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Old 09-21-2012, 11:56 AM   #1 
MooseKnocker's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Bubblers or Sponge Filters

I have a friend trying to get me into getting a sponge filter. And he is not convincing at all. What are some pros and cons of the bubble sponge filters.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:20 PM   #2 
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I would say the biggest pro is that they don't create a strong current, which is good for bettas. And especially good for fry/juveniles/weak bettas and plants. You don't have to get a pure sponge filter to have a bubble filter. This kind is really nice, I'm enjoying it, and it has some really good filtration media:

You do need to buy a separate air pump and some tubing for it, and a flow adjuster if you want to be able to do that. But all things considered, I really prefer this now that I've tried it, and I will probably be switching over to mostly this type of filter. Way better than those Whisper filters that dump a current of water all the time, and they're noisy when the water starts to evaporate from the tank. If you shop around you could end up spending the same amount on an air pump with multiple outlets for bubble filters in different tanks as you would on separate filters for them all.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #3 
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I have a filter that I had to put a sponge on the outflow so it would not make a current. it works well. Will a sponge filter clean everything like a normal over the top filter?
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:39 PM   #4 
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The filter babystar posted is not a sponge filter. That is an airlift filter and works pretty much the same as a internal filter except you use an airpump and buy the sponge and carbon separate instead of in a cartdridge.

This is a sponge filter:

Sponge filters are the best for bettas because they will never shred their fins and you can adjust the airflow. They have more surface for the bacteria to grow and hold your cycle. You can have more than one tank running with the same airpump by using a splitter or a gang vaulve (I have a few tanks set up this way).
There's zero $$ maintenance as you don't need to replace the sponge. It will last you a very long time and when you want to rinse it out during water changes all you have to do is squish it in the old water a couple of times and place back in the tank.

They don't use carbon.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:38 AM   #5 
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+1 on sponge filters...if you can stand the air-pump noise.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:09 PM   #6 
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I just switched over today to using a sponge filter in one of my two tanks and I'm really glad I did. The HOB in my other tank had to be baffled extensively because Michael kept getting caught in the intake or the current; this one my Balthazar has spent all day swimming around without a single problem.

It's this one:
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:35 AM   #7 
Join Date: Feb 2011
There is only really one con on a sponge filter. It can't utilize specialist media like carbon, zeolite, ion resin or purigen.

So the downside isn't even something to worry about.

Some sponge filters say to rinse them in luke-warm tap water. Its mookaka. Rinse them by rapid squeezing in either siphoned off tank water or not-cold-to-the-touch tap water that has been treated with dechlorinator.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:18 AM   #8 
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OK. I have a infant question, if I may......

is it BAD to use carbon, zeolite (no clue), or purigen (no clue)??

I just set up a Bio-wheel filter (came with the kit) - which I am going to put a little sponge in the intake filter to slow it down, AND some kind of baffle ......but it does use this blue filter thing in the back....along with the filter wheel......WHAT is the blue thing in the back made from? Will it hurt a betta? I am cycling now so no fish in the tank.

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