Another Sponge Filter Setup Question
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Another Sponge Filter Setup Question

This is a discussion on Another Sponge Filter Setup Question within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I've been researching going to a sponge or cannister filter. While I would love the cannister filter that purchase is pending approval from the ...

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Another Sponge Filter Setup Question
Old 11-29-2011, 03:27 PM   #1
 
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Another Sponge Filter Setup Question

I've been researching going to a sponge or cannister filter. While I would love the cannister filter that purchase is pending approval from the "boss lady". (If approved look for a new post of me trying to decide which one haha) I scoured the forums last night and have found many many similar threads on this topic but nothing hit the nail on the head.

I have a decent airpump that I had used to power my old bubble bar. I watched a couple install videos on the basic "powerhead-less" installation and it shows the airline tubing going down the lift tube to power the sponge filter. My main question is won't that be counter productive by adding air bubbles to the tank or is the lift tube tall enough to breach the water surface (which in that case where would the water go?) So I'm probably seriously over complicating the sponge filter but my impression is the HOB I have would be better (even with the surface agitation) than an airstone adding oxygen to the tank?

I also came to the impression that a sponge filter with power head would be nearly the same amount of current as my HOB (mind you less the surface agitation)

What am I missing here?
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:50 PM   #2
 
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First on the bubbles and CO2: it is probable that some CO2 is driven off. But I use a sponge filter in 3 tanks (connected to one air pump) and after many months I have not seen any issues. It is interesting that algae is less of an issue in these 3 tanks than in those without the sponge, and if CO2 were being driven off appreciably one would expect the balance to be out and algae appearing more. I have the light on for 8 hours in all tanks, and all light is the same (full spectrum around 6500K) and many of the same plants in all tanks, similar fish loads, same substrates, same fertilization...in other words, nothing is different so it is a reasonably fair comparison.

As for the powerheads, you do not need this with sponge filters if the current will be that significant. A steady but minimal string of bubbles will operate the filter. I can't take videos to post or I would to show how mine operate, but it is not so fast that you can't see the individual bubbles. And when I rinse the sponges out weekly, they certainly fill with dirt, so they are doing the job. Also, these three tanks are the clearest of my 7. Could be that the sponge filters are providing more actual filtration than the canisters. One thing is certain to me; a sponge filter is about the best general filtration you can have in planted tanks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:03 AM   #3
 
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You sold me! I ordered a Hydro III the other day online, it was a random seller on Amazon, shipping said ETA 12/12/11 (I couldn't use my prime for the free 2 day shipping). Decided that I liked the Hagen Elite Dual better as it has what appears to be a lower profile and mounts to the tank wall. I didn't like the idea of the Hydro sitting on the substrate and it looked like it would take up more valuable plant space lol. So long story short I went to Walmart today to see if they had any, nope, online only. So I just ordered a Hagen Elite Dual and should have it mid week. I slowed the flow of my HOB a bit by shoving some filter floss in the baskets but I'm looking forward to a nice smooth current-less tank/surface so I can get some floating plants for my new Rasbora's and Tetra's. In the profiles it says they both like thick plants and floating plants for shade.

So (hopefully) last question on the sponge filter. When I get it should I just hook it up, put it in and yank the HOB or should I run them both for a week or two to aid with the bacteria buildup. From what I've read on the topic the plants will keep the Ammonia/Nitrites in check and most of the bacteria lives in the gravel/surface area anyways so I should just yank the HOB and put the clean sponge in. My one concern is that I've recently dug around and planted/re-planted not to mention mixing up the substrate (sand) to mix with FloraMax. Not sure how that affected the bacteria buildup. Either way should I be fine to just yank the HOB since I am planted?
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:09 AM   #4
 
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Much would depend on plant mass and number's of fish I should think.
Beneficial bacteria will be in proportion to food available. Plant's,substrate,filter,all contribute to biological filtration, and to remove a sizeable amount from the tank could cause temporary spike in ammonia and or nitrites.
If you have heavily planted tank, and plant's are thriving,then perhaps removing the HOB filter would have little effect, but with too few plant's,and or large number's of fish, I might consider removing the HOB filter after a week or two.
I believe there are too many variables with respect to how quickly bacteria can develop to adapt to the sudden loss of that bacteria found in the filter (ie) temp,pH,number's of fishes,size of fishes, food's offered,etc.
Tank may not look as attractive with the two filter's running temporarily but better safe than sorry.IMHO
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:42 AM   #5
 
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I agree with 1077's reasoning and points. But having said that, from my experience I would remove the HOB as soon as the sponge is connected. There will be a lot of bacteria on every hard surface under water, esp in the substrate, not to mention the plants.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
 
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Filter should be here on Friday, it's going to be weird not having an HOB (creature of habit). I was looking at the tank last night trying to figure out positioning. What do you recommend. My assumption was closest to the substrate as possible. Should it matter if it's on a side wall or should it be as centered as possible. My concern with tucking it in a corner or on the side wall is getting adaqute filtration accross the length of the tank.

Also, I will be running it with a Whisper 40. On the elite double should I just run the line direct from pump to filter or put a gang valve in there to reduce the airflow a bit. Along the back of my lid there is a 2-3" gap where the old HOB's used to go, I'm concerned with the bubbles popping at the surface they will (although slowly) cause water/moisture to"hop up onto" and settle on the tank frame then drip down the back (I have hard water and get the calcium deposits easily) Before planted I had a bubble bar that would always make a mess on the lip of the tank and hood due to the bubbles.

Also I've read two mixed opinions on this one: How far from the surface should I place the exhaust? As close as possible or as low as possible, is the Hagen tube adjustable in height?

Lastly, what are the dimension of the double. Most importantly how wide is it so I know how much wall space to make available?

Sorry for the silly questions, I'm too excited to wait for it to get here on Friday and want to have my "game plan" ready to go. I'm going to just yank the HOB and put the sponge in. I have a decent amount of plants and am testing daily right now anyways for Byron's Nitrate experiment ;)
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangy View Post
Filter should be here on Friday, it's going to be weird not having an HOB (creature of habit). I was looking at the tank last night trying to figure out positioning. What do you recommend. My assumption was closest to the substrate as possible. Should it matter if it's on a side wall or should it be as centered as possible. My concern with tucking it in a corner or on the side wall is getting adaqute filtration accross the length of the tank.

Also, I will be running it with a Whisper 40. On the elite double should I just run the line direct from pump to filter or put a gang valve in there to reduce the airflow a bit. Along the back of my lid there is a 2-3" gap where the old HOB's used to go, I'm concerned with the bubbles popping at the surface they will (although slowly) cause water/moisture to"hop up onto" and settle on the tank frame then drip down the back (I have hard water and get the calcium deposits easily) Before planted I had a bubble bar that would always make a mess on the lip of the tank and hood due to the bubbles.

Also I've read two mixed opinions on this one: How far from the surface should I place the exhaust? As close as possible or as low as possible, is the Hagen tube adjustable in height?

Lastly, what are the dimension of the double. Most importantly how wide is it so I know how much wall space to make available?

Sorry for the silly questions, I'm too excited to wait for it to get here on Friday and want to have my "game plan" ready to go. I'm going to just yank the HOB and put the sponge in. I have a decent amount of plants and am testing daily right now anyways for Byron's Nitrate experiment ;)
The Elite has a directional return at the top. I place my Elites on one of the end walls close to the back; you can swivel the sponges to be horizontal or vertical or any degree between, and close to the substrate. A chuck of wood in front will conceal them. The return tube will extend to the surface; aim the return down the length of the tank to create a mini-flow down the tank surface which will cause a return flow lower down. I have the opening sort of half out of the water so there is a calmer but steady flow rather than bubbling splashing up. The heater I always place on the back wall a couple inches from the filter return so the current flows over/past the heater. Or if it is a submersible, place it horizontally close to the substrate along the back wall.

Always get a gang valve with 2 or more outlets. One of these will go to the filter. One will be a bleeder; I use a short piece of tubing (few inches) with an airstone for resistance. Once the valve to the filter is open, you can slowly open the bleeder valve to allow some air to escape and this will slow the airflow to the sponge. Pumps should always run full out, so this bleeder allows this but you still have control over the filter flow.

My dual sponge Elite covers close to 6 inches of horizontal space. The sponges are almost 5 inches if you place them horizontal.

Byron.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:19 PM   #8
 
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Byron I am really trying hard to picture what you are describing is there anyway you could get a picture? I am not sure I have mine right in my tank.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
 
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A picture would be amazing. *starts changing Byron, Byron, Byron and throws streamers in the air*

I just stalked my package on Amazon and it may be here today, no later than tomorrow. On another semi-related note, My tank right now is positioned away from the wall about 6" or so to allow clearance for the HOB. If I wanted to "slide" it back a bit I probably will need to remove most if not all of the water right? lol or on second though I probably should just leave it alone *picturing living room flooded, fish flopping around, daugther screaming, and dog eating my sword plant*
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:39 PM   #10
 
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I think you waould have to remove most of the water unless you have super human strength. LOL I love your visuals.
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