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Matt- what's the difference in the #1, #2, #3. Do they each have the same size tubing intake? If it's just sponge size, wouldn't it make sense to get the largest so that it will clog the least fast- or would the drag be too much on the pump? I have a 29 HOB and have been using little nylon bags. Wondering if these would clog less fast?
I'm pretty sure they all have the same size tubing and adapters but I only have experience with the #1 on Aquaclear minis (Aquaclear 20 I think is what it is called now). I'd probably match it to the filter/tank size versus getting the largest size sponge they have. It does make sense to get a larger sponge but like you said, it may be too much resistance for the filter. I do imagine a larger sponge will decrease the flow quite a bit once it starts to clog.

What filter are you using on your 29g and is it a shrimp only tank? If memory serves me correctly, I only had to rinse mine out about once a month but I only had shrimp in the tanks.
 

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I have a 29g (with blueberry shrimp), which is one of those kits from petsmart. It's an HOB. On my 10g (cherries and crystals), I have an aquaclear 20.

Do you think they work better than the nylon bag? I too have to rinse the bags about 1 time a week or more.
Hmm, I'd go with the #2 for the 29g since it is rated for up to 40g tanks. The #1 should work great with the 10g tank and Aquaclear 20. that was what I had on all of my shrimp tanks before I switched over to air driven sponges.

I've never used a nylon bag but I have tried old pantyhose and the sponges definitely work better than the pantyhose. I've never had much of a problem with removing the sponges from the tank like dgphelps mentioned. You do get some detritus/mulm that comes off of the sponge but in a very short time my Aquaclears had it filtered out of the water again and all I used in them was sponges.

Ken's prices are so good you could buy two of each size and try them out on the different tanks. If the larger one doesn't work out on the 10g tank you'll have a good excuse to go out and buy a couple more tanks since you already have prefilters for them ;)
 

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Thanks for the heads up on the price Matt. And while you were posting the suggestion about buying the different sizes, I was doing just that. I bought a #1 and a #3 so when I get them I will post and let everyone know the difference.
Hey no problem, Ken's Fish has some great prices and ships quick too. Definitely let us know about the difference in pre-filters, I'm curious since I have only used the #1.

As far as a bigger filter causing more resistance, it should be just the opposite. I was thinking more surface area should mean less drag unless the diameter is quite a bit larger and it has farther to suck through. And a 90% clogged large filter won't have any more resistance than a 90% clogged small filter. It will be interesting to see how long each one lasts between cleanings.
Brian
You may be right, especially considering the #3 uses a reticulated sponge. Now that I think about it, I use the #3 prefilters on my Magnum 350 in my plant tank and I use two of them on the Fluval 304s I have on my 125g Tanganyikan tank. The reticulated foam on the #3s are much more porous than the #1's. I can go 2-3 weeks without cleaning the pre-filter on my plant tank and I've went up to a month on the 125g. I still have #1s running on a couple of 10g tanks and they do need cleaned every couple of weeks but they are now on fish/plant tanks instead of Shrimp only tanks.

ATI's Site has a couple of pics and a better explanation of the filters than I can provide ;)
 

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i have a penguin mini. ya know how on the end of the inlet tube thers a little cone that keeps large debris out of the filter? would i just take that off and put the sponge in its place?
That is exactly what I did with my Aquaclear 20's. There is no need for the intake strainer section, the sponge now takes care of that.
 

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I will have to wait and see how long it takes to clog up, but with the bigger filter I expect it to last awhile. I highly recommend this filter.
Brian
How has the pre-filter been working for you so far? Given my experience with them I don't imagine you have had to clean it quite yet unless you just want to keep it looking pretty :)
 

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The reticulated foam in the III is pretty nice. It seems to allow the smallest particles to pass through and get captured by your filter media but keeps the larger particles (and baby shrimp) out of the filter itself. Are you finding you need to do less filter maintenance as well?
 

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So after reading this about the real estate, I'm wondering how the people with the "I" version are holding up? How often to clean. Or maybe I should just get the "III".
I used the "I" on my shrimp tanks for about a year and only had to clean them about once a month. I now use air driven sponges (same size as the one) and they have been in use for about a year as well. I sold the "I's" to a fellow SWOAPE member who is still using them on his Aquaclear 20s. So far they have held up almost 2 years.

I have had one in operation on a 10g (with an Aquaclear 20) that has Endlers in it for over two years now. It does need to be cleaned more frequently in Endler tank than in the Shrimp tanks, about every 2-3 weeks versus once a month. I noticed this pre-filter did not flow as well after a cleaning in old tank water so I soaked it overnight in a 1:3 bleach:water solution. It did not harm the sponge (though it will kill off the beneficial bacteria) and returns it to like new condition. After soaking in the bleach:water solution the flow through the "I" is as good as it is without the prefilter on the tank. I'm guessing it will hold up at least another year or so and the sponge alone is very cheap to replace should you need to.
 

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Thanks MatPat! What one are you running on the Fluval 304? just one sponge each? I'm guessing you have 2 304's on the tank?
No problem, I'm glad to help. I'm running one III on each of my Fluvals and yes I have two 304s on the 125g. I have a second III I can connect to each of the current ones on the filter but I've been to lazy to do it ;) I'm not sure if it would really help much but I guess it wouldn't hurt.

Well I'm planning on making an order from Ken's. I cant really see how a shrimplet could make it into a "III" sponge but who knows as I have not seen this in person.
I'm not sure if a shrimp can make it through the III but I guess anything is possible. If you are using a Fluval 304, I would think even if they got into the filter the sponges in the Fluval would keep them away from the impeller. I've had cherries live in my Magnums for at least a week but they can't bypass the filter material to get to the impeller.

I also was going to buy some for my Fluval 304, so I saw the pic about stacking them together and was wondering if they come like that? Does the bottom have a plug or something that you just take out and connect to another sponge? Or was that setup homemade by NoSvOrAx?
The bottom does have a plug and they come with all the necessary connectors to link them together like the one in the pic. They also have a separate III that is basically the sponge and the two pieces that go inside the sponge so you can connect it to a III you already have running. Saves a little bit of cash since you don't get all the "connectors" with it...However, they would connect "in line", making one long III, versus the setup in the pic.

So I was thinking about buying 3 number III's(2 for the Fluval 304 and 1 for the AC20) but maybe I should get 2 III's and 1 "II" just incase?[/quote]
I would probably get the IIIs but they are cheap enough you could add on a II just to see which one works better for your situation.
 

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I was thinking about 2 number"III"'s for the Fluval 304 but I dont like the way they are connected in series. I think making an upside down "T" with them would be better since the series layout seems that the past of least resistance in the 1st one, then when it clogs it would be the next one, ect.. With 2 in a "T" shape they both would be equal in restriction so should clog evenly. I just have to locate the magic "T" piece to make it work.
I agree with your thinking but when the first one clogs you can clean only that one, keeping the beneficial bacteria the second one has developed. Simply swap the second one into the position of the first one then put the cleaned one back on the filter. Much less of an impact on your bacteria colony this way though it probably isn't much to worry about on a planted tank, the plants take care of the ammonia produced by the fish.

I'll prob buy 2 for it(304), and just use 1 for now, and then if I find the "T" adapter and notice issues with just the one "III" then I'lll mod it as described above. Although Space in the 55g is at a premium also so hopefully 1 will work or I'll just run the "long" one made from 2 sponges. I guess we shall see.
One has been working pretty well for me for about the past six months or so. I'm not sure they make a "T" fitting for these pre-filters but you may be able to rig one up with parts from the hardware store.
 
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