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Old 08-30-2011, 12:58 AM   #1
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Aquaclear 50/loach killer/dirty sponge

How do you remove a pre-filter sponge on an aquaclear 50 without losing any of the waste that collects on it?

We recently removed our UGF's and gravel in favor of sand and an aquaclear 50...and it killed two of our loaches. 1 day after I set it up my wife noticed two of our baby loaches (Black Kuhli/Java Loach Fry!!) IN the filter laying between the sponge and carbon layers of the basket. We thought they were dead. I quickly pulled the basket and found they were still alive. After returning them to the tank I put a piece of nylon (panty hose?) over the intake tube to prevent this from happening again. This severely restricted water flow to the filter. I removed the nylon, then put some plastic mesh (similar to window screen in size a feel) in the intake tube to prevent them from going up in. The intake tube has two identical pieces. You can use one as a short intake or the add the second to double its length. I put the plastic mesh around the end of the first tube then placed the second one on it. This would allow waste (etc.) to enter the intake tube, but fish could only go half way.

Next morning I found two black kuhli loaches in the tube, wrapped around the mesh, dead. I was not happy. I turned the filter off, removed them and went to petsmart to buy a pre-filter sponge. It keeps the fish out, but it also keeps all the waste and particles from actually entering the filter. I will clean it when I do my PWC in a couple days, but I am not sure how to remove it without losing the waste that it has sucked up against it.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:31 AM   #2
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I use the Penguin reverse-flow powerhead replacement sponges for that purpose on all my hob and canister filter intakes. They also fit very nicely in the aquaclear quickfilter housings. The sponge is coarse enough that it doesn't restrict water flow at all when clean, though as it loads up w/debris the flow rate does slow down. I clean them out weekly when I do partial water changes.
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