Questions about Sponge Filters

E. Sylvanus

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I’ve been planning a naturalistic display tank for a while, and I have run into the inevitable problem: hiding the sponge filter. This tank is a 29 gallon, and I was thinking of doing a shoreline along the back and left side, with both the land and aquatic areas heavily planted.

Questions:
1) If I section off the back left corner with egg crate (cutting the shoreline into two parts around the filter “pocket”) and cover the egg crate with fabric window screen, will the sponge filter still be able to work properly?

2) Is window screen safe to use with newts, or is there a better product available? (I just want something that’s dark enough to conceal the egg crate, but that the water can flow through.)

3) Is it advisable to forego the filter altogether and rely on the plants instead?
 

JaceW/Lifer-Log

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1.shouldn’t be an issue
2. not that I know of, someone more experienced please answer this one
3.most likely yes, just make sure to test the water and change it frequently to control nitrates even with the plants you will have to get some on your own.

maybe instead of in the land area and worrying about window screen you could put it down in the right back corner. surrounded by, still with the sponge exposed to water of course, a substrate hill and java fern and maybe a crypt to conceal it.
 

E. Sylvanus

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Awesome! I’m sort of trying to find that line between the aesthetics of the display and the ability to maintain the components. I’ve done planted fish tanks before, but always with a HOB or canister, so it’s a bit of a learning process. I certainly appreciate the advice! Thank you!
 
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    I made a huge error, I’m about to cry because I don’t know why I was so stupid. I decided to clean the sponge and other stuff in my filter while I left the filter running. (I took out the parts in the filter to swish around in dirty tank water). Bc I left the filter running, all the gross stuff at the bottom of the filter filled into my axolotl tank. My tank is like brown now. I was trying to unclog something in my filter cuz it wasn’t running right and idk why I left it on I literally don’t know. I tried to take a bunch of water out snd replace it with fresh water but it’s STILL brown.
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    also my filter is like not running right. It’s not a consistent flow it’s more like little droplets of water. :( I’m so confused
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Is the stuff in my tank gonna harm my lotl? Should I just let the filter clear it up? I’m confused
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Seems to be clearing up slightly with the filter running. Axie is okay also no signs of distress or anything
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