Prefilter Sponges... Unsung Heroes Of The Sump System

krichardson

Probation Member
Original poster
Probation Member
Jun 19, 2006
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Datnoid Island
Recently I noticed that the water level in my cichla tank was quite high,the level was above the teeth on the overflow skimmer box.I inspected everything to try and find out why the water wasn't flowing and draining properly and everything seemed to be in normal working order.
I then turned my attention to the sponges in the skimmer box and figured they had to be the problem and boy were they!
I pulled them up and out and as soon as I did so the water went gushing down the pipes like a raging river. I then gave the sponges a good rinse under the high pressure garden hose before returning them to the prefilter.
The prefilter sponges catches an incredible amount of waste matter and I will have to remember to rinse them out more frequently.
 

PYRU

Probation Member
Probation Member
Apr 8, 2015
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SE
Yes pre filter takes a beating. That's why I don't like socks. Constantly have to change them
 

krichardson

Probation Member
Original poster
Probation Member
Jun 19, 2006
25,498
10,404
480
Datnoid Island
Yes pre filter takes a beating. That's why I don't like socks. Constantly have to change them
I use socks too along with layered filter matetial on the drip plate.
 

TheReefer

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Apr 13, 2019
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Pennsylvania
I use prefilters too, fantastic, started using them in a shrimp tank and fell in love with them, moving them into all my tanks (albeit my larger cichlids at the time didn't like that and tore them off and apart)
 
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Ulu

Giant Snakehead
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
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The Sunny San Joaquin
I have two 1.5" drains running to the sump on my cichlid tank. One has a sock and the other has a "can" with floss.

Neither one has enough surface area & they plug up fast. I'm cleaning them every two days.

I have bio-sponges in the sump and tank, but no prefilters.

The brackish tank is the worst. The floss clogs up with gelatinous green goo that is like squashed kelp.
 

LBDave

Peacock Bass
MFK Member
Nov 27, 2018
1,239
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Long Beach
Recently I noticed that the water level in my cichla tank was quite high,the level was above the teeth on the overflow skimmer box.I inspected everything to try and find out why the water wasn't flowing and draining properly and everything seemed to be in normal working order.
I then turned my attention to the sponges in the skimmer box and figured they had to be the problem and boy were they!
I pulled them up and out and as soon as I did so the water went gushing down the pipes like a raging river. I then gave the sponges a good rinse under the high pressure garden hose before returning them to the prefilter.
The prefilter sponges catches an incredible amount of waste matter and I will have to remember to rinse them out more frequently.
After reading Duanes comments/ posts (for about 5 months!) I started really cleaning my sump (pumping out and clean sponge, floss pad). Experienced a couple "mini-cycles" due to this because I was cleaning every week so I toned down. I have a seneye device so I see the raise in ammonia. My mini-spikes are only to about 0.025ppm ammonia max.
Surprisingly I just removed the floss and sponge and replaced with new and ammonia only went up to about 0.02. It has returned to 0 in 4 days.
Duanes has converted me into a sump clearer keeper. Though I will only do this every other week now.
 
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