Super simple 5 minute sponge filter

sammydee

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I had five minutes to spare and was bored. So I made a sponge filter. Here it is:


(Edited to add list of parts needed: Airpump, lift tube, airstone (optional), air tubing, fish food pot, gravel, filter floss/sponge).

Take a bog standard fish flake pot. Take the sticker off the outside. This plastic is guaranteed to be fish safe because obviously it is intended to store their food :rolleyes:



Take a piece of tubing/hose about 1/2" - 1" diameter. Cut four little notches at the bottom (you can do this with a knife or saw).



Put the tubing down to the centre of the pot and pour gravel around it until about 3/4 of the pot is filled. DON'T lift the tube out at this point because you will have to then take all the gravel out and it is a right pain.



Now you can put some sponge or filter floss on top to act as mechanical filtration. One of those sponges attached to a scourer will do - if in doubt, look closely at the sponge. If you can see lots of little plastic fibres you're ok - if it is closed cell and rots over time (sponges made of cellulose) then DON'T use it - it will rot in your tank. If you wanted you could get the lid and drill a hole for the lift tube and some smaller intake holes, but I couldn't be bothered because it is a 5 minute sponge filter - that's what it is. I tried to make it as bare bones as possible. Here are all the pieces so far:



Drill a hole the same or slightly smaller than the diameter of your airtubing and poke the airtubing through it.



If your tube is wide enough, add an airstone.



And there you have it - a perfectly acceptable five minute simple sponge filter for a hospital/quarantine tank. Here is my sponge filter in action, literally five minutes after the idea popped into my head:



Have fun!

EDIT 14/08/2007: I have received some emails asking if this article can be put in online magazines and things like that. This article is my own work entirely and I hereby release it into the public domain for anybody to do anything with it for any purpose without restriction. So you don't have to ask me or even attribute ownership to me if you want to use it in a magazine or anything like that. :D
 

ccg

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Very nice post! Now I have something to do with all my fish food containers!

Excellent!
 

ccg

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Just a thought...

I have a box of filter carbon. Could I try and use that instead of gravel? Or mix some of it in with the gravel? Would this a good or a bad idea? and why?

what do you think?

Thanks!
 
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sammydee

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Yes, sure. The beauty of this filter is that it is fully customisable. You can use anything you like ofr filter media - I used gravel becuase it has lots of surface area for bacteria colonization, and will weigh down the filter and stop it floating. I would not advis mixing it because it would be a pain to replace the carbon, but just putting a bag at the bottom would work fine.
 

ccg

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I just built one of these last night and added it to my fry tank, thanks again for the idea!
 
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sammydee

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One thing I will say is to keep the lift tube nice and thin - that way no water will be sucked down the lift tube and up, instead of through the filter media and up. It is far more effective with a really thin lift tube (like 1/4inch).

Glad you like the idea!

Sam
 

ccg

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I will post some pics this weekend! I left my camera at my girl friends place, but i'll get around to posting some after my exams this weekend.

BTW Its not a 5min spgone filter, took me 6! lol
 

jimw13uk

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Smart Idea - Gave the instructions to my 13 year old son and he made one in about 15 minutes with no help from me.
He was sooooo proud of his achievment - I've put it in pride of place in his main tank - ok its not for that but you cant knock a kid when he's done his first bit of DIY

thanks for the idea
 

isu_guy

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ccg-
I would avoid using carbon - IF- this was for a hospital tank (as was a possible suggestion). the carbon could remove some meds that you'd be wanting to be in the tank. Otherwise, sure use carbon.
 

silvershark

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ok quick question! am i right in thinking that a superfine filterpad (fluval polyfilter?!) will do?! i just dont fancy using the sponges!!
 
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sammydee

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The danger with a superfine filter pad would be that it could easily clog and then flow would slow right down because an airlift filter has very little actual pulling power.
 
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