With there being so many types of filters out there, it is easy to get confused and make the perfect choice. However, we are writing this article to inform everyone about sponge filters, and how they could benefit everyone in their use. As such, we’ll be delving deep into everything about sponge filters, so that you can make an informed decision about them when choosing the perfect filter for your aquarium.
While sponge filters are quite popular among the veteran aquarium hobbyists, those who are new to this activity, are not aware of them. What are they? Well, it is basically in the name. A sponge filter utilizes an air pump to draw air in, which can then push water through porous sponges.
Unlike other types of filters, sponge filters do not need constant monitoring. You will not have to change cartridges of filter media every now and then. Those filters do tend to work well with the increased monitoring, but are higher in price when compared to sponge filters.
Sponge filters will help you with two main types of filtration:
- Mechanical Filtration:
Mechanical filtration is the filtration of debris from the water in a tank. Excess stuff that can not be broken down in the chemical form, needs to be taken out of the equation as fast as possible. This is where mechanical filtration proves to be very valuable.
- Biological Filtration:
Biological filtration involves the growth of beneficial bacteria in your aquarium environment. Just as there are bad bacteria, there are also good ones, and these grow in the filtration systems of your aquarium. With sponge filters, you will find them growing in the sponges. The more porous your sponge, the more surface area for them to grow. They will help with the breakdown of ammonia, basically in the nitrogen cycle.
With sponge filters being cheap and easy to use, why not look into getting one right? Well, you also need to make sure that your aquarium is actually compatible with it, and that is what we are going to look into next!
What Aquarium Types Are Sponge Filters Best For?
While this may be a highly asked question, it really does not have that big of an answer. Sponge filters are pretty much good for most tanks, and in some cases, they are excellent choices. This depends a lot on the flow of the tank you have.
Many people have compared sponge filters and power filters, but there definitely arises a difference in their use. While they both can do pretty much the same job, a power filter has the capability to also perform chemical filtration. However, any tank that requires a low level of filtration, will thrive with the use of a sponge filter. This can involve Betta tanks, shrimp tanks, etc.
Sponge Filter Maintenance
Everything needs to be monitored and checked on every now and then. The same goes for sponge filters too! However, you’ll find it laughably funny as to how easy it is to clean a sponge filter. You simply place a bucket filled with old tank water to the side, and then take the sponge out of your tank and place it in the bucket. Once you have, gently squeeze the sponge in order to force the debris out. Once you are done, simply place the sponge back into the tank, and you are good to go again!
While it may be easy to clean the sponge filter, you should always remember to make sure you do not kill the beneficial bacteria on the sponge. Since these bacteria are formed within the pores of the sponge, you must use old tank water to clean the sponge. Using dechlorinated water will kill off the useful bacteria, and you will be back to square one with that sponge!
Sponge Filter Cons
Besides the fact that sponge filters range to a limited range for their optimal use, they are pretty much without fault. There are mainly two slightly annoying things to face with sponge filters. One is the fact that their use of an air pump could make the machine itself quite loud. Unless you are one of the people who enjoy the sound of a filter in your tank, you might want to avoid having them in your bedrooms. The other thing is the fact that a sponge filter is far less aesthetically appealing than a canister filter or any other filter. It is basically a black sponge in your tank. However, these are two minor issues, and rarely make for pivotal factors in anyone’s choice.
Hopefully you have come away with all the necessary information on sponge filters, and their uses in aquariums. While they are not the most popular fish hobbyist items out there, they can definitely make short of their work. With very little maintenance required, and optimal performance being reached easily, you should definitely look into sponge filters if they are suitable in your aquarium.
Rod Hanks is a 32 year blogger from the United States, helping readers find the best quality products and services. He holds a masters degree on Finance from University of Minnesota. When he is not working, Rod plays football, goes to the gym and plays video games Read more about him.