The Best Sponge Filters for Efficient Mechanical & Bio Filtration

best sponge filter

Many people who are in the aquarium hobby may not be fully insightful about the significance of investing in the best sponge filter for their tank. While it is a reality that this has been around since the period aquarium keeping started, plenty of fish tank keepers either aren't knowledgeable about what this is utilized for or do not have any idea why this product exists at all.

And, even though sponge filters are not considered as appropriate for every tank, it is worth noting that there are certain situations when this is a useful and beneficial tool to purchase for your aquarium.

The delighting news today is that this post will be discussing some sponge filter benefits, buying guides for you to adhere to and other vital information that you need to discover more about this tool.

Finding a suitable sponge filter is often more difficult than aquarium owners expect. But this frustration often comes from them not knowing what matters most when choosing one. So let’s take a quick look at some of the vital considerations before diving into the reviews:

  • Tank Size: A sponge filter won’t do much good if it’s not built to handle your tank’s gallon capacity. So only choose an option after confirming it can filtrate your tank’s size without any issues.
  • Ease of Use and Installation: Sponge filters are known for being easy to use and install. However, it doesn’t mean all of them meet these standards. A way to confirm it meets them is by reading through customer reviews and directions.
  • Price: Most sponge filters are affordable, but there’s a bit of variation with the costs. So I’d suggest crafting a budget and evaluating your wanted features. It can make the entire process less stressful.

This article aims to help both newbies and pros in the aquarium hobby to learn more about high-quality and reliable sponge filters that are available in the market at present. This way, you can come up with the right pick for your tank needs and preference. And, you may also ponder on the 10 product reviews detailed below to help you easily come up with a well-considered decision.

Best Overall

Aquaneat Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter

Aquaneat Bio Sponge Filter

✔ Provide bio & mechanical filtration
✔ Cost effective sponge filter choice
✔ No trouble to install and clean


Premium Choice

Lefunpets Sponge Filter

✔ Ensure an effortless installation
✔ Small construction
✔ Simple to clean


Editor’s Choice


Hygger Aquarium Sponge Filter

✔ Easy to remove from the filter
✔ Does not take up more space
✔ Can be easily detached


Top 10 Sponge Filter Reviews 2023

1. Aquaneat Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter

Aquaneat Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter

For anyone hoping to end up buying the best sponge filter for aquariums, Aquaneat brand is the name you can trust.

This filter is known for being capable of providing just the sufficient amount of mechanical and bio filtration that smaller tanks need. In addition, the air infusion chamber is good at generating minute bubbles that aid in elevating the solubility of oxygen.

Luckily, this is not laborious to set up and clean as well. All you need to do is to set an airline into the device and switch on the air pump; you may wash it off and squeeze the sponge in the tank water. Keep in mind that this is practical to utilize for smaller tanks only.

On the other hand, this sponge filter product is priced a bit expensive making it not a very ideal option for those with limited budgets. Also, it is surprising to see how big it is once unpackaged.

  • A good reliable filter for tanks with smaller size
  • No trouble to install and clean
  • Can provide both bio and mechanical filtration successfully
  • Capable of being utilized in a broad range of applications
  • Cost effective sponge filter choice for smaller tanks
  • A little bit costly
  • Bigger than expected

Overall, this sponge filter is a smart choice. This is ideal if you especially require a cost-effective filter for an aquarium that does not contain a heavy load of residues in the water. It is harmless to use for tanks that shelter shrimps and fry and this is powerful enough to clean smaller tanks that contain up to 60 gallons of water.

Indeed, it appears to be well-constructed and it is not stressful to install. As a matter of fact, setting it up can be done in minutes provided you strictly follow the instructions. This product's base comes with a fair amount of weight to it so it is capable of sinking and stays put without any great effort. Essentially, it is a certified economical choice since it can be utilized for a number of practical applications. It produces minimal current and it has nearly no means to suck your finned friends through the filter.

2. Lefunpets Aquarium Fish Tank Sponge Filter

Finding a more effective sponge filter than Lefunpets’s Aquarium Fish Tank Sponge Filter is almost impossible. It offers expert-level filtration performance with its unique six vertical stripe design that blew me away. In fact, it traps all floating debris inside my tank and cleans up the water without any issues.

I was also impressed by this product’s versatility. After all, it wasn’t only a freshwater or saltwater sponge filter aquarium device. It could be utilized in both tank types (up to 25 gallons) with the same results, based on my tests.

Buyers will love this product’s convenience level, as well. Its straightforward design makes cleaning the filter much simpler than other foam filters for aquariums. In addition, each component was effortless to clean, especially compared to my prior filters.

Similarly, these components are detachable to ensure the installation process is effortless. Most sponge filters are relatively easy to install, but this one takes the cake. In fact, I had this sponge ready for use in record time.

The last notable benefit is this product’s easy-to-hide design. It has a small construction to ensure the filter never becomes an eyesore. Instead, this product allows my aquarium’s overall aesthetic to brighten the room.

I only wish this product was quieter, as it produces loud bubbles. So it could be a hard sell to someone with a tank inside their bedroom.

  • Effective at keeping tanks clean with six vertical stripe sponge design
  • Usable in saltwater or freshwater tanks up to 25 gallons
  • All components are simple to clean
  • Detachable parts ensure an effortless installation
  • Easy to hide with small construction
  • Noisy with loud bubbles

Thankfully, the loud noise level wasn’t a problem for my setup. My tank is located well outside my bedroom to prevent this issue anyway. Therefore, I was pleased and delighted by this sponge filter’s overall performance.

3. Hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter


This sponge filter is very straightforward to utilize. It is interesting that it is made of detachable components which simply means that it is possible to effortlessly put them all together. It already contains two high-quality suction cups that you could attach to the filter solidly into any tank position underwater- you'll be happy to see that it does not float.

Likewise, if you prefer, the water outlet tube could be rotated and extended. All you have to do is to modify the outlet to below or above the waterline. When cleaning the sponge filter, make sure that you wash it off using aquarium water and not tap water.

The package contains a bag of ceramic media balls, one double sponge filter that comes with two containers and a total of two spare sponges. It is worth mentioning that this device must be utilized with an air hose that comes with a standard size of 4mm and a powerful air pump to ensure maximum performance. It is highly suggested to select a vigorous enough air pump as per your aquarium size for this filter.

Be that as it may, please take into consideration that you need to buy the air hose and pump separately mainly because these are not included in the box once you purchase the sponge filter. And, it will only work quite well if paired with a strong air pump.

  • Does not take up more space in the tank
  • All other parts of this device can be easily detached
  • Consolidates physical filtration, oxygenation as well as bio-filtration in one
  • Fine sponges are easy to remove from the filter
  • Especially designed to help tiny shrimp and fish to thrive in a clean and healthy tank environment
  • Air hose and pump are to be purchased separately
  • Won't function effectively if a powerful air pump is not used
You can absolutely take pleasure in plenty of aquarium sponge filter benefits if you invest in this brand. It can guarantee multi-filtration functions and is reliable enough to deliver successful bio filtration in a manner no other sponge filter products can execute. It does a “thumbs up†job at improving the quality of tank water since it only creates a small water flow.

4. uxcell Aquarium Sponge Filter


There is no need to spend extravagantly if you are presently in need of a reliable sponge filter for aquarium. This product will be an ideal pick if you are keeping a larger tank. Let us explore some more information about this item.

Many aquarium owners buy this brand because it can be used in many ways. You can use it as a pre-filter for Hang-on-Back. The materials it is made of are of top quality and work adeptly at keeping the tank water pristine and clear. It comes in a big size; however, it can stay concealed behind tank adornments as well as aquatic plants in the tank. It is nice to note that this device does not trap various fish species inside.

Howbeit, a few of the shortcomings that you need to uncover about this sponge filter are its being too big which makes it not a great choice if you are currently keeping a smaller tank. Also, when the tube is at the top, it is expected that there will be considerable amount of bubbles that enter the water.

  • Capable of cleaning the tank water quite well and rapidly
  • Can function as a pre-filter for Hang-on-Back
  • Hampers any pieces from bringing about any damage to the impeller
  • Seems solidly built
  • Designed with a weighted foundation
  • Not highly recommended for smaller tanks
  • Generous amount of bubbles enter the water when the tube is on top

All in all, this sponge filter is designed with a weighted base reason why it can remain in its place all the time. You won't have issues with the air hose as it is a piece of cake to fasten to the top. Also, since this comes with an additional surface area, it can flow progressively even after a month of continued usage.

This is an affordable option that can suit any budget. It does a great job at clearing the tank water of various kinds of pollutants and that means that it could seriously help reduce the frequency of cleaning your tank filter. And, it won't cause any damage to the impeller reason why it can promise a noise-free operation.

5. Aquaneat Small Bio Sponge Filter


If you are still unsure of what appropriate sponge filter for a betta to get, then why not check out this brand? This is an infallible option if you are dreaming of a filtration method that does not cause much water disruption. It is certainly an impressive filter for the price.

What is more, this is so easy and fast to set up and the cleaning method is not cumbersome. You can rely on its suction cups and it is nice to have a cycled filter readily available in case of unfortunate incidents. For sure, you will love the swiveling capability of the filters and the output.

This device makes use of bio and mechanical filtration techniques, it is not tedious to maintain and can successfully lure floating food debris into the tank. Moreover, the air infusion chamber does a vital function in terms of generating minute bubbles that are responsible for bolstering the solubility of oxygen.

Meanwhile, please take note that this is practical to use only for tanks that are smaller in size. And, it necessitates a strong air pump if you prefer a good flow of water.

  • Employs both biological and mechanical filtration approach
  • Already includes 4 pieces of sponge filter once purchased
  • Installation and cleaning process can be accomplished in a snap
  • Highly recommended for tanks that shelter small fish
  • Can handle tanks containing by up to 20-gallon water capacity
  • Not suitable for tanks that come in bigger sizes
  • Requires a powerful air pump for it to guarantee a nice flow

Right to it, this double sponge filter functions as a great backup filter in the event that there is a power interruption. You can utilize it with the aid of an air pump that's operated by a battery. It is capable of providing the aquarium a clean look because it can filter tiny particulates. This device is actually noise-free as compared to corner filters as well as air stones.

Also, if you keep a small tank that comes with low bio-loads and you're in need of a backup of healthy bacteria for larger-sized aquariums, then this is a foolproof choice that won't make you feel discouraged.

6. Lustar – Hydro-Sponge V Filter


This fish tank filter sponge seems wonderfully made and the installation procedure is a breeze to handle. It is known for being a high-density sponge filter that is designed with too tiny pores.

In the same way, it can perform exceptionally in polishing the tank water and is a wise option for gilt edge bio filtration and mechanical polishing. This is untroublesome to clean; you only have to wash it off and squeeze it using tank water. Note that when rinsing it, tap water is not advised to be used.

It is equipped with a lift tube that enables water flow in higher volumes and you can utilize the power head without the aid of adapters too. Also, to guarantee the highest biological and mechanical residue capacity, this sponge filter was purposely made with proprietary patented sponge foam.

Basically, this has the capability to suck in waste particulates; it is outstanding in mechanically tidying the water without entangling your baby fish. This won't float in the tank because it is made with a heavy base that is designed with a lifted bottom.

Still and all, two of the flaws that come with this sponge filter are its tendency to get clogged rapidly and in terms of eliminating bigger residues, this may not be that reliable.

  • Enables use of power head without the need for adapters
  • Designed with a denser base that comes with a raised bottom
  • Allows higher water flow volume
  • Does a wonderful job at trapping residues and other types of wastes
  • Proudly manufactured with Proprietary Patented Sponge Foam
  • Not that reliable when it comes to getting rid of larger debris
  • May clog instantly

As a whole, this sponge filter is superb at getting sand particles out of the water from filling the aquarium. It is easy to install and clean, and it excitingly works as advertised. Most importantly, this is highly practical to utilize in filthy tanks like goldfish tanks and even ponds. It is reliable when it comes to keeping various types of bacteria at bay and can help every fish tank owner sustain their finned friends' healthy immune systems.

This is cost-effective, not a pain in the neck to maintain and can help you execute the cleaning process in a less hassle approach.

7. Aquaneat Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter


Aquaneat is highly recognized for being one of the right sponge filter brands and this is the obvious reason why a rapidly increasing number of consumers purchase this brand over the others.

As a sponge filter, this is well-built to help reduce its footprint while at the same time beefing up filtration. Not to mention, it is even designed to aid in keeping the airline tubing squeezed back into the corner of the aquarium.

Its quarter-cylinder shape bolsters the surface area that enables a good flow of water and ensures proper oxygenation at a good rate. This also paves way for making the filter a lot easier to hide in the corner section of the aquarium.

Both newbies and pros in the aquarium keeping world recognize this brand as a reputable one. As a matter of fact, most of them prefer this product because it is multifunctional, it can provide a bio and mechanical filtration and it does not cause any disturbance because it operates in a quiet method.

When using, see to it set up the airline into the device and from there you will just wait for it to supply both filtration and aeration for your aquarium inhabitants. This must be submersed in water prior to utilizing it, afterward, gently squeeze the air out of the sponge.

Not less, this is perceived as one of the smallest sponge filters sold on the market nowadays. And, it is not highly practical to use for pre-filter applications. It also does not have sufficient weight on the bottom to keep it down.

  • Designed with quarter-cylinder shape that boosts the surface area
  • Does not require frequent sponge replacement
  • Proven and tested to be multifunctional
  • Considered low maintenance than most brands
  • No problem to hide in the corner of the aquarium
  • Not enough weight on the bottom to keep it down
  • Not ideal for pre-filter purposes
Ultimately, this sponge filter will definitely give back your money's real worth. It is multifunctional, comes in a unique design to ensure impressive performance and does not need to be frequently replaced and maintained. Since it is not too big, you won't have any problems hiding it in the aquarium. This does a sterling job of maintaining good water flow and oxygenation. And, you can have peace of mind that your aquarium pets are provided with the best possible care.

8. Huijukon Air Pump Double Sponge Filter


If you are planning to purchase a safe and effective sponge filter kit, this is the product you have long been waiting for. This is harmless to utilize in that it is especially created using eco-friendly materials and it can function without producing irking noise. This can handle tanks that contain 55 gallons of water.

When installing it, you can set it up in a place you think is needed or appropriate. If you prefer, you can even conceal it on the back wall of the tank. This already comes with two suction cups once bought.

By the same token, it operates excellently in trapping hovering residues and can provide the shield that your baby fish needs as it wards off the potentiality for the baby fish to be sponged up into the filter. Also, high-impact bacteria establish the sponge, which supplies a bacterial substance to administer the nitrogen cycle.

For all that, this product only executes bio and mechanical filtration methods, so if you need to execute chemical filtration, this won't be able to help you in that aspect. Aside from this, it does not come with airline tubing once bought. These are the minus points that consumers discover once they invested in this brand. Then again, the pros are greater as compared to the cons; thus, this does not make it a poor choice at all.

  • Can promise silent mode of operation
  • Built with top quality food-grade materials that are environmentally-friendly
  • Ideal option for anyone with limited budget
  • Does a stunning job in bio and mechanical filtering
  • Proudly designed with double ten-layer ribbed-formed sponges pattern
  • Does not come with airline tubing
  • No chemical filtration

This is a smart investment that you won't ever regret because it is a wise method of auspiciously oxygenating and cleaning the tank. You can just set an airline up into the device and then switch the air pump on and it will execute a satisfying performance as advertised. To clean it, just gently squeeze the sponge in aquarium water.

The two sponges are actually intended to have more surface area for good bacteria to thrive and enable a speedier cycling that shall help keep the aquarium water clean and fresh once again.

9. Aquaneat Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter


This 10 gallon sponge filter is considered tiny but works like a beast. What makes it quite distinct from other available choices on the market is that it can help keep your cherry shrimp and baby snails safe and sound. Once it starts to operate, it does not produce any annoying noise that could disturb you and your aquarium inhabitants.

Furthermore, you will definitely enjoy watching your cherry shrimp frequently hanging out on the sponge. Wouldn't it be relaxing to observe your aquarium pets delight in a clean and fresh tank environment?

You can go for this brand if you would like to guarantee a reliable bio and mechanical filtration performance for your small tank. The air infusion chamber equipped in this device is dependable enough to come up with minute bubbles that remarkably aids in boosting the solubility of oxygen.

Even so, while this product is a very practical option, it also comes with a few downsides for you to note. Since it is designed for tanks that contain 10 gallons of water only, obviously, this is not a smart choice if you are keeping a larger tank. And, it has the habit of producing larger bubbles which might disturb your tank dwellers.

  • Installing and cleaning this sponge filter is a child's play to handle
  • Already contains 3 pieces of sponge filters in the package
  • Practical to utilize if you have tiny fish dwelling in your tank
  • Can execute first rate bio and mechanical filtration methods
  • Filter only generates minimal current that won't disrupt fish
  • Practically useless for larger tanks
  • May produce bubbles are quite big

On the whole, this operates superbly and you can consider it as a good value for the cost. They are easy to rinse off and you can actually reuse them. The filter only generates minimal current so you are assured that your fish tank occupants won't be scared away.

It is essential to know that these are also capable of holding good bacteria like a pro and execute a fantastic job at clearing the sand fog in a more aesthetic approach. Fundamentally, these are really amazing small sponge filters that you can get for your tank!

10. Hikari Bacto-Surge Foam Filter


This product can also serve as a workable sponge filter for a 10 gallon tank. It can impressively work efficiently in absorbing tiny particulates in the aquarium. This comes with an appealing and functional design even though is too big in size. You will be satisfied with the manner it filters a good amount of water.

This Hikari sponge filter is made of soft foam materials that remain steady and can sustain its pore density. You can utilize this with the aid of a large air pump so to provide the filtration it requires in a ten gallon fry and breeding tank.

This device can also serve as pre-filter over the intake lines if you have bigger-sized aquarium. It is not merely designed to safeguard your fish from getting endangered; it supplies the much needed biological filtration capacity. And, this ensures that the ceramic media of the primary filter remain free of any sort of residue or algae.

There is no need to clean the trickle filters or primary canister since utilizing this as a pre-filter helps in impeding messy substances from congesting the ceramic media. If necessary, you can just turn off the pump, lift the foam pre-filters, wash it off and then replace it.

This sponge filter comes with a few weak points too and these consist of the pretty big size that makes it challenging to hide inside the tank. Since it comes in huge size, it will also require a large air pump to maximize its performance.

  • Can deliver long-standing service and performance
  • Advantageous for marine or freshwater tank applications
  • Designed with well-improved surface area that is beneficial for ultimate bacteria settlement
  • Sponge is made of soft materials that allow effortless cleaning
  • Built with highly absorptive sponge that can magnify bacterial action
  • Too big that makes it impossible to hide in the tank
  • Calls for a larger air pump
On the money, this is a top-drawer stuff to add to any fish tank if you are dreaming of maintaining the safety and health of your most valued aquarium pets and plants. It works in an awesome approach that it can be one great solution for anyone looking to clear their tank water of any sort of contaminants that may endanger the lives of their finned friends. This can be an ideal size if you are keeping a pond. It pumps out bubbles in silent mode and in an efficient means.

Outdated Products

Powkoo Air Pump Sponge Filter (Outdated)


This sponge filter is simple to operate; it is not high maintenance and works perfectly to ensure that your aquatic pets and plants can enjoy clean and fresh water in the tank. The water flow exit tube that is equipped on this device is easy to adjust reason why it becomes straightforward to modify the height and direction of the water flow.

Moreover, it can instantly establish a biofilter and this is made possible by its A1 dual sponge design. Since there are two sponges, it can provide ample surface area for bacteria and this can also encourage speedy cycling. This can be positioned anywhere you like or you think it is needed. It can be concealed on the tank's back wall, so it won't disrupt your tank décor.

Regardless of the many awesome features, this mini sponge filter is not well-fitted for aquariums that contain 60 gallons of water and beyond. And, it commonly comes with a strong chemical odor at first use. Fortunately, this smell vanishes on its own.

  • Designed to be adjustable in altering height and direction of the water flow
  • Built with food-grade materials that make it safe and effective to utilize
  • Can be set up wherever you prefer and can be concealed on the back wall of the tank
  • Certified high-end dual sponge design
  • Beneficial to use for tanks containing 45 gallons of water
  • Not appropriate for tanks that contain 60 gallons and beyond
  • Comes with strong chemical smell at first

On point, there wouldn't be a better option than a sponge filter that seems to have it all. It is worth noting that this device can ensure very advantageous performance if you are currently keeping a breeder aquarium, crayfish, shrimp, fish or fry tanks. It is definitely built with top-notch quality and is not high maintenance as compared to other brands out there. This is actually a perfect pick for aquarium owners who are eagerly searching for an exquisite sponge filter that does not consume much space and is easy and effective to use.

Besides, this product is also good at luring plecos to hide themselves in the bacteria and algae it establishes. It is a wonderful hiding hub for juvenile fish as well. As you know, this is quite beneficial in forming a safe and sound environment for your aquarium pets and plants. Its capability to oxygenate the tank water is a huge plus too!

What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Sponge Filter


The truth is, there are a limitless number of sponge filter options that you can pick from these days. However, you cannot simply get just any sponge filter that you can come across. Various options come with distinct features, price ranges and benefits. Each of them is designed for various purposes and to be capable of accomplishing different tasks.

Basically, when buying the right sponge filter for you, it matters to consider the type of tank you are keeping as well as its size. And, it is imperative to think through the needs of your tank like its water circulation, stocking levels, the amount of money you can spend for the device as well as the ease of use and low maintenance of your choice.

All these are valuable factors that you need to take into account before you make the final decision in buying the suitable sponge filter for you.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is a sponge filter? How does a sponge filter work?

A sponge filter is generally built with a spongy absorptive material and an air tube that is utilized as the filtering mechanism. This can be utilized to provide mechanical and bio filtration of byproducts, tank residues and other solid particulates in the water.

Please note that this device is not designed to provide any type of chemical filtration.

Meanwhile, a sponge filter operates by absorbing water with the aid of an absorptive sponge that acts as a mechanical filter. In line with this, it sucks in any huge residue in the water.

It is the spongy material that is responsible for preparing a wonderful spot for healthy bacteria to develop. These healthy bacteria will aid in transforming nitrates into nitrites which is less hazardous to your finned friends and could be eliminated or controlled by standard water replacements.

Furthermore, an air stone is utilized to form the suction that shall siphon the water with the aid of the sponge. Alternatively, a powerhead is also utilized to come up with the suction effect.

Basically, this suction effect is referred to as uplift and this strains the water through the sponge, sifts it and expels it back into the tank.

What are the different types of sponge filters?

Sponge filters are deemed as the easiest to use and maintain the type of aquarium filters. And, the most advantageous sponge filters can be utilized to compliment another type of filter, like standalone filter, canister filter or power HOB. Sponge filters are utilized as the sole source of tank filtration.

Various sponge filters come in different forms and are designed depending on the type of aquarium that you are keeping. There are those that are built with double sponges, those intended to serve large or small tanks, nano tanks, ponds and other Betta tanks.

Why do you need a sponge filter for aquarium? (Benefits)

Here are the perks of investing in a high-quality sponge filter:

  1. This device is perceived as one of the top choices for filtration since it could captivate pernicious bacteria when utilized in a bare-bottom tank.
  2. It is ideal for aquatic plants because it has the capability to sustain higher levels of carbon dioxide in the tank.
  3. You could possibly consolidate it with most Hang-on Back as they can serve as a pre-filter alternative.
  4. It is known for being quite easy to utilize as compared to other types of aquarium filters. This could operate with the aid of powerheads and other basic air pumps.
  5. You can purchase them at economical and less pricey costs.
  6. This is generally designed to provide successful bio and mechanical filtration.
  7. The most avant-garde filter to utilize for quarantine, hospital or breeding tanks for it does not swallow the frail ill fish or fry into the filter.
  8. Such a device is not tiresome to clean. You only need to remove the sponge and gently squeeze it or wash it off using old tank water.
  9. It is highly acclaimed for being an out-of-the-ordinary filter for a Betta that has long fins mainly because this device won't in any manner capture the fins.
  10. Lastly, there is no need for you to worry about high maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you use a regular sponge as an aquarium filter?

Aquarium owners can use regular sponges as a filter but must be careful. Researching your particular sponge is essential to see if it’s usable. Otherwise, they may contain chemicals that poison the tank and kill your fish.

But honestly, I would suggest avoiding this situation entirely. Instead, a traditional sponge filter for fish tank use is much better, such as Aquaneat’s Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter. This model has been an excellent option inside my tank for years.

How can you make your sponge filter quieter?

Many aquarium owners with sponge filters complain about their noise levels. The issue was a pain when I first installed my large sponge filter. But I was able to solve the problem by learning how to limit the noise:

  • Adding a valve on the air pump: Valves are valuable for limiting noise on these sponge filters. After all, they lower the stream and air pressure, which reduces how much is being pulled into your filter. So the sponge filter air pump ends up making much less noise.
  • Placing the air pump on a mat: Moving your air pump to an area with padding can help reduce the noise by limiting vibrations.
  • Putting a lid on your aquarium: The simplest solution is placing a cover on top of your aquarium if it doesn’t have one. Doing so will trap the noise inside your tank rather than haunting your sleeping sessions.
  • Buying an option with a reputation for being silent: Some sponge filters do better at limiting their noise level. So if none of these methods work, look into “silent” options and research them thoroughly. I suggest looking on Reddit or through customer reviews to understand better which ones are less noisy.

Are sponge filters safe for small fish?

Sponge filters are a safe option for small fish. Most experts even recommend using them because they’re safer than other alternatives. Sponge filters offer this benefit by ensuring the smallest fish or shrimp can’t get sucked into them. Plus, they provide a gentler flow to ensure it’s not too rough for a smaller species.

As a result, owners with smaller fish or other creatures would do well with a sponge filter. I’d only advise reading through the description before making a decision. It’s a precaution to ensure your chosen model is meant for axolotl, goldfish, or other aquatic creatures.

What are the most trusted aquarium sponge filter brands?

When you start your search about various sponge filter brands, it can be overwhelming to see innumerable options for you to check out; be that as it may, not all of these are functional and reliable. And, to help you narrow down your choices, the most trusted brands are the following:

  • Aquaneat
  • Hygger
  • Uxcell
  • Huijukon
  • Hikari

Sponge filter vs. Power filter: What is the difference?

A sponge filter is typically made of permeable spongy material as well as an air tube which is employed as the filtering mechanism. More than that, it can be exploited to provide bio and mechanical filtration of solid particulates, byproducts and other tank debris. This does not provide any kind of chemical filtration though.

On the other hand, power filters are generally hung off the back of the tank and it works by drawing water in with the aid of a lift tube and then going back by means of a spill-way. It comes with a water pump to maneuver the water.

Can I use these filters for a turtle tank?

In order to provide the proper maintenance for a turtle tank, canister filters are better options than sponge filter. This is because turtle tanks require bio, chemical and mechanical filtration mechanisms. And, as previously mentioned, sponge filters aren't capable of providing chemical filtration.

How to set up a sponge filter?

Materials you will need:

  • Air pump rated for the current size of the tank that you are keeping
  • Top quality air stone
  • Sponge filter
  • Check valve
  • 3/16†fish tank airline tubing


  1. Take the sponge filter apart. You need to prepare a weighted base at the bottom, foam sponge, and a lift tube. There must be a strainer inside the sponge and the bull's eye on top of the strainer.
  2. An airstone is practical to use inside the sponge filter. This helps make the bubble tinier and more silent. The strainer should be in a hollow shape making it smooth sailing to build up the airstone.
  3. Re-assemble other components of the sponge filter. Then, embed the strainer within the sponge and then fasten the weighted base to the strainer's bottom section. Afterward, link the lift tube onto the top of the bull's eye. See to it that the sponge filter is fastened to the lengthy roll of the airline tubing.
  4. Put the sponge filter into the tank and gently squeeze it a number of times to eliminate most of the bubbles. It must sink instantly; however, even if it does not, it will sooner or later get the water set down enough that it remains down. Squeeze a new sponge filter many times to enable it to drop the bubbles.
  5. Set up the air pump. Place it where you plan it to stay and cut the airline tubing so that it is lengthy enough to link the sponge filter to the air pump. After that, you can link the newly cut airline tubing's end to the spout on the air pump.
  6. In case the air pump is underneath the sponge, cut the airline tubing a few centimeters on the external section of the tank and link the check valve in between. Here, it is important to ensure that the banded side of the check valve maneuvers toward the pump. To check if it was properly set up backward, there should be no air that could enter the sponge filter.
  7. Finally, plug in the pump. It is a must to carefully inspect if there is a drip loop in the power cable. The purpose of this is to ensure that no amount of water can come to the outlet.

At this rate, there should be generous bubbles hovering to the surface, observe if it is working properly in terms of clearing the tank of any debris and must be capable of intruding any surface impurities. This way, your good bacteria will have a great hub where they could healthily thrive and reproduce.

How to care & clean?

Regular maintenance is especially required when using a sponge filter. And, the common issue associated with the use of sponge filter is its tendency to get clogged rapidly.

Generally, it is indispensable to clean the sponge every 2 weeks. Nonetheless, hinging on the type of sponge you're utilizing as well as the bioload in your tank, cleaning the sponge more often is specifically vital to consider.

When the water surrounding the sponge media starts to slow, this is already a clear indication that it is high time to clean the sponge. When removing the sponge, it is necessary to put a tiny bowl or container underneath the sponge as you take it off the tank.

Essentially, this will aid in inhibiting filthy water and residues from drawing back into the tank as you lift it off the filter. At the time the filter has been lifted off, you only have to fill up a tiny container with some used tank water. Afterward, put the sponge into the container and give it some squeezes till nothing transpires from the sponge.

Put the sponge back in the tank, discard the filthy water in the container and then add new conditioned water as required.

What is the warranty?

When it comes to product warranties, highly trusted brands offer different forms of warranties to their most valued customers; on the other hand, new manufacturers may offer limited warranties or no warranties at all. Hence, it is advised to stay away from manufacturers who sell products that are not supported by warranties.

Warranties come in different forms, so it is essential to check this as it may vary from one manufacturer to another. In general, warranties provided include a 3-year warranty, replacement parts or refunds.

Where to buy?

By good luck, most premium quality and durable sponge filters for aquariums are painless to hunt down as compared to other aquarium tools, equipment and devices out there. These can be found in breeding facilities and fish rooms since they are so economical and dependable to use.

Also, there is no need to go to other remote areas just to buy them; in fact, you can consider shopping online if you do not have much time to do the shopping in local fish or pet stores in your current region.

By shopping online such as in Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Lowes, Petco, Petsmart and other reputable online shopping sites, you will be provided with a plethora of options that come in various features, price ranges and functions. Surely, you will be stunned of the different brands available for you to select from on the web.


In conclusion, by reading all the uses and benefits, purchasing guides and the best sponge filter products for you to consider that were tackled in this post; you are now armed with enough insight regarding the brand that will best work for your requirements and aquarium keeping style.

As previously mentioned, sponge filters are capable of providing mechanical as well as biological filtration of byproducts, various sorts of dirt, and solid particulates that pollute the tank water. As you can see, this is what makes this tool a great investment to have for your aquarium.

Assuredly, by being well-informed, it won't be a challenging task for you to search for the right option that will literally cater to your needs and can help you accomplish your aquarium keeping objectives. With the right aquarium tools, equipment and device, maintaining clean and fresh tank water is not impossible for you to obtain.