Heavy Sludge On Sponges

Oughtsix

Dovii
MFK Member
Apr 9, 2011
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Redmond, OR
Hello all!

I know that it's recommended to rinse your filtration sponges in tank water, but realistically the coarse sponges from my FX6 could never be done that way, as even after only a month of use, they are thick with sludge, algae, and detritus. I HAVE to rinse them in the sink and bang out all the gunk. Does anyone else experience this?

Thanks!
Of course! I rinse my sponges in the kitchen sink... the key to making it safe is to not tell anyone else that you are doing so.! :)

I am on well water so I don't have to worry about chlorine killing off the bacteria in the sponge. I am flushing a lot of bacteria when I clean my sponges but I am not disinfecting the sponge with chlorine so what bacteria that is left should bounce back very quickly.

If you do weekly sponge cleanings with chlorinated water my theory is the bacterial colonies will beef up else where in the tank if the bacteria in the sponge is being constantly killed off by cleaning with the chlorinated tap water. If you are concerned you could do some water tests to see if you are getting ammonia and nitrite spikes after a sponge cleaning which would be a mini-cycle. My gut feeling is you should be fine though.
 
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DeathStalker

Candiru
MFK Member
Apr 8, 2015
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United States
Yes, it's my 125. I have the 3' Tire Track, 2' High Fin Spotted Pleco, 2 Venustri, 1 Texas, 3 Convicts, 3 Oscars, 2 Parrots, 2 polys, 1 Severum, 1 Rope Fish, 1 syno, 1 Spotted Raphael.
 

The Morning

Dovii
MFK Member
Jan 10, 2018
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Plus all of the fry? How many are there estimated?
From what I have read here 2 oscars is about all that should be kept in a 125. Sounds to me like you are way overstocked. How often are you changing water? What is the nitrate reading in that tank?
 
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Zanzag

Dovii
MFK Member
Jan 1, 2019
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Central PA
Yeah the sludge is from too high of a bio load for sure. Would probably sludge up after a 2 weeks even.
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
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Yes, it's my 125. I have the 3' Tire Track, 2' High Fin Spotted Pleco, 2 Venustri, 1 Texas, 3 Convicts, 3 Oscars, 2 Parrots, 2 polys, 1 Severum, 1 Rope Fish, 1 syno, 1 Spotted Raphael.
Am I reading this right or have you made a typo? A 3' tyre track eel, as in 3 FEET! And a 2' high fin spotted pleco, as in 2 FEET! As well as all those other fish?

That list is crazy for a 125g, and even more so if you have indeed got a 2ft and a 3ft fish in the mix too. I'm not surprised your filter is full of sludge and, although you haven't tested it yet, I absolutely dread to think what your nitrate reading will be.

At a very wild guess i'd say you need to be doing a 50% water change every day with that bio load.
 

DeathStalker

Candiru
MFK Member
Apr 8, 2015
234
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United States
So I'm wondering also if I have the best/right bio material (and order) in the filter. I'm using these bio-balls -
https://www.amazon.com/CerMedia-MarinePure-Bio-Filter-Freshwater-Aquariums/dp/B00HT2ARQY/

I do notice that due to their size, they leave a lot of space.

These are in the center - on the top I have a dual layer (red tray) of the standard Fluval ceramic rings, and on the bottom a Fluval black sponge, blue sponge, and 2 ChemiPure Elite bags.

Should I change the order &/or material?

Thanks!
 
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