I am moving soon and plan on upgrading from an tall 18gal to a long 20 gal. my current HOB filter is meant for a 10gal and i would like to get something a little more suitable. I have a fair amount of plants in my current tank and i plan on getting more, so i am considering sponge filters. how efficient do you guys think a sponge filter would be if i hooked it up to a powerhead? i've read sponge filters work well with small sized tanks.
Would in my view work quite well. I have a Aqua clear powerhead sitting atop a HYDRO V sponge filter in a 75 gal tank. Were it me,, I would run both the filter rated for ten gal that you presently have,and the sponge filter with powerhead. Sponge filters work well in larger tanks as well as smaller tanks.
Some breeders of fish use these filters exclusively in their tanks for both breeding fish,and fry as well.
You just squeeze the sponges out once a month in old tank water and stick em back in. They also provide you with ability to set up another tank quickly for the sponge ,over time,,becomes fully colonized with the beneficial bacteria needed to process ammonia created by fish. No waiting for tank to mature or (cycle). Course it goes without saying,, fish should always be added slowly to new tanks . I actually have three sponge filters operating in different tanks at the moment. Two attached to powerheads and one running off traditional air pump. A couple of these sponge filters are nearly eight inches in diameter,,and four inches in height. Have also seen larger ones rated for ponds.
I prefer them over HOB filters any day of the week! It will work just fine for a 20g and depending n your stocking in there, the way it's made will also support breeding ideas because it will not suck up your babies.
I have had and am having them in all my Shrimp and Crayfish tanks and I love them.
These are the one's I gotten
Foam Aquarium Filters: Oxygen Plus Bio-Filter 2
Sponge filters are perfect in smaller planted aquaria. But, I would not use a powerhead. You don't need/want the current in a planted tank--unless you intend having fish that need a current of course. I have a simple Eheim internal sponge filter in a case that contains a motor and the circular sponge that slips off to be rinsed. More than adequate in my 33g. Sits up in the corner next to the heater and the current is directed along the rear wall. A sponge with an air pump will also do the job.
Filtration in a well-planted tank is handled by the plants. The "filter" we add is only to create some water movement to remove suspended particulate matter via the sponge.
thanks for your help. the reason why i am considering using a powerhead is because my tank will primarily be a tiger barb tank. i've read that their natural habitat is sometimes a river so i wanted to create a current for them. i know in planted aquariums there should be little water surface agitation. if i submerse the powerhead underwater would it create more surface agitation that a HOB filter?
The tiger barb, Puntius anchisporus [often seen named P. tetrazoni but according to Matt Ford this appears to be a different species rare in the hobby] occurs in SE Asia; native to Borneo it has been introduced into other areas. It prefers quiet forested streams and tributaries of clear or tannin-stained water, thick with marginal vegetation and having a substrate of sand, rocks and pebbles.
This suggests to me that the current from the filter should be minimal. Depending upon the type of sponge filter, it may be sufficient on its own if it has a return tube that can be directed across the aquarium lengthwise. My experience of powerheads is that they provide more than a small current, and more than one would want in this setup. Also, in a smaller tank, there is less distance so the impact of the current will be greater than the same in a longer tank; another reason to be minimal.
There is an air-pump driven sponge which attaches to the inside glass with suction cups. It has an airlift tube with an adjustable 90 degree fitting at the top, so could be mounted at one end and directed to provide a current along the surface.
Or, you could use HydroSponges with an air-pump, and install the clear plastic caps from an undergravel filter at the top of the lift tubes (available separately as a replacement part almost everywhere).
This is what I've done on my 75 gallon tank, and the caps provide a gentle but steady directional current across the surface.
Even though I'm using an air-pump, my Anubias seems to thrive.
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