Sponge filter - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-13-2008, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Sponge filter

Alright so ive got two questions regarding sponge filters and any feedback is appreciated,
First, is the sponge filter just as effective of put in under the gravel or in the middle of it?
Second, will it work just as effectively if it was hooked up with an existing UGF network?
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-13-2008, 08:22 PM
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I have used sponge filters on dozens of aquariums, if not more. I always place the sponge under the gravel.

Not sure about your other question.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-14-2008, 04:58 AM
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you mean if you hooked it up to a powerhead? Yup, it would work.

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-14-2008, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies, im not talkin about attaching it to a power head though but to a under gravel filter made of PVC pipes. they both function similarly so instead of two air tubes stickin out of the aquarium im wondering if i can do a two in one thing. Also is ok to not vacuum your gravel if you have a sponge filter setup.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-14-2008, 08:54 AM
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I don't see the benefit of using both, but I can think of negatives. Let me explain.

The amount of bacteria that grow will not be enhanced by the additional biological filtration. The system is only capable of sustaining a certain bacterial population, depending on the amount of organic waste and acids which are introduced in the form of fish waste and food decay. A sponge filter alone, or a properly maintained undergravel filter alone, should provide you with adequate surface area to house these bacteria.

On the flip side, using both will double your maintainance requirements, because you will have to service both units. Not to mention the additional cost and wear on your pumps.

I can't recall the exact year, but I will guess it was 1993. My fishroom at the time only had 8 or 10 aquariums. I finally made the move completely. Which is to say that i disconnected every undergravel filter all on the same day. Each aquarium was running either a sponge filter or a Penguin biowheel in additional to the u/g. I finally got up the nerve, disconnected the u/g filters, and it was one of the best decisions i have ever made in my fishkeeping years. I have never gone back. Sponges are cheaper, easier to maintain, and more flexible when the time comes to upgrade aquarium size.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-20-2008, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies. and just in case anyone wanted to know i figured out some answers to my questions.

To my first question , yes definitely a sponge filter will work under the gravel, or you could hide it behind some tall plants if you think it looks really ugly.
Secondly it will not work if you try to incorporate it in a UGF setup. The reason behind this is that for a sponge filter you need to have the the PVC pipe only half way through the sponge but for a UFG you will have to have an exposed pipe. i hope thats answers some of the questions raised by anyone who reads this thread.
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