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foam pad for under gravel filter

cootwarm

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
429
Location
Burlington, Vermont
About 15 years ago, when I had about a dozen aquariums running, my LFS sold 1/2 inch thick foam pads to lie on top of the under gravel filter with the gravel spread on top of it. It seemed to do a most excellent job. Kind of a combination "under gravel/sponge" filter.

The problem is, that now that I'm beginning to set up my aquariums again, I can't find an LFS that sells these 'sponge pads'. I know it wasn't special 'fish foam', but some ordinary foam that I should be able to find at K-Mart or Wal Mart.

Is most any type of foam 'fish safe'? Is there any type of foam that I should avoid for this purpose?

I just don't want to accidently poison my fish with some kind of chemical or something like it leaching into the water. :(

Has anyone else used this method of using a foam pad with an under gravel filter?

Michael
 

Woodsy

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
44
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Dacron padding is what we sell as padding for trickle systems. It's the same stuff they use in some doonas. We get it in massive rolls and just cut it to size. Over here it sells for around $10sqm.
 

tjudy

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Stoughton, WI
I would reconsider the use of an UG filter. Though they are a good source of biological filtration, they can result in a lot of nitrogen compounds building up in a tank. I have seen the use of the foam pads, but they will clog like a sponge filter will clog. Do you then pull it out and wring it? A good sponge filter like the ATI hydro-sponge will provide as good a biological filter as an UG filter...
 

cootwarm

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
429
Location
Burlington, Vermont
sponge filters

Hi Ted & Woodsy,

I was never aware of any nitrogen compounds building up in my tanks as I never tested any of my water before. I assume that nitrogren compounds are nitrate & nitrite? But the water was always clean and clear, so it (UG) appeared to work great. My fish were usually healthy and I rarely got any disease in my tanks. (When I did, it was usually introduced with a new fish.) Although there were times I've had fish die without showing any sign of disease. Perhaps this wasn't just due to old age. :?

Anyhow, soon I'll be testing all my tanks regularly, as I'll soon be raising Apisto's and in a few years I hope to try Discus. The combo meter will be a big help! :D

I never noticed the 'sponge' pads becoming clogged, but I guess something like that would be hard to detect. Except for my large community tanks, I usually broke my tanks down and set them back up every 2 or 3 years. When I did, I sure would wring a lot of "crud" out of them. I never rinsed them, just wrung them out.

Ted,
The sponge filters you mentioned, are they simular to the homemade ones discribed at this website: http://petfish.net/sponge_filter.htm

Woodsy,
Could you discribe a 'trickle' filter. Is this purchased? Or a do-it-yourself kind? I read a post on one of these forums that told of partitioning off a small section at one end of the tank and filling it with some type of filter material. I can't remember all the details.

These forums are great! Where else would one find a variety of real experienced advice right at your finger tips! :)

Michael
 

tjudy

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Staff member
5 Year Member
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2,822
Location
Stoughton, WI
I have use all sorts of home made sponge filter over the years, and always go back to the ATI hydro-sponge. That is a personal preference, of course, but I find that the ease of use make the cost worth while. I have a some that I have had for 12 years or more. The sponges may need replacing after 5 or six years, but the hardware that supports them is in great shape. Jehmco has great prices on them, by the way. I really like the fact that the hydro-sponge has a raised base. Most home-made sponges are flat on the bottom. I like the raised sponges for fry tanks especially.

Nitrate is the compound I was referring to. Though it is not lethal like nitrite, high levels are not normal in natural ecosystems. UG filtered tanks usually have high nitrates. Nitrate in high amounts can have some subtle negative affects, like slowed growth rates and poor hatches of fry. I think that it also creates a generally unhealthy, though not horribly so, environment for the pairs. Kind of like air pollution with us. We live with it, but we also know that it makes out lives uncomfortable.
 

Woodsy

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
44
Location
Melbourne, Australia
A trickle system is a tank that has an extra sheet of glass inserted to seal off a section at the back of the tank. The ones we manufacture have a 4" cavity at the back where the filter is housed. There is an overflow that runs into the back where there is a plate that spreads the water over a filter pad (dacron). Under this is a stacked pile of bio-pin balls which the water 'trickles' through, and it is here that a huge amount of aerobic bacteria are housed. There is a little sump section at the bottom where the return pump is housed. A protien skimmer can also be fitted into this cavity so that your tank is all self contained.
There are heaps of variations to this, including external units for existing tanks, and these are particularly useful for room divider tanks or tanks with 360 degree viewing is desired. They are the only tanks that we sell for marine set-ups because they are so effective at removing nitrogenous wasted.
 

Loach Lover

New Member
Messages
2
About 15 years ago, when I had about a dozen aquariums running, my LFS sold 1/2 inch thick foam pads to lie on top of the under gravel filter with the gravel spread on top of it. It seemed to do a most excellent job. Kind of a combination "under gravel/sponge" filter.

The problem is, that now that I'm beginning to set up my aquariums again, I can't find an LFS that sells these 'sponge pads'. I know it wasn't special 'fish foam', but some ordinary foam that I should be able to find at K-Mart or Wal Mart.

Is most any type of foam 'fish safe'? Is there any type of foam that I should avoid for this purpose?

I just don't want to accidently poison my fish with some kind of chemical or something like it leaching into the water. :(

Has anyone else used this method of using a foam pad with an under gravel filter?

Michael
 

Loach Lover

New Member
Messages
2
I buy all of my foam on Amazon.com. Just type "aquarium foam" in the search box, or whatever item you want and hit enter, and you'll find a lot of foam to choose from. I avoid Ebay because I've had a bad experience there. I hope this helps.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
You're aware the thread was started 20 years ago? And the user you're quoting has last been seen 10 years ago?
 

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