How to properly clean a Sponge Filter? 

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Written By Fun Fish Tanks

I Love my Fishes 

Cleaning up a filter is as important as cleaning an aquarium. A dirty filter means a dirty aquarium. Sponge filters are a popular type of aquarium filter as it has lot more advantages than other kinds of filters. Loads of reasons are there that compels one to choose a Sponge Filter.

They cost less, produce less sound, creates gentle current, and several others. In addition to these, they do their job of cleaning your aquarium effectively. But cleaning them is an integral part of using a Sponge filter. This type of filter is a good choice for beginners as well as it is easy to clean than other types of filters. Fishes that don’t thrive under powerful currents can also live peacefully with sponge filters.

Sponge Filters clean the aquarium through mechanical and biological filtration. The sponge in the filter holds in all the dirt of the aquarium. The time to clean the filter approaches as the filter continues cleaning and holding in more waste. Cleaning it is not difficult as it is not complicated as other types of filters. The Sponge filter serves as a sweet spot for nitrifying bacteria.

How to clean a Sponge Filter?

Followed by each type of filter, sponge filters also need to be cleaned. If not cleaned at regular intervals, it will not do its job resulting in your aquarium being full of waste. It is a simple task to clean a Sponge filter and doesn’t require expert hands.

First, take the filter out of the tank and disassemble it. It is easy to deconstruct it. Remove the top part of it that has the airline tubing, it will pop out without effort and leave it in the aquarium. If you want the top portion out too, first turn off the electric connection before taking it out. After deconstructing it detach the sponge from the filter.

Take the sponge and immerse it in water. Remember to submerge it in aquarium water and not tap water. Put it in a bucket or a bowl, add aquarium water and squeeze it. As soon as you start to put pressure on it, you will see the water turn hazy with all the dirt coming out of it.

Keep on squeezing it for about 30 to 40 seconds. After this, change the water and again squeeze it. Carry on the same activity until and unless the water used is not clear as you squeeze the sponge. If the water does not turn hazy upon squeezing the sponge, your sponge is clean.

Then reassemble the filter and put it back in your aquarium. It will begin to work perfectly as before and will start cleaning your aquarium.

It is as simple as that. No extra work is required, and there is no easier way of doing it. On top of being easy, it is faster to clean as well. So Sponge filters are a go for even the laziest of all people.

When to clean the Sponge Filter?

Sponge Filters exhibit several signals after being used excessively, and it is time to clean. You have to have a good eye to notice them. The bubbles created by the filter will seem to be less when it is time to clean, or the sound produced by it is near negligible.

The most noticeable sign is that your aquarium appears to be dirty. Watch out for such signs as all these mean that the filter needs cleaning. Don’t try to be lazy and ignore it.

How often do you need to clean sponge filter?

There are no suggestions regarding how often you need to clean your sponge filters. But that doesn’t mean that you should wait out for the sponge to get clogged by dirt so much that it stops cleaning your tank. You can do it once a week, or once every two weeks it is your choice. Though you should make a routine for yourself and follow it. Cleaning it too much wouldn’t be a good choice as with all the pressure you put in squeezing it, it might start to wear down more quickly than expected.  

Why aquarium water?

The sponge of the Sponge Filter is home to numerous nitrifying bacteria. It’s a shame to lose out on all the bacteria by using tap water to clean the sponge. It is a known fact that chlorine is the worst enemy of nitrifying bacteria, as the presence of chlorine will wipe out the bacteria. Tap water has the presence of chlorine, it is used to make the water safe for drinking.

So it is a fact that Sponge filters must be cleaned using aquarium water. Apart from Sponge filters, other kinds of filters also must be cleaned using aquarium water. Aquarium water will preserve the bacteria present in the sponge, which is essential in eliminating the toxic chemicals off the aquarium.

How often to replace the sponge filter?

It is not necessarily required to replace the sponge in the filter. If you are maintaining the filter properly then it will do wonders for far longer than you can expect. Although this doesn’t mean it will work for an infinite amount of time. There will come a time when the sponge will have to be replaced.

You can notice it by the wearing down of the sponge, the change in the color of the sponge, and most importantly the cleaning of the aquarium becomes weaker. All this leads to the conclusion that the time has come to change the filter.

Sponge filters are the easiest ones to clean among all the types of filters of the aquarium. It is easier to deconstruct and easy to assemble again. All these reasons make it a good choice for an aquarium. Most likely for a beginner as no sophistication is involved.

Although, while cleaning the sponge filter remember to do it properly. Do not squeeze too hard, and remember to clean using aquarium water. Follow and do everything properly there will not be any need for replacing it for a very long time.

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