Switching to sponge filters?
I have 2 tanks (with only bettas in them) I'm considering using sponge filters on: 10 gal divided 3 ways and 15 gal divided 4 ways. I currently have regularly power filters in them with an air pump and gang valves in the other sections to help circulate the water through the whole tank. I'd like to use less plugs, so am considering switching to sponge filters running off the air pumps. So I have a few questions:
1. Would they work in these tanks? i.e circulate the water enough and maintain a cycle?
2. If yes, how many would I need? One per section?
3. If I did get them, what size would you recommend? My sections are about 7-8 inches wide each.
Sponge filters are perfect for anabantids that need minimal water flow (if a filter is needed at all). So I guess the question is, how much water flow gets through the dividers?
An even easier solution is, no filter. Provided you have live plants in each section (and betta need plants:-D) this works very well. I have a 10g with no filter, no light, just a heater, with 9 Boraras brigittae and a Corydoras pygmaeus (one lonely fellow, all they had at the store, will add 5 more as soon as I find them). Full of plants. There's a photo under "Aquariums" below my name on the left, the 10g Sand tank.
I will still need filters since I don't feel comfortable/don't want to deal with too many plants at this point. I have java moss in there right now and will be adding java fern, but that's all I really feel comfortable with.
Flow through the dividers is not really restricted much since they are made out of plastic craft mesh.
Though, would it be possible to only put three in the tank divided 4 ways, and two in the tank divided 3 ways?
What would I need to do to switch over? Would I have to keep the sponges in the tank for a while before actually setting up the filters so the bacteria can colonize them?
With only three betta there is not much worry about changing the filter. There is likely sufficient (more) bacteria on the surfaces in the tank, in the substrate, on plants and decor. But you could just hang the sponge in the tank for a few days before removing the existing filter; bacteria will colonize the surface.
Betta need floating plants, it is in their blood so to speak. Ceratopteris cornuta (Water Sprite) works perfectly but some stem plants just left floating are good; Pennywort and Wisteria work well this way.
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