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Old 11-24-2017, 02:00 AM   #1
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HOB to Sponge Filter

Hey guys,

I have been thinking about ditching my HOB filters and going for a sponge filter setup for my three tanks. I have one 10 gallon tank with danios and tetras and two 5 gallon tanks each with a Betta. The HOBs need to be replaced (I've had them for several years) and from what I've read, sponge filters are a lot easier to maintain.

My main reasons for wanting to switch are as follows:
  • They are less expensive than HOBs
  • I can run multiple filters off of one air pump, which will free up some outlets in my power strip
  • I have an unusually high number of power outages, and HOBs rarely restart once the power comes back on
  • I can stack multiple sponges to seed them for other tanks

My main concern is water flow. I'm worried that there will not be enough circulation in the tank and there will be dead spots.

What are your thoughts on using sponge filters?
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:26 AM   #2
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I use sponges in many of my tanks.
I like the Aquatops .They have a built in stem to take air to bottom of sponge[many brands don't ] and they are weighted so they stay put.
The air pump you choose will determine if you like the sponges.
You can have all the circulation you need with enough air.
You can also just add air stones if you want circulation on one side of tank.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:09 AM   #3
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I used sponges with Discus and they worked very well. My sponges were fairly large and occupied a lot of space. Very easy to maintain, and quiet. Your tanks are on the small side. Even small sponges are going to take up valuable space.
You might consider Aqua Clear 30's. Although it's a HOB, the primary component is a foam sponge. It's inexpensive, and quiet with plenty of water movement.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:22 PM   #4
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I think I am going to at least try them out. I really like the fishkeeping hobby and the more I learn the more I want to keep doing it. Space was also a factor, but I figured I could hide the sponges well enough and still make the aquascape look good.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:01 PM   #5
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Hello jc...

Provided you remove and replace most of the tank water weekly to maintain good oxygen and mineral levels, sponge filters are the best means of filtering a tank. I use a couple of dual sponge filters in each of my larger tanks and they work great. Easy to clean, no filter media to replace, no moving parts and very low cost. There's no filter that works better.

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Old 11-24-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello jc...

Provided you remove and replace most of the tank water weekly to maintain good oxygen and mineral levels, sponge filters are the best means of filtering a tank. I use a couple of dual sponge filters in each of my larger tanks and they work great. Easy to clean, no filter media to replace, no moving parts and very low cost. There's no filter that works better.

B
I'm excited to give them a try! I like simplicity and I do maintenance at a minimum twice per week, so they seem like a great fit for my needs.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:50 AM   #7
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Ive switched over to the dual sponge filters in most of my tanks. Even in tanks with an already established filter, I like to throw one in cause having an extra seeded sponge filter is always nice. I actually got rid of my HOB because it would clog and overflow within days even with minimal feeding. Sponge filters do a great job and are so easy to clean, I really don't know why they arent the first option.
The only possible downsides I can see are that supplementing with chemical filtration (purigen, carbon, or just needing crushed coral to raise kH) isn't possible with a sponge filter the way it is with HOBS.
Also HOBS can tend to polish the water better if you use very fine pads (I'd use polyfill)
Otherwise, sponges all the way!
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