power filter to sponge filter
would i be able to convert my hang on back filter to a sponge filter by putting sponge material in the slots for the stock filters
Welcome to TFK, lets start by first point out you are confusing they type of filters for the type of filter material, yes you can use other material in your filter, if you can get it to fit tight and get good water flow through it.
Now lets talk about types of filters, the best way to describe what makes types of filters different is in the way that they move water and where they move it, HOB (Hang on back) or otherwise know as power filters move water with an impeller to a chamber on the back of the tank where by gravity it falls through the filter material and back into the tank. Sponge filters on the other hand are very simple devices that simply use air being pump in a tube to pull the water through the sponge material.
so wouldn't putting the sponge in the slot be the same as stock and wouldn't the gravity be enough to pull the water water through the sponge and would it be a good idea to do that
Yup, I would like to point out through since you have a HOB filter, a good alternative to the costly cartridges is blue and white filter material, most fish stores sell it. Cost about $3-$6 and will have enough in there to cut at least about 10 replacements. Of course unless the stuff starts falling apart or water can no longer flow through it well enough just rinse the filter material out in some old tank water when you do your water changes.
Also be careful about sponges and make sure they don't have any additives in them if you are going to use household sponges.
I have one AquaClear that is full of sponge material, so although it's a HOB power filter, it is really a power sponge filter ;-)
Some time ago, I cut a sponge to fit in front of the standard cartridge in an aquatech filter. I just rinsed out the cartridge periodically which caught all the crud and rarely touched the sponge material (which served as the bio-filter infrastructure.)
So the answer to your question is yes, at least for many cartridge type HOB filters, you can replace a cartridge with sponge material and in some ways will have a better filter.
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