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Sponge Filters

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Deanasue, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    So I confess, I have never used a sponge filter. However, my bettas continue to have frayed fins and I change their water every 2 days. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrates 10. KH 5/89.5, GH 9/161.1, and PH 7.8. I added some IAL and driftwood for PH. Only thing I can figure is the Whisper hob is pulling their fins in. Sorry for long post. I have ordered sponge filters to see if they help. Do they contain charcoal? How long does a sponge last on them? Do you clean sponges just like you do filter media bi-weekly in tank water? Anything else I need to know? If this doesn’t work then I give up!
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I assume you are getting air operated sponge filters, these are filters that run off an air pump?
    If yes, the sponges last for years and you just take them out and squeeze them in a bucket of tank water until they are clean.

    Don't clean new filters for the first 6 weeks otherwise the bacteria can be washed out because they won't have attached to the sponge properly.

    Once the filter is established after 2 months, you can clean them at least once a month or every 2 weeks if possible.

    ---------------------------
    Do the Bettas have a bacterial infection?
    Are their fins healing up normally?
    Are you feeding them a varied diet?

    ---------------------------
    You can use a rubber band to hold established filter media on new sponge filters. The bacteria can move across pretty quickly.
     
    #2 Colin_T, Jun 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  3. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    What kind of sponge filter have you ordered? I have the smallest version of this sponge filter https://www.aquaoneonline.co.uk/aqua-one-air-filter-136-7684-p.asp in my betta's tank, powered by an Eheim air pump.

    I do realise that all filters by different manufacturers are different. Mine is just sponge though it has a hollow core which can be filled with carbon if wanted (I don't)

    I just take the assembly apart and wash the sponge in old tank water. However, I do find that algae grows on the surface of the sponge because it is in the light. The kind of filter where the sponge is inside a plastic casing doesn't do this because the sponge is screened from the light by the casing.



    When I changed from an internal filter to the sponge filter I could find no way to use the old media (it wouldn't fit into the tiny core) so I used my quarantine tank to do a fishless cycle, then swapped the filter once the cycle was complete.
     
  4. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I feed them omega One pellets, baby brine shrimp, Insect Bites, and New Life Spectrum small pellets. They won’t eat veggies. My oldest ones fins are looking good, Clear growth showing. My new one now has frayed fins though and I’ve had him about 5 weeks. I have tried salt and bacterial meds. Can’t figure it out for the life of me. I know I tend to over feed but won’t cleaning every 2 days handle that? Great idea about rubber banding the media to the sponges. That way I don’t have to keep the old filter running too. Yes, the sponge filters do run off off of air pumps.
     
  5. Fishmanic

    Fishmanic Moderator
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    on my hob penguin 100 filter on my 10 gallon tank, I had instances where neon tetras would get stuck to intake strainer and die. I now use a 1 inch thick foam pad rolled around the intake and attached with a twist tie. I remove it and clean it in tank water about every two weeks. If your betta fins are getting beat up from the intake, doing what I suggested above would prevent that.
     
  6. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Does the sponge fit over the HOB intake? You may be able to kill 2 birds with one stone.
     
  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    it should
     
  8. Eden's-Aquaria

    Eden's-Aquaria New Member

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    I a using an Aquatop sponge filter in my betta fish's tank. He is pretty old now so sponge filters are a plus! Unfortunately, the downside of sponge filters are they don't contain any charcoal or carbon. That makes it hard to strip meds from the water but makes it easy to add meds. Sponge filter sponges don't need to be changed! Clean them once a month. When you do a water change, you have a bucket full of the water you siphoned out correct? Take the filter apart IF YOU CAN, and take the sponge and other parts to rinse in that water. Squeeze the sponge in there and make sure to get it clean and with out any bubbles so it will sink when you put it back in. Also, take some seachem stability or some god quality starter bacteria or BB and pour it into the sponge and your tank water...that will help the sponge start the bacteria colony sooner and quicker, when you have JUST started usage of the sponge filter, don't clean it for at least a month. Just like cycling, it needs time for BB to establish! Ask me anything else and i'd be happy to help! IT should work just fine. Make sure to use a quieter air pump, and two valves..there are vids on hwo to set it up... one of the valves will allow you to adjust the flow rate. IF you have any more questions, ill send a vid or pic of mine so you understand...GOOD LUCK!

    -Eden Lu
     
  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The main drawback to air operated sponge filters is they take longer to remove ammonia when compared to power filters that have a higher water flow.

    The easiest way to dilute medications is with big daily water changes and gravel cleaning :)
     
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  10. Fishmanic

    Fishmanic Moderator
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    I run one sponge filter and one hob power filter in all my tanks. If one filter fails, the 2nd filter will prevent an ammonia spike.
     
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  11. seangee

    seangee Member

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    In fairness to the OP this is rarely a concern in a betta tank - especially if there are plenty of plants. Many betta owners go this way because they don't cope well with a high flow.
     
  12. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I use panty hose or sponges on some of my HOB’s but the filters in the betta tanks don’t have an intake tube. It sucks from the bottom of the unit. Got the sponges in yesterday so gonna try them. I rarely use meds in my betta tanks and never use charcoal. I just do a large w/c to remove meds. These things are larger than I expected though. They’ll take up the whole back of the tank.
     
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  13. Fishmanic

    Fishmanic Moderator
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    You can put plants in front of it to hide it.
     
  14. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    Sponge material is both an excellent mechanical AS WELL AS biological filter media! Many hobbyists have bought the marketing hype that they need ceramic, plastic, or lava (pumice) rocks as bio-media. After years of experimenting, I find that bio-sponge is every bit as good or better than commercial bio-medias. They clean easily, and last nearly forever and a day.
    ALL of my Aquaclear HOB filters are filled completely with sponge material!
    The only downside I see to air driven sponge filters is that although they are great bio-filters, they fall short on mechanical filtration...so detritus must removed manually.
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    I never use carbon, but then I don't use meds... and if I did, I'd do so in a bare bottom hospital tank and do large water change(s) when finished.
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    Also, I don't think that faster flow rates in any filter promotes more ammonia/nitrite oxidation. If anything, faster flow rates reduce BB's efficiency as these pollutants fly on by.
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    As to the original 'issue'...there are pre-filter sponges for inlet tubes that would likely have solved the problem...if in fact the filter inlet was the problem and not fin rot or other disorder.
    :)
     
  15. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I addressed the reason that I didn’t use a pre-filter sponge in my earlier post. Thank you though. I know it’s not fin rot but what other disorder have I possibly overlooked? I’m open to any ideas I haven’t already tried.
     
    #15 Deanasue, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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