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Old 09-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #11 
NorthernLights
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Question hmmm

Interesting. I have now done some research on sponge filters, and I'm actually somewhat perplexed. I hope one someone can help me to understand the differences better.

It seems to me that sponge filters work the same way as a UGF -- using air or water to push water out of a tub, causing tank water to flow into the space through a filter medium. The only real difference seems to be that a UGF uses the gravel in the tank as the filter medium, and a sponge filter uses a sponge as the filter medium.

Since they seem to work on the same concept, it is not obvious to me that the sponge filter couldn't cause the current that is of concern with long-finned betas, especially if you have two of them in a tank. In fact, it seems to me that a sponge filter might cause a more powerful current since the water is being pulled through a smaller area (the area of the sponge) rather than the large area of a filter plate. But the flow pattern would be somewhat similar. In fact, it seems to me that the strength of the current for either would be determined by the size and power of the airstone.

The flow pattern around the tank for a UGF would be controlled by the location of the riser tube -- and on most of the smaller tanks I have seen, the tube is in the middle of the tank, not a corner, so the water flow would not be down one side, across the top, and up the opposite side. It would be primarily down towards the entire filter plate, up through the riser tube, and then out across the entire top of the water.

In the 1 gallon tank I had with a UGF, this seemed to be shown to be very gentle, since a drop of Quick-Cure (it was a rescue and we were desperate), which is a very distinctive color, diffused slowly throughout the tank. It did not rapidly sink, which is what a strong current would have done to it.

So this does not square with the above explanations. Maybe I am just very confused.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #12 
goldfishyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernLights View Post
Interesting. I have now done some research on sponge filters, and I'm actually somewhat perplexed. I hope one someone can help me to understand the differences better.

It seems to me that sponge filters work the same way as a UGF -- using air or water to push water out of a tub, causing tank water to flow into the space through a filter medium. The only real difference seems to be that a UGF uses the gravel in the tank as the filter medium, and a sponge filter uses a sponge as the filter medium.

Since they seem to work on the same concept, it is not obvious to me that the sponge filter couldn't cause the current that is of concern with long-finned betas, especially if you have two of them in a tank. In fact, it seems to me that a sponge filter might cause a more powerful current since the water is being pulled through a smaller area (the area of the sponge) rather than the large area of a filter plate. But the flow pattern would be somewhat similar. In fact, it seems to me that the strength of the current for either would be determined by the size and power of the airstone.

The flow pattern around the tank for a UGF would be controlled by the location of the riser tube -- and on most of the smaller tanks I have seen, the tube is in the middle of the tank, not a corner, so the water flow would not be down one side, across the top, and up the opposite side. It would be primarily down towards the entire filter plate, up through the riser tube, and then out across the entire top of the water.

In the 1 gallon tank I had with a UGF, this seemed to be shown to be very gentle, since a drop of Quick-Cure (it was a rescue and we were desperate), which is a very distinctive color, diffused slowly throughout the tank. It did not rapidly sink, which is what a strong current would have done to it.

So this does not square with the above explanations. Maybe I am just very confused.

Your right, sponge filters usually cause more current than a UGF. But either one can be harsh if your air is not dialed in properly. Reverse flow removes the need to break down and clean the bottom plate. As for limits that were suggested as 1" of fish per gallon, you just add more gravel and it increases your filtration capacity. The main concern is oxygen concentration. Too many fish or too big of fish for the tank without proper aeration can cause oxygen poor environment.

I used to filter my 20 foot diameter pond with 35 large koi with just water flowing through 25 lbs of gravel. It pretty much worked by having water flow into the top of the container that held the gravel. The container had a partition that divided the tank in half but had a 1 inch gap from the bottom of the tank. 2 inches from the gap was another plate of glass 2 inches tall that was glued to the bottom of the tank. This was used to keep the gravel from spilling out. This setup created a water flow similar to how under gravel filters work.

I don't use under gravel filters because I prefer sand or bare bottom tanks. You can actually fill a HOB with gravel and it would work pretty well.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:42 PM   #13 
RosyFish
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Filter Revamp

"In the end the Properly Planted Tank with a sponge filter is the best option for betta. My favorite sponge solution is to get a Whisper 3i and a pre-filter sponge (or use an apple corer on a block sponge) and put em together. Gives you the option to use a fine filter floss as well as the benefits of a sponge."

Any chance that you can post a picture of what you mean?
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:30 AM   #14 
Hallyx
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Sounds reasonable. But a Whisper 3i is a poorly designed product which neither filters efficiently nor houses much bacteria. Look and see where the water flows out of the filter. The flow completely misses most of the filter pad.

The air-pump is weak but, otherwise not bad.

You can get an inexpensive, effective sponge filter form Amazon and other places.

(I must remember to put this on a cut-'n-paste.)
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