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Old 05-05-2011, 03:53 PM   #1
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Removing sponge filter

Would it be a bad idea to remove my sponge filter? I have one of the fluval 110 sponges for my 110g tank. I have a feeling it is holding phosphates and nitrates then releasing them back into the water column.

The reason I ask is because I know you are supposed to slowly remove bio balls to reduce the risk of a mini cycle, and I am unsure how the sponge would affect the water if removed altogether.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Just wanted to add, I do clean my sponge once a week when I perform a water change.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:19 PM   #2
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What other biofiltration do you have in the tank? How much live rock/live sand? If you have lots of other biofiltration and the sponge is just a particulate filter, you can remove it without trouble, but if it's a major percentage of your biofilter, it could be a problem.

If you're not sure, take it out, keep it in tank water and covered up in the fridge, and watch your ammonia/nitrtite/nitrate levels. If you have a spike, you still have a fully populated sponge to stick back in. After a week of no nitrogen spikes, I'd call it safe and wash or toss the sponge.

A gradual method would be to put it in a media bag in an area of high flow, and chop off a piece each week.

Do you have a skimmer? What other filtration do you have? Phosphates/nitrates will just be produced elsewhere if you don't have a way to pull the waste elements they are made from out of the system.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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In the tank, I have about 110-130 pounds of live rock, and 2" deep of sand.

In the sump, I have a ASM Skimmer along with purigen in the first slot (where my overflow flows into) then that goes into LR rubble, then into my sponge, then from my sponge into an empty slot with my return.

The only reason I want to remove the sponge is because I am fairly certain that is the source of my nutrient buildup. When doing water changes, I siphon any and all detrius on live rock and sand. I turkey baste the rocks thoroughly to get the stubborn stuff that doesn't want to come off.

I do use RO/DI water as well. I feed either mysis shrimp, garlic omega one pellets or omega one flakes once every 2-3 days only what the fish eat.

I don't have a phosphate test but I know I have them because I have been getting little slurges of GHA.

I was considering your idea of cutting a piece of sponge off each week, but I keep reading that sponges may do more harm than good.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have plenty of biofiltration and the sponge isn't really needed. I'd put it in a ziplock in the fridge for a week.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dskidmore View Post
Sounds like you have plenty of biofiltration and the sponge isn't really needed. I'd put it in a ziplock in the fridge for a week.

Sounds like a plan! Thanks
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