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post #1 of 10 Old 06-20-2012, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Sponge Pre-filter

Any thoughts on a sponge pre-filter for a canister? I am looking to protect it from the play sand that I have at the bottom of my catfish tank
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-20-2012, 11:24 PM
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I have all sand tanks and 12 canisters (5 brands) running - in my experience they are impervious to sand. When you clean it out you will notice that what little sand enters the canister remains at the bottom. A sponge prefilter is unnecessary. Sand is problematic for HOBs because the motor is at the bottom of the filter, where the sand settles. A canister has it's motor on the top, and it moves filtered water so they rarely are fouled.

However, you ought to look into the fluval ceramic prefilter media. It is fantastic - traps large particles so that the finer mechanical media doesn't clog up. It would be the first stage of filtration.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta

Last edited by jaysee; 06-20-2012 at 11:27 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Would one box worth full up a plenn-plax filter?

Debating still though if it is worth the precaution.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 12:32 AM
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Would one box worth full up a plenn-plax filter?

Debating still though if it is worth the precaution.
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I don't know about Penn-Plax filters (HOB) but with my Aquaclear the input hits the impeller (motor) first, so anything inside the media basket would come after the motor. If that's the case, you could google quick filter and maybe powerhead and see if you could use one of those.

I used to use a spare Aquaclear sponge and cut an x leingthwise to halfway down. I think that would work with sand, but I think it would tend to hold onto the sand. It doesn't sound like you're the only one who wants to do this...
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigris View Post
Would one box worth full up a plenn-plax filter?

Debating still though if it is worth the precaution.
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One box will fill a tray of a small canister - two for a large canister. Pen plaxx is not a brand with which I am familiar, but whether you need one or two is dependent on the size of your filter.

The fluval prefilter media is definitely worth it, though it has nothing to do with the prevention of sand from entering the filter. You can get it on amazon for like $9.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Plenn Plax is made by Cascade and is not an HOB but a canister

The sponges where made my Marineland, they were black
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 07:19 AM
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Well, then, I was of no help at all . Sorry about that. Hope you solve your problem. Nice having a canister filter. Have a nice day.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 08:31 AM
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Do not use Fluval's Prefilter media, it is pointless. It is a big solid ceramic noodle. It will not trap sand.

This is one reason I don't use cheapo sands, they aren't made for aquariums and there are a few problems they can cause.

Keep the intake as high as possible so the intake isn't right next to the sand. Use course foam, followed by filter floss, followed by biomedia and you should never have sand get to the impeller.

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post #9 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 09:07 AM
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I use play sand in two of my tanks. One is a 10 gallon with a HOB, the other is a 125 gallon with a canister.

Neither has any problem whatsoever with the sand.

In my canister I have the first tray with the fluval ceramic pre-filter rings. These are a buy once item, they will never get replaced. You just rinse them off when you clean your canister and will last forever. These block large particles (so not sand). My tank is fully planted, so the pre-filter media catches a lot of the plant mater that gets sucked up.

The second tray is all sponges and filter floss. Sponges catch the medium-small particles, and the floss catches the tiny particles. Since the pre-filter rings catch the big stuff, these take longer to clog up with gunk. This is also where the sand will get caught.

The last tray is the ceramic bio media.


For the 10 gallon with the HOB I put a pre-filter sponge on the intake, but that was more to have a source of beneficial bacteria whenever the cartridge in the filter needs replaced. Also, again, this tank is planted so the sponge catches the plant mater before it can clog up the finner filter pad.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 04:21 PM
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Geo, that's exactly how I have my canisters set up. The flubal pre filters have done an excellent job preventing the sponges from clogging.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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