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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for some way to use sand as a substrate in a 10 gal which has a normal filtration (it's up very high in the talk)- however I don't want to risk ruining or damaging it.

I've noticed on ebay, "Replacement Pre filter Sock for Aquarium Tank", "Aquarium Water Sponge Filter For Fish Tank", and "wardley the sandman filter"....

Would any of these work for what I am doing without causing such bad damage to the propeller of the filter? Normally, canister filters cost like $45+ and that's a lot for a filter, I know. If I have to save up that much it'll take a long long time XD I just wanna know what I can do from here...
 

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I have a sand substrate in my betta tank and I have a HOB filter. I just put a sponge prefilter on the intake. It serves two purposes - keeps the betta's fins from getting sucked into the intake, and keeps any kicked up sand from getting sucked through into the impeller. It has worked fine for me so far. I also have a sponge baffle, so the water spilling back into the tank doesn't have enough force to dislodge any sand.

If this is a betta-only tank you probably won't have too much issue with the betta himself kicking up sand. When I do water changes, I turn off the filter so that any sand I knock up myself won't get drawn into the filter. I add the water back in slowly, but I usually let it settle for 10 or 15 minutes before turning it on again just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a sand substrate in my betta tank and I have a HOB filter. I just put a sponge prefilter on the intake. It serves two purposes - keeps the betta's fins from getting sucked into the intake, and keeps any kicked up sand from getting sucked through into the impeller. It has worked fine for me so far. I also have a sponge baffle, so the water spilling back into the tank doesn't have enough force to dislodge any sand.

If this is a betta-only tank you probably won't have too much issue with the betta himself kicking up sand. When I do water changes, I turn off the filter so that any sand I knock up myself won't get drawn into the filter. I add the water back in slowly, but I usually let it settle for 10 or 15 minutes before turning it on again just in case.
This sounds exactly like something I want to try. I wonder if I can attach this to my filter intake? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Filter-Fish-Tank-Air-Pump-w-Single-Sponge-New-/230796846891?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35bc90672b#ht_2097wt_1159
:O I wonder how they work-- oh what's a sponge baffle? ^^; thanks soooo much for helping me out so much~ :-D
 

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I've read that the prefilter sponges for the fluval edge will fit the aquaclears, although to be honest i just use part of an aquaclear media sponge that i cut a slit into and shoved the intake in. It isn't as pretty as the fluval edge prefilters, but it seems to work. They sell the fluval prefilters at my petsmart, so I'd imagine they'd be easy to find. You can google "fluval edge pre-filter sponge" to see what they look like.

What kind of filter do you have? I think the sponges you linked to are actually really big, maybe up to 6 inches, but I'm not positive about that.

A baffle is just something to keep the water from pouring out of the HOB filter into the water with too much force. You can either use an old soda bottle to deflect the water like this: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139 or use a media sponge rubberbanded to the output area like lion mom did here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139&highlight=sponge+baffle&page=4. I use the sponge baffle and just make sure the bottom edge of the sponge is touching the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've read that the prefilter sponges for the fluval edge will fit the aquaclears, although to be honest i just use part of an aquaclear media sponge that i cut a slit into and shoved the intake in. It isn't as pretty as the fluval edge prefilters, but it seems to work. They sell the fluval prefilters at my petsmart, so I'd imagine they'd be easy to find. You can google "fluval edge pre-filter sponge" to see what they look like.

What kind of filter do you have? I think the sponges you linked to are actually really big, maybe up to 6 inches, but I'm not positive about that.

A baffle is just something to keep the water from pouring out of the HOB filter into the water with too much force. You can either use an old soda bottle to deflect the water like this: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139 or use a media sponge rubberbanded to the output area like lion mom did here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139&highlight=sponge+baffle&page=4. I use the sponge baffle and just make sure the bottom edge of the sponge is touching the water.
OHhhh.... Is blocking the current of water needed, like maybe for sand? My current of water tends to stay at the very top of the water and those are great for stopping sand from being picked up if needed, just in case.

My filter is an aqua tech. Instead of buying brand name refills, I can buy standard refill sponge things (forgot the name of them) and cut them to size, correct? :3 Now backie to the sand discussion! XD Should I measure the filter and find out perhaps if they'd fit? If not, would it be a problem adding sponges like that inside of the filter perhaps- just as an idea. Maybe I should find a way to know what size will work? ^^
 

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I baffled mine because the current caused by the water spilling in from the filter was pretty strong...it was strong enough to kick up the sand below it and push my betta around. Now that it's baffled there's almost no current to speak of.

Judging by the pictures of the aquatech filters, I think the fluval edge prefilters would probably fit them alright. But definitely try just cutting one of the standard refill sponge media things. I use the "aqua clear foam filter" inserts - they're cheap...I use the ones for the aquaclear 50 because I have one on another tank. They're pretty big, so I just trim it down to the right size. Cut it to the right height to cover the intake holes completely and cut a deep slit in it to slide the intake tube in. It's really easy to do with a steak knife or one of those extendable boxcutters. You shouldn't have to replace it to often. I just rinse mine out in the sink really well when I do a water change. Beneficial bacteria do grow in it, but I have enough biomedia inside the filter itself that I don't mind losing the bacteria that are in the prefilter. You could squeeze it out in old tank water if you wanted to save them.

Aquatechs use filter cartridges right? I really have no idea how well the foam sponges would work in one, so I can't help you there.
 
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