How To Clean Fish Tank Filter – Sponge Filters


How To Clean Fish Tank Filter


The Unsung Hero: Sponge Filters

Sponge filters are probably the one type of filter looked down upon by many aquarium enthusiasts.  Generally considered a secondary filter and used mainly as a backup, sponge filters are in fact quite efficient, providing excellent mechanical filtration as well as biological.  However, they do need to be cleaned because mechanical filtration will trap large debris and waste in the sponge.

how to clean sponge filter
how to clean sponge filter


How To Clean Sponge Filter

No matter what type of filter you will be cleaning, other than just getting the filter media unclogged, you must also do so without killing off beneficial bacteria colonies that inhabit the filter media.  Therefore, never ever wash your sponge filter with direct tap water.  The chlorine in the tap water is meant to kill any microorganisms and using it on the sponge will immediately destroy all bacterial colonies that you took so long to cultivate. The correct way to clean the sponge is by using the aquarium water that it came from.  What you can do is to schedule your filter cleaning at the same time that you do your water change.  Once you have siphoned out the water from the aquarium into a bucket, use it to wash your sponge in.  This way, the bacterial colonies will not be destroyed. When cleaning the sponge, you do not need to scrub it.  Excessive scrubbing will hurt the sponge and eventually cause it to not perform proper filtration.  All you need to do is squeeze it a few times in the water to bring out any large debris that might be lodged on it.  After that, just swirl the sponge a little through the water to release loose debris that still might be sticking on.

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Sponge cleaning should be done no more than once in a month.  But if your filters tend to get clogged a little too much, you would need to figure out the cause of this happening because it could be affecting the health of the fish.  Two major reasons why they could be clogging too much is because of overfeeding and too much fish waste.  If it is due to overfeeding, then control the quantity of food that you give to your fish so that the excess food does not raise the nitrate level in your aquarium.

If it is due to too much fish waste, then your tank might be overcrowded and you should consider either getting a larger tank or reducing the number of fish in the tank. These are the right methods of cleaning and caring for your sponge filter.

how to clean sponge filter
how to clean sponge filter


By following these effective cleaning methods, your aquarium will always be healthy and clean and at the same time ensure that your sponge filter function effectively for a long time to come.


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