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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone.

First time poster and aquarium newbie here. Please excuse me and let me know if I did anything wrong regarding the forum rules here.

I have a clear bottom tank for goldfish. In my current setup, I have an underwater powerhead attached to a sponge filter. My sponge is getting very gross, like slimy and breaking into pieces. Routine cleaning of the sponge gives me goosebumps.

I am thinking about filling the filter canister with gravel instead of a sponge refill. Is it a good idea? My thinking is as follows:

When the power head pumps water thru the canister, the water passes over the gravel to form a biological filter. Will this create an equivalence of my original sponge filter? If not, what are the major differences and pros and cons of each approach?
 

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First off :welcome:
The down sides i see to using gravel in the canister is that you are not going to catch any real small debris like you do with the sponge filter, also I do believe you will get a much larger surface area with the sponge allowing you to have a larger colony of beneficial bacteria.
 

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Ceramic rings would do the best job and provide a larger surface area than either the sponge or the gravel with the inner diameter being open or bio-balls better yet and they are made for just that purpose. They are not hard to clean and they also hold up better than the sponge.

Rose
 

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lava rock is inert. so it will not alter water chemistry.
bio rings are better but cost more.
lava rock is porous and works well. a sponge prefilter will help if using either one. as it will help toreduce detritus build up.
 

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I'd vote for ceramic rings all the way. I've been using them in my canister filter for the last 10 years and have no complaints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't think sand is a good choice because it will slow down the water flow or even clog the powerhead. I'll use lava rock for now because I found a bag of lava rocks in my shed. Thanks all for the ceramic rings suggestion. I'll keep that in mind when I shop for supply next time.
 
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