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Old 06-11-2014, 08:02 PM   #1
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Sponge filter

Would a sponge filter sufficient as the only filtration? I was planning on DIYing several since they are so cheap to make. I'm sure it depends on the size of the air pump I use which brings me to my next question. Should I do like any other filter and use a pump that is rated for double my tank size? Ie a 20 gallon pump for a 10 gallon tank. I read for some really messy fish like puffers it's better to do 10x the tank size. In that case would I need to get a 100 gallon filter for a 10 gallon tank?
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:46 AM   #2
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It would really depend on the types of fish you want to keep. If you are keeping smaller, less messy fish, you can do a sponge filter as your biological filter and your weekly water changes as your mechanical filter. HOWEVER, If you are dealing with messy fish, you would be better off with a filter that combines mechanical and biological filtering or 2 different filters that will each do one of the types. ( Back in the day, we would run a filter for biological and one for mechanical so that you could totally clean out the mechanical without doing any real damage to the biological filtering.)
As for the airpump, again, it depends on the size of the tank. Just make sure that whatever size pump you get, you use a gang valve with an extra valve to release any back pressure from the pump. Back pressure will cause the pump to run hotter and make the diaphragms not last as long. I am using some air pumps still that I have had running for so long and they stopped making the parts for them years ago. THAT's the power of the gang valve Also, you don't want a huge amount of water running through the sponges so fast so that the bacteria is spending more time hanging on for dear life rather than eating the ammonia. I run my diy sponge filters slow to medium heavy ( depending on the fish load at the time) but added a carbon chamber or bag with carbon to act as a mechanical filter to assist the filter.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:42 AM   #3
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Check valves !!!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:22 AM   #4
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Tank size ratings for air pumps are ridiculous and misleading. If the pump can move the air it doesn't matter what size it is. A pump that can run one filter in a 20 can run one in a 35 or even a bigger tank. The only caveat is that the pump have enough pressure to overcome the depth of the tank.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treemanone2003 View Post
Check valves !!!!
Usually only necessary if the air pump is below the top of the tank. Keep the pump above the tank and the water can't back siphon.
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:38 PM   #6
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Usually only necessary if the air pump is below the top of the tank. Keep the pump above the tank and the water can't back siphon.

Yes indeed. Thanks for identifying my omission, Andy. If we overlook mentioning (as I did there) some of the small things that are commonplace, we ( I ) have failed at giving back.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:46 PM   #7
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Yes indeed. Thanks for identifying my omission, Andy. If we overlook mentioning (as I did there) some of the small things that are commonplace, we ( I ) have failed at giving back.
No problem Glad to have caught it. That's what a community can do
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:51 AM   #8
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Say for instance I have 3 dwarf puffers in a 15 gallon. Everything I read says I should have 10x tank size In filtration skI would need 150 gallons worth of filtration. Would two sponge filters at opposite ends suffice? Could I add a low powered HOB along with the sponges to use as mechanical? Perhaps I could use filter floss in the HOB. Or could I add maybe a chamber of filter floss to the out take tube or somewhere within the sponge filter and do away with a HOB? If I had a 15 gallon and were looking for 10x filtration should I look for a 150 gallon air pump or would I then need a power head?

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Old 06-29-2014, 01:02 AM   #9
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And as for a gang valve where in the line does it go?

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Old 07-02-2014, 11:58 AM   #10
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That 10x number (as far as I know) refers to HOB and cannister filters. You want the tank water cycled through the filters 10x an hour. I would suggest a HOB and supplemental sponge filter, though it's possible you could get away with a sponge filter alone (my fish store has a big one in every tank).

I use the hydro pro sponge filters since you can put an air diffuser/air stone inside it, as non-airstone sponge filters usually need a powerhead due to the fact that undiffused bubbles are extremely loud. For a check valve, it just has to be in between the air pump and the sponge filter. It basically keeps water from going back into the air pump in the event of a power/air pump failure. I have my air pump well below (3 feet) my 29 gallon tank but never had any water flow back when the air pump was off, or even when the air hose was disconnected. Still not really worth the chance when a check valve is ~$2.
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