Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Tragic sponge filter accident (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/tragic-sponge-filter-accident-71119/)

Inga 05-23-2011 02:55 PM

Tragic sponge filter accident
 
Once before I had a Cory get smashed between the glass from the tank and the sponge filter. I came home just in time and saw him there. I was able to move the sponge filter out away from the glass and the Cory was fine. This morning however, I had my sweet little Otocinclus squished in there AND a Lovely female Guppy had swam into the air return. Never had a fish swim into the bubbles before but I am almost surprised the Guppies have not done that before as they really like bubbles and are forever playing in them.

I know it looks sort of silly now but I have my sponge filter sort of in the middle of the tank. I don't want to risk anymore of my fish getting hurt. I am not exactly sure how i can prevent Guppies from swimming into it though. Any suggestions?

Byron 05-23-2011 03:13 PM

Position the return stem such that it is half above the water level. This also has the advantage of creating a slight movement across the surface which will help prevent protein scum.

Inga 05-23-2011 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 681149)
Position the return stem such that it is half above the water level. This also has the advantage of creating a slight movement across the surface which will help prevent protein scum.


My water is 25 inches deep. What do you think I should set the sponge filter on? Have you ever heard of a fish getting stuck in the tube before or was this a freak accident? Where are your sponges located in your tank? The way my tank is, I could just barely have the end above the water because the water level is high. Obviously the fish wouldn't be able to jump up and into it so I am sure that would work, I just want something really sturdy to balance the sponge on. It does seem to move about as I had it away from the glass but it shifted enough to be close enough to squish my sweet little Cory baby. Do you have photos of your filter position? I am a visual person.

Byron 05-23-2011 04:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Inga (Post 681186)
My water is 25 inches deep. What do you think I should set the sponge filter on? Have you ever heard of a fish getting stuck in the tube before or was this a freak accident? Where are your sponges located in your tank? The way my tank is, I could just barely have the end above the water because the water level is high. Obviously the fish wouldn't be able to jump up and into it so I am sure that would work, I just want something really sturdy to balance the sponge on. It does seem to move about as I had it away from the glass but it shifted enough to be close enough to squish my sweet little Cory baby. Do you have photos of your filter position? I am a visual person.

What sort of filter is this? I was assuming one like in the photo below. This filter sticks anywhere on the glass with the suction disks, and the return stem is telescopic so it can be pulled longer, and the bend at the top is what should be half above the water level.

Inga 05-23-2011 06:29 PM

Oh, that is much nicer. This is the one I have
Lustar Hydro V Sponge Filter - Up to 125 Gallons#

The plastic tubing is only about 5-6 inches long. The air tube goes down the plastic tube and connects to the sponge base. It is free sitting. The weight of the water in the filter keeps it in place for the most part.

Byron 05-23-2011 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inga (Post 681309)
Oh, that is much nicer. This is the one I have
Lustar Hydro V Sponge Filter - Up to 125 Gallons#

The plastic tubing is only about 5-6 inches long. The air tube goes down the plastic tube and connects to the sponge base. It is free sitting. The weight of the water in the filter keeps it in place for the most part.

This is the type I have in my 10g, a Hydor; supposed to be good filters, and mine certainly collects mulm. When I had the Farlowella fry in this tank they would go down the tube, but they stuck on the side and seemed to enjoy the bubbles.:-) I wouldn't think a guppy could get "stuck" in this. If the water level is an inch or more above the top of the tube, I'm sure a fish could swim out easily.

zof 05-23-2011 11:12 PM

I had this happen with my oto's and my sponge filters, I lost all my oto's but I did figure out a good solution, cut about 3-6 small pieces of air line tubing and stuff them in this top section so they stay in place, this will keep the fish out.

Let me know if you want some pictures.

1077 05-24-2011 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 681413)
This is the type I have in my 10g, a Hydor; supposed to be good filters, and mine certainly collects mulm. When I had the Farlowella fry in this tank they would go down the tube, but they stuck on the side and seemed to enjoy the bubbles.:-) I wouldn't think a guppy could get "stuck" in this. If the water level is an inch or more above the top of the tube, I'm sure a fish could swim out easily.


+one.
I use the hydro sponge filters and it would be quite difficult for fishes to hold themseves in place inside the lift tube while this sponge is in operation.Force of bubbles rising in the tube would be trying to force fishes up and out .
I have juvenile plecos who are always swimming inside the lift tube and rasping on biofilm and or mulm that collects inside the lift tube and it takes considerable effort for them to remain there.
Cory's occasionally swim down the tube as well, and can easily swim back out.

Inga 05-24-2011 05:16 PM

It must have been a freak accident then. The poor Guppy was a large female and likely pregnant. I don't know why she would have gone into the tube other then she liked how the bubbles felt. She was definitely stuck though and wasn't quite dead but close enough that she couldn't have survived it. :(

I like the idea of stuffing airline tubing into the end of the tube. I will try that.

The water level is more like a foot + over the top of the end of that tube. I wonder if I could find more of that same size tubing and just cut a piece that is much longer?

zof 05-24-2011 08:39 PM

You can try that but then you have an ugly tube coming all the way out of the tank, with my method you only cut the airline to the top of the plastic tube, you are just creating a barrier to keep fish out and let the air flow through. I don't keep my air turned up really high so it was easy for my otos to squeeze in this top section then proceed to get their heads stuck in the plastic pieces below the clean plastic tube. On one occasion I spent nearly 30 minutes operating on my filter to get my oto's head unstuck, in another case I didn't catch one stuck in there presumably for over 48 hours (half his head was just bone)


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