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Using Sponge Filters With Top Fin Tank

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Leslie3388, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    I have a Top Fin Delight aquarium ( ), which comes with standard carbon filter media. I am considering using sponge filters moving forward.

    As someone who is completely inexperienced with sponge filters, however, would that even be a viable option with the tank’s current filter cartridge/holder? I don’t think with the way the lid is designed that I would be able to configure a HOB filter from a different brand, as the tank is designed to fit the specific cartridge/holder it comes with.

    I’d also like to avoid buying a new tank at this time, if possible.

    For reference, I was looking at these sponge filters:  

    Thanks in advance!
  2. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

  3. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    here are some basic sponge filters and you can also search youtube for about 394858394857584 million videos on them :)

  4. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    Thank you!! Shows how much I know... I thought a sponge filter was just a special sponge that could be inserted into a filter unit!

    Why do sponge filters require an air pump?

    Also, I’m trying to find an alternative to using a carbon filter in the event I need to medicate in the future. Any recommendations other than sponge filters?

  5. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    Check out the video... Sponge filters run off of airlines hooked to an airpump... As far as carbon...keep a bag or a filter cartridge of it handy but its not needed till after u medicate your tank. Carbon only removes smelly water and meds....not much other use for it but those 2 are pretty important... But at the same time if your tank is cycled it will not have any smell to it for the most part...
  6. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    Thanks! I definitely never knew that about sponge filters!

    The filter media that comes standard with my tank contains carbon, which means I’d have to cut it out in the event of medicating... which isn’t ideal. That’s why I’m trying to find alternative media to use.
  7. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    if you have a couple cartridges you can cut the one you have in your tank and dump the carbon then use polyfil from walmart just make sure it doesnt have any perfumes or any chemicals and 1 bag of that will last you a year or more.
    cut a piece big enough to wrap around the frame of your cartridge and just change that every few weeks and shake the frame of your cartridge out in old tank water - never tap water so it doesn't kill your cycle and beneficial bacteria - and your tank will be as clear as ....ummmm glass :)
  8. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    Then you can get a small piece of panty hose if you have room in your filter and rinse and tie this stuff into it for a good BB factory and the same applies to this just give it a little shake and drop it back into your filter and u will have a perfect colony of BB
    Ceramic media
  9. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    sorry meant this
  10. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    @Leslie3388 , what your basically asking is how to get away from using the cartridge, and substitute it with someone else.

    Here is a (LINK) to a thread on the forum that shows exactly that.

    The examples and pictures given on that thread may not be 100% applicable to your filter design, but it will definitely point you in the right direction.

    It is a long read, but if you get through it all, it should help out

    It even uses the same Aquaclear sponges for examples that you had posted.

    So you were already definitely on the right track !
  11. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    Thank you both for your helpful replies!

    @Islandvic, your guide is fantastic! Thank you for putting that together.

    If I reuse my current tank, I have to use the filter holder that came with it, as the the lid/tank is designed in such a way that nothing else will fit in there. If I read your guide correctly, would I be able to forgo the standard filter media that comes with it, and follow this advice as my sole filter system?

    Aquaclear sells 3-pack refills of sponges for their HOB filters. The refills for their AC50 and AC70 filters are the best to use and only cost between $3-$5 for 3 sponges. They can be cut to fit your application and can be easily used in your HOB’s reservoir (or as an intake pre-filter).

    These sponges can be used for your main mechanical filtration or as coarse filtration before your cartridge or DIY fine mechanical filtration. These sponges are well made and can be easily cleaned by swishing them around in a container of tank water.

    They will also act as a host for your beneficial bacteria to colonize on.”

    To recap, this is my current tank:  

    You can see what the filter holder looks like if you scroll through the photos.

    This is the filter media it comes standard with the tank... has two slots for two of these filter cartridges:  

    The main reason I want to move away from the standard filter media that comes with my tank is that I want to avoid using carbon/having to cut it out. My last fish needed to be medicated and I want to be prepared for my next fish. I’d like to go carbon-less. It was a massive pain cutting out the carbon and I felt like I destroyed the cartridges in the process.
  12. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    You may have to experiment a bit to get what you use to fit correctly and ensure the water flow is good and not backing up.

    Yes, either the foam sponge block or that in combination with one of the examples I gave in the write-up will work well.

    Would there be space for a small bag of the bio-media for $2 that was listed to put next the sponge?
  13. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    I’m not sure what exactly will fit. But here are two photos of what the outside and inside of my filter holder/canister look like, to maybe help out more with a visualization. The two slots are for the designated carbon filter cartridges, which it comes with.

  14. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    I’m assuming I would be able to cut those foam sponge blocks? Just not sure how the fit would be. Like I said, I’ve never had a problem with the carbon filter media it comes standard with but seeing as I had a sick fish that needed to be medicated, I’d like to steer clear from carbon media going forward.
  15. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    It's like a puzzle sometimes, you may have to play around with the orientation of the foam sponge so it fits better.

    Main benefit of using foam sponge media is its reusable. Just a quick swish in a container of tank water and it's good again.

    The cartridges aren't bad, but when they are replaced, you lose the beneficial bacteria.

    You may want to try leaving one cartridge in and use a piece of foam in place of the 2nd cartridge and see how that works.

    Also, the position where the cartridges are placed now, doesn't necessarily have to be the same place you put the new media.
  16. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    I’ll order the sponges and give them a try! May I ask why you suggest keeping one filter cartridge in the tank instead of two sponge filters? Just want to know so I am more educated and informed :)

    Thank you for your help!
  17. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    I also can’t seem to find the same Aquaclear/Fluval sponge/foam that you referenced in your filter guide.
  18. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    @Leslie3388 , here is ( ) to Google search giving proper results.

    Petco, Petsmart, Chewy, Big Al's etc have the "3 pack foam insert refills" for $3.

    I mentioned keeping 1 cartridge and 1 foam media in filter reservoir as just another option.

    Also, make sure the foam insert is not too tall, causing an overflow.

    The height may have to be cut down.

    As long as it's not taller than the cartridge, then it will be fine.
  19. Leslie3388New MemberMember

    Ah okay, didn’t realize they were the same as what I had originally posted in this thread! :)
  20. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    Possibly the confusion may lie in the fact the the same product has 2 different types of packaging.

    One kind is the original Aquaclear style

    The second type of packaging is the FLUVAL/Aquaclear style that has more black in the background of the box.

    Same items, just different looking boxes.