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stevef10 04-07-2009 08:09 PM

Question about sponge filter
Would a sponge filter be a good idea for my 125 gallon tank? Right now I have a Rena XP3 but I have some messy fish (oscars, pleco, other american cichlids) so I want to get another filter before they get too big. I was looking for another canister filter with a good gph flow rate but would a sponge filter do the same thing? Or do I really need that gph?

On a side note, I think a sponge filter would be a good idea because if I ever need to start a hospital/quarantine tank I could just put the sponge filter in the new tank to have an instantly cycled tank, right?

I don't really know that much about sponge filters so if you have any hints or tips on them that would be appreciated. Thanks!


Mikaila31 04-07-2009 10:08 PM

I would get another canister, I have a xp3 on my 55gal and IMO it would definitely not be enough for a 125 gal.

If you did want to make a cheap filter, I suggest looking for a UGF powerhead, the biggest one you can find. Also I plastic pipe to attach to the bottom. Drill some whole in the pipe and stab it into a large sponge, or you can wrap filter floss around the pipe then secure it with rubber bands. You could buy one of those fancey premade sponges too. If you chose to do a sponge filter, attach it to a powerhead. The basic air driven ones will not be enough.

1077 04-08-2009 02:34 AM

+one for another canister. I have a couple sponge filters going in a 75 gal along with an Emperor400 and an Emperor 280. The hydro IV spongesI use work well with just air stones and pump rated for 60 gal. to provide extra biological filtering but would not,, in my view, Provide enough in the way of mechanical filtration for your particular tank.
Depending on the fish,, They might also tear it up by pecking at it. I have a chocolate pleco and bristlenose that have begun to do just that.

Twistersmom 04-08-2009 08:32 AM

I agree with the above. I have a sponge filter attached to a powerhead, and I am blown away at how much dirt it collects, but I am just using mine for some extra filtration on top the filters in the tank, and like you said, it will get moved if I need it for the QT tank.

stevef10 04-17-2009 04:20 PM

Ok, so I've been searching Craigslist for the past couple weeks and I finally found another canister filter to supplement my Rena, a Fluval 305 that was cheap. I still want to set up a sponge filter so I have something that's ready to go in a hospital/quarantine tank, but I really don't understand how to hook up a powerhead to a sponge filter to make it work. If anyone has a diagram or a link to one on how to set these up I'd appreciate it.

I'll probably go with a Hydro sponge filter 2 (Aquarium Sponge filter; ATI Hydrosponge filters and replacements sponges.) rated for up to 30 gallons because my hospital/quarantine tank won't be any bigger than that. What size powerhead would I need? And could anyone suggest a good brand? Thanks!

Twistersmom 04-18-2009 07:50 AM

My powerheads are Marineland Penguin. They work well, but I have not had another namebrand to compare.
I don't think you would need a very powerful one to run a sponge, just want to get some water pumped through to help the bacteria grow, Thinking a smaller model would be fine, maybe a larger one if you want more traped dirt.
The powerheads do seem to clog up faster with a sponge connected. I have been pulling the powerheads apart almost weekly for cleaning.
The bottom side of the powerhead, where the water is getting sucked in, is where you want to attach the sponge.
This part can be a little tricky, because all powerheads are not the same. If you can connect the lift tube to the underside (intake) of the powerhead and have the spong filter hanging down from the lift tube, that is the recommended way. One of my powerheads, the lift tube would not fit, so I placed the bottom of the powerhead directly in the sponge and it is working well. I also have a water pump in one tank, I could not get the sponge or lift tube to fit the intake, so the sponge is being held in place with a rubberband.

Mikaila31 04-18-2009 11:34 AM

This is what what mine look like. Basically using those fancy sponges you would just attach the power head to the top an that is it.

Twistersmom when I can get the lift tube to fit I use a rubber band and wrap it around the stepped part on the powerhead. Wrap it on the step that is the closest fit. I've always been able to force the pipe over the rubber band and it holds it really well.

Twistersmom 04-18-2009 12:36 PM

Thanks M31!
Today is water change day, so I will look for the lift tube and try it.

1077 04-19-2009 01:19 AM

Using powerheads for sponge filter is just something else to clean. As long as air is being pumped and consequently air bubbles are rising through the lift tube,then the sponge filter will become colonized with bacteria and it will provide a fair amount of mechanical filtration. The larger The airstone (diameter) and size of the pump,will dictate the sponge filters performance. I use a one inch diameter airstone,and pump(whisper) rated for 60 gal. Pump runs two HYDRO IV sponge filters in 80 gal. Bout every two months, airstone needs cleaned with vinegar and warm water or just replace it.;-)

stevef10 04-19-2009 09:11 AM

I also have a Whisper air pump rated for 60 gallons and if I can use that for a sponge filter without buying a powerhead that would be cool. Basically, I want this sponge filter to do a little bit of bacterial filtration so that if I need to build a hospital/quarantine tank I can put the sponge filter in it.

I guess my main question is how would I set it up? Do I just run air tubing with an airstone down the tube of the sponge and the constant air moving through the tube will grow a bacteria colony?

What about something like this:
Would you do the same thing, run an airline and airstone down the tube?

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