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
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.
Would one box worth full up a plenn-plax filter?
Debating still though if it is worth the precaution.
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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...
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.
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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Well, then, I was of no help at all :oops:. Sorry about that. Hope you solve your problem. Nice having a canister filter. Have a nice day.
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.
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.
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.
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