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Old 06-20-2011, 12:03 AM   #1 
Harley
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Exclamation My sponge is dying...

I'm in a fix again. This time my tank's (10g Top Fin tank and filter) filter (I replaced the filter media with a sponge) is disintegrating! I opened up the filters cover today, just to have a look and found small peices of sponge floating inside. The sponge is pretty dark colored too. The bits aren't getting into the water as I'm using sponges in the output and they seem to hold them back. The filter media sponge has only been in there about 3 weeks. The stats on the water parameters are:

Ammonia: 0
PH: <=8 (normal for my water)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

I'm worried about pulling out the bad sponge and losing my beneficial bacteria. Next time I'll be smarter and put the sponge in a filter bag. Any ideas on what I can do right now? Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:34 AM   #2 
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:09 AM   #3 
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By disintegrating do you mean dissolving or coming apart due to mechanical forces?

You should be fine, your nitrifying bacteria exists on every surface of your aquarium on the basis of competitive exclusion - removing your sponge (especially if it has already disintegrated) should have minimal effects on your fish, if at all. The sponge is only important because it's where the bacteria is most concentrated since the entire bulk of your tank's water flows through it every few minutes. If you're really worried, just stick a new sponge on top of the old sponge or something if the pieces of the old sponge really aren't getting into your tank's water like you said.

On the other hand, if your sponge is literally dissolving, you might want to consider 100% water change as soon as possible since there's no reason for synthetic polymer sponges to come apart that easily, and the same goes for natural sponges that are made of biopolymers like cellulose. Your water must have have some pretty strong solvents added in lol
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:49 PM   #4 
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What brand sponge is it? I have AquaClear sponges that I have had & use for YEARS!!!
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:00 PM   #5 
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I can't remember, the bag/box is gone.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:04 PM   #6 
Neil D
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If your tank has been running for a while (5+months), just replace the sponge....
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:36 AM   #7 
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Thanks. I guess I'll go get a new sponge and do a water change and see how it goes.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:34 AM   #8 
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Remember to wash the new sponge out in old tank water please!
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:28 PM   #9 
Harley
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyvern View Post
Remember to wash the new sponge out in old tank water please!
Should I squeeze the sponge, replace it, wait a day or so and then change the water so I make sure the bb will stay put?
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:20 PM   #10 
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Harley,

Sorry to say this, but I doubt you have any beneficial bacteria. If you did, your nitrate level would be higher than 0.... Of course, you may just be using a bad test kit (are you using paper strips?)

But you're right to take every step to protect any bacteria you do have.

Good luck!

GB
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