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Old 09-29-2013, 02:23 AM   #1 
sugarunicorn
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Sponge Filter questions.

I recently picked up an Aqueon 10 gallon tank during Petco's sale, and am in the process of getting everything ready to set up, plant, and get cycling before I move any fishies.

My betta and his shoal of pygmy cory buddies will be moved from their current home in my square 10 gal, and into the rectangular Aqueon, possibly with the addition of some african dwarf frogs. The existing square tank is going to be repurposed for cherry shrimp.

I'm planning on using a sponge filter, and have purchased a couple things for it, but I am a little apprehensive. It seems SO tiny and I'm concerned the filtration won't be enough, or that I've missed something.

I picked up this sponge filter: Como Fish 6 Layer Corner Sponge Filter
and a Tetra Whisper 10 gallon air pump. I also grabbed some airline tubing, a 2 way airflow control valve, and a check valve.

Do I need anything else for efficient filtration of a 10 gallon planted tank? I've heard some people mention using air stones with sponge filters, but I'm a bit confused as to if that is nessesary and how one would do so. I'm also a little concerned about the clear outtake tube on the sponge filter -- it seems large enough that a curious pygmy cory could find his way into it. Is this something to worry about, or will the outtake keep them away? Could I cover it with a bit of netting or mesh?

Thanks in advance for the help -- I've never ventured into the world of sponge filters before so I'm a bit overwhelmed!

Last edited by sugarunicorn; 09-29-2013 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:46 AM   #2 
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I do my own DIY sponge filters, and I put an airstone down into the tube...but the tube goes all the way down into the sponge...this doesn't look like that's the case?
It's not necessary, it just makes the bubbles smaller. :)

Also, sponge filters are rated for whatever size tanks they can handle. I couldn't find a rating on this one? If you think about it though, on a HOB, your BB capacity is very small, especially if you're only using the cartridges that come with it.

As for the netting, it wouldn't hurt anything, and the outflow usually isn't all that strong, just bubbles coming up, so if a fish was determined, I wouldn't put it past them to get in there. I'd just cut a small circle or square, and rubberband it over the top of the outflow with a slot cut for the airline tubing to go through. That way you're safe, and it won't affect the working of the filter at all. :)
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:24 AM   #3 
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Thanks for the response! It has a smaller, rigid black piece of tubing going through the sponge, attached to the weighted bottom. The bigger clear tube piece snaps on top of that.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:22 AM   #4 
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That's a good enough sponge filter. There's plenty of foam for a large enough colony for Betta and Cory. Looks like it won't take an airstone, so you lose a little efficiency. But nobody's going to be going in there against those bubbles. LoL You'll see when you fire it up.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:12 AM   #5 
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I really like that sponge filter there. Let me know if you get an airstone to work with it. What are the Pros and Cons of HOBs VRS Sponge Filters? I have heard many different things about them. But I think it boils down to housing beneficial bacteria. The sponge filter houses more BB's, correct?
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:35 AM   #6 
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I actually took it apart today and inspected it a bit -- it has two little cage type pieces going through the middle of the sponge that detach from the base and top tube. I think I could probably replacing one with an airstone (or cut the middle tube out of one and put the airstone inside the basket) and use a little airline tubing to connect it to the remaining basket and the top tube.

Personally, I'm going with the sponge filter because of beneficial bacteria, as well as the fact that its much gentler on long, delicate fins. I got a another smaller one for once my existing tank goes shrimp only.. I had a shrimp wedge himself into the intake of my TOM mini internal filter and off himself, much harder to pull off with a sponge. :P

Last edited by sugarunicorn; 09-30-2013 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:24 AM   #7 
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Okay, here's the pros and cons of sponges vs. HOBs:

HOB's:
-biological filtration is okay, better with cartridges replaced by sponges
-better mechanical filtration
-possible to have chemical filtration (but only if you use carbon in them, some people don't, they replace cartridges with sponges, but you do have the option to switch back)
-aerate the water
-intake MUST be baffled, outflow often needs to be baffled
-difficult to hide in the tank
-can be difficult to fit hoods/versa tops/ glass tops around
-smaller area for the BB's

Sponges:
-excellent biological filtration
-very poor mechanical filtration
-no option for chemical filtration
-good airflow into tank
-no baffling!! :D
-very easy to work around in terms of hoods, versa tops, and lids (only a small airline coming out of the top of the tank)
-easier to hide in the tank
-often they are cheaper

Now, I don't use carbon at all, even when I used HOB's. Partially this is because carbon filters out nutrients from the water...nutrients I *want* my bettas to be benefiting from. Also, I like the increased BB capacity with sponges shoved in instead, and also because I hated buying the cartridges. Also, you don't NEED chemical filtration at all. You only need to use carbon when you've had something nasty get into your tank...or if you've used meds. Since meds should only be put into the show tank (rather than a QT) in very specific circumstances that are rare, there is almost never a need for chemical/carbon filtration.

Mechanical filtration is not terribly important for a betta. They don't produce much particulate waste, and if you don't overfeed, there shouldn't be large quantities of food in the tank either. When you do your water changes you need to vacuum the substrate anyway, so this completely bypasses the need for mechanical filtration. Also, once you've baffled the intake the mechanical filtration is very much decreased on a HOB anyway. (And you MUST do this, otherwise betta can get sucked into the filter or against it, there are so many stories of people who didn't baffle and ended up with seriously injured or dead bettas...)

I hate baffling. Some bettas don't mind the current, others actually enjoy it, but a large number *hate* the current created by even a low-flow HOB, and I just got sick of trying to find new ways to shove sponges in that would stay put, and baffle the filter outflow. So, I switched to sponges. Entirely personal preference, no right or wrong method on that point. :)

I like being able to hide my filter. I stick mine in back corners or against the divider, then put tall plants in front, and you cannot see them if I do it right. I just prefer this aesthetic. Again, entirely personal preference. :)

So, I'm biased towards sponges, but either one works, and I actually keep a couple of cheap HOB's on hand just in case I need some additional filtration of one type or another. It's mostly just personal preference, both methods work. :) If anyone else has anything to add, please do so! It's 4.30 in the morning here and I SHOULD be in bed, lol, so it's entirely possible that I've missed something important. ;)
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:33 PM   #8 
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Thank you for the insight Blue Fish. I think I will be buying a couple of these filters he is talking about for my two 5 gallon fish tanks.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:44 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarunicorn View Post
I recently picked up an Aqueon 10 gallon tank during Petco's sale, and am in the process of getting everything ready to set up, plant, and get cycling before I move any fishies.


I'm planning on using a sponge filter, and have purchased a couple things for it, but I am a little apprehensive. It seems SO tiny and I'm concerned the filtration won't be enough, or that I've missed something.

I picked up this sponge filter: Como Fish 6 Layer Corner Sponge Filter
and a Tetra Whisper 10 gallon air pump. I also grabbed some airline tubing, a 2 way airflow control valve, and a check valve.

Do I need anything else for efficient filtration of a 10 gallon planted tank? I've heard some people mention using air stones with sponge filters, but I'm a bit confused as to if that is nessesary and how one would do so. I'm also a little concerned about the clear outtake tube on the sponge filter -- it seems large enough that a curious pygmy cory could find his way into it. Is this something to worry about, or will the outtake keep them away? Could I cover it with a bit of netting or mesh?

Thanks in advance for the help -- I've never ventured into the world of sponge filters before so I'm a bit overwhelmed!
I would not follow the recommendation in the product description to replace the sponge in six months to maintain the bio filter. That is just the opposite of what you should do.

Following that recommendation will kill the BB and force a cycle to occur.

I have never seen any objective evidence that would indicate that sponge filters operate more efficiently with an airstone and until I do I intend just use the sponge filter input designed into the filter. I also wonder why the mfr wouldn't design a place for the airstone if the airstone was an improvement. They could then sell an airstone with every sponge filter. Or build the airstone into the filter in the first place, they would then get more revenue for the filters.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:46 AM   #10 
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I think you'd be better off with this one.
[ame=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007VCHSKU/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1]Amazon.com: Como Fish Tank 6 Layer Sponge Biochemical Water Corner Filter Black: Pet Supplies[/ame]

It's a better size for a 5g. Also, shoving as wedge-shaped filter into a corner cuts off a lot of area that could and should be used for filtration and the bacteria colony. If done right, two filters can be run off one airpump.
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