Sponge – the most common filler for Fish Tank Filter. Many inexpensive models of internal or external filters are equipped with a sponge.
It provides mechanical filtration, removing debris and dirt from the aquarium water. The presence of a colony of bacteria, which eventually settles in the sponge, helps biological filtration.
Sponges for the filter of an aquarium are subdivided into two types: fine-porous and large-porous. The former are used to better filter aquarium water, the latter are designed to filter large debris.
Of course, the smaller the sponge, the faster it becomes clogged, which leads to frequent replacements with a new filler or frequent washing. Large pores require less maintenance, but they also filter fine dirt worse, which affects the clarity of the water.
Disputes about which sponge is better, do not subside today. I believe that the Fish Tank Filter is designed to remove any dirt, and it is better to install a fine or medium porous sponge. It is easier to rinse once more than to look at the turbid water of the aquarium.
How often do I need to change
According to the manufacturers logic, the sponge should be replaced as soon as the filter performance drops. This is a signal that the filler is clogged with dirt, and it’s time to replace. According to the logic of aquarists, no sponge replacement is required. It is enough to rinse, after which the sponge can be used further.
The criterion for replacing the sponge is the spreading and breaking up into separate pieces, which occurs after 3-4 years of use.
When water grows cloudy in the aquarium and the filter performance drops, filter materials must be removed for washing or replacement.
It is recommended to wash the sponge every two weeks. But this period depends on the volume of the aquarium, population and the type of fish. Digging fish helps the filter to clog faster. In a herbal aquarium with a few small fish, the sponge is washed once every couple months.
Over time, each aquarium owner comes to understand when to rinse, based on the rate of filling of the filler.
How to wash and clean
The sponge is rinsed under running water at room temperature without the use of detergents or soap. Cleaners are not used to prevent the death of the colony of nitrifying bacteria that inhabit the filler. For the same reason, it is not recommended to boil the sponge or rinse in hot water. If washing the sponge is not possible, then replace it.
Many experienced aquarists recommend washing the sponge in the drained aquarium water to keep the colony of bacteria alive. In aquarism, this is a religious matter, because a colony of bacteria living in a filter is hundreds of times inferior to a colony living in the soil.
If you can not decide in what water to wash the sponge, then clean the merged aquarium water at room temperature. It will be right.
What can replace
In the absence or inability to use native sponges, use filtering materials that are appropriate to the texture, do not rot in the aquarium and do not emit chemicals into the aquarium water. The only question is how fast the homemade sponge will be clogged in comparison with the original filler. And how often you have to rinse.