HOB Filter Setup

juniorskeptical

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I am currently using an Aqua-Tech 10-20 HOB Filter for my 20 Gallon tank. Currently I have it setup so there is sponge, then the filter cartridge, and finally the biogrid. There seems to be an excess amount of bypass. Is there a better way I can set up the filter for optimum filtration and flow? If I have to drastically change the setup, how do I keep the beneficial bacteria?
 

Colin_T

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You can buy sponges for different brands of filter and use a pair of scissors to cut them to fit.

I only run sponges in power filters. The sponges last for years and get squeezed out in a bucket of tank water every few weeks, then the sponges get re-used. The bucket of dirty water gets poured on the lawn.
 

Slaphppy7

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I am currently using an Aqua-Tech 10-20 HOB Filter for my 20 Gallon tank. Currently I have it setup so there is sponge, then the filter cartridge, and finally the biogrid. There seems to be an excess amount of bypass. Is there a better way I can set up the filter for optimum filtration and flow? If I have to drastically change the setup, how do I keep the beneficial bacteria?
How long have you been running the filter?
What do you mean by "bypass"?...maybe, flow through the filter?
 
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juniorskeptical

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You can buy sponges for different brands of filter and use a pair of scissors to cut them to fit.

I only run sponges in power filters. The sponges last for years and get squeezed out in a bucket of tank water every few weeks, then the sponges get re-used. The bucket of dirty water gets poured on the lawn.
So do you think I should take out the filter cartridge and leave just the sponge and bio grid?
 
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juniorskeptical

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How long have you been running the filter?
What do you mean by "bypass"?...maybe, flow through the filter?
The filter has been running for about 2 months, but I just added fish 2 weeks ago.
By bypass I mean that on the Aqua Tech filter there is another channel that water can flow through that does not go through any filtration. This is a feature to prevent water from overflowing if it can't pass through any of the media.
 
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juniorskeptical

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Yes I did do a fishless cycle, but there are now 5 black phantom tetras in the tank with plans to add more fish. I just want to get my filter properly situated before I overwhelm it.
 

Lajos_Detari

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If you have a lot of bypass(unfiltered water), it means your filter media is clogged.
You will have to rinse/clean your filter media once in a while to prevent clogging.

Another reason is, your flow rate is too fast.
You can reduce your flow rate so that it won't have too much bypass.
 
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Colin_T

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So do you think I should take out the filter cartridge and leave just the sponge and bio grid?
Leave the cartridge until it gets too dirty to clean or starts to fall apart, then throw it away and replace it with sponge so you have a couple of sponges and whatever the bio grid is.

The cartridge can be cleaned in a bucket of tank water (squeeze it out) and re-used. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the lawn.
 
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