How to clean a double sponge filter with aquarium water?

The best thing about sponge filters is that they need easy maintenance which means you can easily clean them. Sponge filters are like coarse foams that trap fish particles in the sponges. All debris is stuck to the sponges. The best advantage of sponge filters is that they do not trap fish fries & invertebrates. If you follow the correct tips for cleaning double sponge filters then it will be simple to wash all the debris, fish waste & leftover food attached to the sponges.

I am using a double sponge filter in my baby guppy aquarium & there are many of them swimming around. Sponge filters do not suck fries & so far none of the fry is stuck in the sponge. If you have a canister, hang on back or any other filter having a strainer at the intake valve then it could suck small fish including fries. Sponge can be used on the intake of canister, hang on back or any other filter & it will stop fries from entering the filter intake. Sponge filters will also stop waste, dirt or other debris from entering the filter so it will need regular cleaning.

People often use sponge filters in fish fry aquariums because they suck uneaten food that is attached to the sponges. Fries scrap off the leftover food from the sponges.


Maintenance of a double sponge aquarium filter:

In this tutorial I am going to tell you the right way of cleaning a double sponge filter. If you are not gentle with cleaning your sponge then you might lose most of the good bacteria growing on it. Sponge filters are very important for biological filtration because they hold heaps of beneficial bacteria on the sponges. However, many aquarists do not know the correct way of cleaning sponge filters. We recommend you to watch the video below to learn the correct way of cleaning a double sponge filter:


Fill a bucket with fish tank water:

Tips for cleaning a double sponge filter
Tip for cleaning a double sponge filter

The perfect time for a double sponge filter maintenance is during or after partial water change. Only clean one sponge at a time because during the cleaning process you might lose lots of good bacteria too even if you are cleaning it the right way. Another sponge will make sure you still have lots of good bacteria growing on it so after 2 weeks only clean the second sponge. After removing the sponge, your tank water will become a little cloudy but there is no need to worry about. After cleaning & running the sponge filter, the water will clear up in an hour or two. Fill a bucket with aquarium water but avoid using tap water because it contains chlorine which will kill the beneficial bacteria growing on the sponge. Gently squeeze the sponge that you have taken out. Keep separate buckets & other accessories you are using for your fish tank & avoid using them for other purposes as they could be contaminated.


Squeeze sponge in bucket water:

Correct way of cleaning a sponge filter
Correct way of cleaning a sponge filter

Clean the sponge by gently squeezing it in bucket water until it stops releasing murky water. It may take up to a minute to clean the sponge. If your sponge has accumulated lots of debris then fill another bucket with aquarium water. Clean sponge in the first bucket & when water gets really dirty then use another bucket for cleaning. After cleaning the sponge, put it back quickly & run your double sponge filter.


Tips for maintenance of a double sponge filter:

  • Switch off the air pump which is running the double sponge filter.
  • Just clean one sponge at a time.
  • Avoid squeezing the sponge too much & it should not take over 1 minute.
  • Use another bucket if your sponge is extremely dirty.

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