Sponge filter

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Oldspartan

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Ok, as an experiment I added a cheap sponge filter to the 37 and hooked it to an air pump. It has been operating about 3 weeks. The past few days I observed a steady.decrease in bubbles. Today sporadic. Pulled the filter and rinsed it in some tank water. Filthy.

The tank has a Top Fin pf40 hob. It came with the tank. Today I looked over. The bag has charcoal only. So I guess the bag serves as the main filter. I question how much it is actually filtering.

My ? …. Should I add media to the bag? Switch the bag to a sponge? Add good air driven sponge filers? Or something else.
 
My hang on back filters all use a blend of a coarse filter sponge, and about twice as much bio media as they come with… mine all came with carbon, but because everything I have, is highly planted, I don’t use carbon anymore…
From your description, the hob, is not filtering anything finer than the bag that holds the carbon… typically, the sponge filters out large pieces, and the bio media is surface for your beneficial bacteria… carbon can hold beneficial bacteria, and absorb chemical impurities, until it’s absorbed as much as it can hold… at that point it no longer absorbs, and only acts as bio media… typical bio media holds more bacteria than carbon… air powered sponge filters physically work as well as hob, they just typically filter less water per hour
 
I always throw away the carbon inserts and replace them with another layer of mechanical or biological filtration. Carbon doesn't do anything that regular water changes don't do. Less actually. Carbon inserts are a scam to get people to keep buying replacements when a piece of foam or bag of beads would last for years.
 
Your TopFin is supposed to have 2 cartridges, 1x Filter pad + 1x bio pad. At the moment you don't have any mechanical filtration with it.
On the discharge side of the bag of carbon is a plastic plate with holes. Is that the bio pad. Sorry for my ignorance.
 
Here's another big advantage to sponge filters. I use air pumps with a lithium battery back up. So even when power goes out, the air still keeps going. At least for another 8 hours or so. After that, I can run them off a portable charger or laptop. But this way, my tanks always have aeration and filtration.
 
Here's another big advantage to sponge filters. I use air pumps with a lithium battery back up. So even when power goes out, the air still keeps going. At least for another 8 hours or so. After that, I can run them off a portable charger or laptop. But this way, my tanks always have aeration and filtration.
 
On the discharge side of the bag of carbon is a plastic plate with holes. Is that the bio pad. Sorry for my ignorance.
The mechanical filtration media goes behind the black divider and bio-filtration media normally goes between the blue and the black dividers. You can replace these by sponges cut to the good size. Coarse in the back and Medium in the front.

You can also use the front space for bio-filtration media in addition to medium and coarse sponges.

You can also easily use filter floss with theses. search for "Top Fin power filter 40 hob custom filtering media"
 
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The

Mechanical filtration media goes behind the black divider and bio-filtration media normally goes between the blue and the black dividers. You can replace these by sponges cut to the good size. Coarse in the back and Medium in the front.

You can also use the front space for bio-filtration media in addition to medium and coarse sponges.

You can also easily use filter floss with theses. search for "Top Fin power filter 40 hob custom filtering media"
Thank You
 
Thank You



I prefer using seachem matrix in all of my tanks. Provides a huge footprint in a small package for the beneficial bacteria in your tank. You can purchase zip up bags and matrix from Amazon for fairly cheap and drop one in your HOB instead of the carbon with some porous sponge and you'd be far better off than using the carbon that comes with it, sharkweek is absolutely right.

https://www.amazon.com/Matrix-4-L-1...006JLVU8&psc=1&ref_=pd_bap_m_grid_dv_rp_0_7_t


https://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Seg...56C7296&psc=1&ref_=pd_bap_m_grid_dv_rp_0_49_t
 
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
I prefer using seachem matrix in all of my tanks. Provides a huge footprint in a small package for the beneficial bacteria in your tank. You can purchase zip up bags and matrix from Amazon for fairly cheap and drop one in your HOB instead of the carbon with some porous sponge and you'd be far better off than using the carbon that comes with it, sharkweek is absolutely right.

https://www.amazon.com/Matrix-4-L-1...006JLVU8&psc=1&ref_=pd_bap_m_grid_dv_rp_0_7_t


https://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Seg...56C7296&psc=1&ref_=pd_bap_m_grid_dv_rp_0_49_t
That looks like powerful stuff.
 
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
That looks like powerful stuff.



It's really just porous rock that colonizes beneficial bacteria really well. Good thing about the bags is you can load up the amount you need that will comfortably fit. When it's time to clean just take the bag out shake it in some of your fish tank water (preferably in a bucket not your tank😆) and plop it back in the HOB.

Pot scrubbers are also another way to load up your HOB. Talk about cheap alternatives..
 
It's really just porous rock that colonizes beneficial bacteria really well. Good thing about the bags is you can load up the amount you need that will comfortably fit. When it's time to clean just take the bag out shake it in some of your fish tank water (preferably in a bucket not your tank😆) and plop it back in the HOB.

Pot scrubbers are also another way to load up your HOB. Talk about cheap alternatives..
I was just thinking about seeing if I could shove some green scrubbies into a sponge filter to add surface area.
 

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