How to Know if Fish Tank Sponge Filter is Working

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JodyBuchanan

JodyBuchanan

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I've been asked this question many times and I'm not sure I've ever given it the consideration it's due. I guess I haven't thought about it much. After setting up a sponge filter, I just assumed it was working. With all the bubbles coming out the top, through the tube, I have always known that there was a lot of water movement and pull through the sponge. I'd like to get some other opinion though. So the question is, how do you know if your sponge filter is working?
 
KristinaW

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I am sure someone out there will say this is a stupid question, but it's really not. Aquarium sponge filters have been around forever, so people just think they work. Do they? I have had sponge filters in my tanks for years and I have never seen anything that was floating around get sucked up into any of them. I would sit there and watch as particulate matter would hover right next to them and nothing would happen. It was like there was no suction at all. I honestly don't know if they do anything. Does anything stick to these things?
 
15Katey

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How long have you had the filters set up? The way you can tell if they're working is to remove one of them and squeeze the sponge out in a bucket. If the water is brown, they're working fine. You won't see much action while in the tank, but rest assured they are doing their jobs. Hang on the back filters are much different. They're faster and it's much more obvious that they're filtering. Sponge filters are slow and steady, but effective.
 
CampFireJack

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Agreed. You won't see much in the tank. In the beginning, you won't see any difference in the appearance of the sponge itself. Over time though, you'll see it becoming dirty looking. The color will change. Tiny little particles are getting stuck to the sponge and those particles build up over time. The squeeze test will show you for sure. You'll see all that dirt come out. Basically, if you see bubbles coming up the tube, the filter is working. When cleaning the filter, just be sure to wring it out in a bucket of water from the tank itself. These are microbial filters and they hold tons of very good bacteria. You wouldn't want to clean the filter in chlorinated water. That would destroy and kill the beneficial bacteria. Be very careful with these types of filters. They do a lot more good than just filtering your aquarium.
 
How to Know if Fish Tank Sponge Filter is Working was posted on 07-07-2021 by JodyBuchanan in the Home Forum forum.
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