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sponge filters on powerheads

Jeff <Kudzu at airnet_net> asked about folks using sponge filters on
powerheads. This is the latest type of mechanical filter with low
maintenance that I've been using. One of mine finally plugged up so bad
after about a month that the powerhead stopped circulating. All I had to
do was remove the sponge and rinse it well for a few minutes and BINGO,
good as new! For reference I use the AquaClear 402 powerhead. You can
buy a polishing filter also by AquaClear which fits right onto the
bottom of the powerhead (or any of the AquaClear powerheads). This comes
with a fiber matt type of filter media which becomes clogged in a few
days under conditions where there is a lot of gunk in the water but I
replace this with a sponge type filter which just happens to fit very
nicely into the plastic filter cage. Sometimes the fit isn't tight
enough and a feisty fish will knock it loose. I've thought of gluing the
top part of the filter cartridge to the inlet of the powerhead but was
waiting to hear if 100% silicone rubber Dow Corning Auto/marine sealant
is safe for aquarium use. I don't remember the brand name of filter
sponges that fit nicely into the plastic holder but maybe someone else
is also using this trick. I believe there are a couple of types of
sponge filters that just happen to be the right size.

Another trick: when you remove the filter cannister for cleaning, its
good to put a jar into the aquarium and drop it into the jar so that a
stream of gunk doesn't flow out when you lift the filter above the water

Steve Pushak
Aquatic Gardeners Association