 4-6 weeks until the sponge is cycled again. At that time you can remove the HOB and run the sponge by itself, just make sure to test your water for at least 3 days after removing your HOB to make sure the sponge is completely cycled. Using a new filter will not affect your pH. Hope this helps!
thanks for the tips! It has only been 2 days without the fish and the old water is still in the tank. I'll move the sponge right away and run it with the old internal filter for 2 weeks to be on the safe side.
Yes you can take the sponge out of the other tank, rinse it in tank water (doesn't matter which tank), never tap water. How long has the tank been without fish is the question. Is the sponge dried up?

I have a 20g size in my 5g. It is safe to switch, and will not affect your pH. My water is clear all the time, but you may get a little mixed up stuff taking it out to clean it (squish it out)
thanks so much - it's only been 2 days so I think I'm good to go!
 
Upvote 0

Fishstery

Only 2 days - do I run the old cartridge filter with it as well for a few weeks?

thanks for the tips! It has only been 2 days without the fish and the old water is still in the tank. I'll move the sponge right away and run it with the old internal filter for 2 weeks to be on the safe side.

thanks so much - it's only been 2 days so I think I'm good to go!
2 days will be fine! If it makes you feel better to run them side by side for awhile then that's perfectly fine! That way you can rest assured the sponge is ready and good to go when the time comes for it to be the main filtration source. It would also be beneficial if your current tank has more fish in it than the tank that the sponge is coming from. Your bacterial will only colonize to the size of its food source, so if the previous tank had less fish producing waste than your current tank that you are moving it to, the bacteria will need a few days to colonize more and "catch up" to the excess waste load.
 
Upvote 0

StarGirl

Always remember when switching a cycled media item to not overstock it more than what was in the other tank. Go slowly when adding new stock.
 
Upvote 0

scteel

2 days will be fine! If it makes you feel better to run them side by side for awhile then that's perfectly fine! That way you can rest assured the sponge is ready and good to go when the time comes for it to be the main filtration source. It would also be beneficial if your current tank has more fish in it than the tank that the sponge is coming from. Your bacterial will only colonize to the size of its food source, so if the previous tank had less fish producing waste than your current tank that you are moving it to, the bacteria will need a few days to colonize more and "catch up" to the excess waste load.
Hi - so sorry for the late reply! I had to go off to work. The old tank has more fish but is not overstocked. Thanks for all the advive everyone! I had no idea about rinisng in tap water so that was a huge tip. I am learning so much even after 4 years in the hobby! I moved the sponge to the tank last night and will keep the old filter for 3 weeks just to be safe. I may get a second nano sponge filter. The one I have said good up to 10 gallons but it couldn't hurt to have a second one down the road. Fingers crossed all goes well!
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
8
Views
145
sairving
Replies
8
Views
147
Gasio6844
Replies
7
Views
167
mattgirl
  • Question
Replies
2
Views
111
leolee
Replies
4
Views
152
MasterPython

New Aquarium Filter Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom