Is there a science to determining sponge filter size? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
Is there a science to determining sponge filter size?

Im currently running a sponge filter attached to a Maxi-Jet 400 power head in my 45 gal aquarium. Im mainly using it for biological and water flow benefits as I run 2 Penguin 200 filters as well. The sponge is approx. 2"X 3" I originally purchased it for a much smaller quarantine tank but never used it. Is this a good size for my size aquarium? What are the service/cleaning requirements for this type of filter?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclesnipas View Post
Im currently running a sponge filter attached to a Maxi-Jet 400 power head in my 45 gal aquarium. Im mainly using it for biological and water flow benefits as I run 2 Penguin 200 filters as well. The sponge is approx. 2"X 3" I originally purchased it for a much smaller quarantine tank but never used it. Is this a good size for my size aquarium? What are the service/cleaning requirements for this type of filter?
Boy that's a lot of water movement! Do you really need that extra filter, or do you just want to use it? Needing the extra filter means water quality and/or clarity issues. I can't imagine what you could have stocked a 45 with that two penguin 200s can't get the job done.

The cleaning is just like any other filter - you can arbitrarily clean it at predetermined intervals, or you can wait till you notice the flow has reduced.

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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
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
LOL Thanks for the quick reply Jaysee. I def see why you would question my logic of so much filtration however I tend to keep my tank rather heavily stocked and have had issues with "dead spots" caused by 2 rather large pieces of driftwood. The main reason I put the powerhead and sponge in was I was treating the tank for ich and wanted increased flow and aeration but decided to keep it after noticing a HUGE increase in water quality and clarity. Ive always been an advocate for more filtration is better filtration.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 10:26 AM
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LOL Thanks for the quick reply Jaysee. I def see why you would question my logic of so much filtration however I tend to keep my tank rather heavily stocked and have had issues with "dead spots" caused by 2 rather large pieces of driftwood. The main reason I put the powerhead and sponge in was I was treating the tank for ich and wanted increased flow and aeration but decided to keep it after noticing a HUGE increase in water quality and clarity. Ive always been an advocate for more filtration is better filtration.
I am a big advocate of big filtration and am no stranger to overstocking. I shoot for 10x turnover from canisters

HOB filters are terrible at circulating water, so I definitely understand the desire to add a powerhead. That's often a setup that I suggest to people with smaller tanks where a second filter might be too much - adding a powerhead. But with one on each side most of the tank should see some water movement. Decor definitely can create eddies, and large pieces can make dead spots. Sometimes pieces may not be able to be arranged the way we would like because of that.

I'm not a fan of the penguin filters. I think you should ditch them in favor of a canister.

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 #5 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
I used to run a canister filter, a Cascade 1000 to be exact, which I never felt did a very good job. There was always a pile "crap" on the gravel beneath the intake and the spray bar was always clogging. After losing power for 2 weeks thanks to Sandy I didnt bother hooking it back up. However even before hand, with the canister, an Aqua clear 300(?)( I dont remember exactly it broke and was tossed a few months ago) AND a penguin 200 my tank never looked right. With the current setup of the 2 Penguins and powerhead/sponge combo, my tank has never looked better.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 10:54 AM
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I lost power for 4 days. Thankfully, when I woke up all the water had already drained. That was quite a night - I could feel the wall in the living room flex with each gust.

Cascade is not a brand I've ever used; I don't have any such issues with my canisters.

If it's working for you, then that's what matters. So long as the fish aren't being blown around the tank. If you find the fish avoiding particular areas in the tank, then you may want to adjust things in case there is too much in that area.

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 #7 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
Yeah I went crazy trying to keep my fish alive those 2 weeks even going as far as running a 100 ft. extension chord to a power inverter in my car just to get the heater to run. Took 3 hrs and alotta gas, which was scarce at the time, just to get the tank into the 70s. Hope nothing like that ever happens again! Anyhoo, What canister do u run? Im not opposed to trying it again esp. if I get a larger tank.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 12:02 PM
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I have sunsuns and XPs, of all sizes. When I had my 45 I had a fluval 405 on it.

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 #9 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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I have sunsuns and XPs, of all sizes. When I had my 45 I had a fluval 405 on it.
Just looked up the 405. Its rated at up to a 100 gallon, same as my Cascade but it appears the GPH are waaaay higher, around 140 GPH more. Bet I wouldve been better off with one of those from the get-go.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-14-2013, 02:17 PM
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I pay absolutely no attention to what they say the filters are rated. I look at GPH and volume of media it holds.

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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