I need new prefilters

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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
My old ATI? sponge prefilters & their lesser replacements clog too easily. They had multiple adapter options to fit many filter intakes. I can't find them now.

I have duckweed (lots!) in 2 tanks, & BBA in 1. I want to get to a once/week cleaning if I can. I'm not dealing with either very well. I do not want to have to rinse/clean them more than that. I scoop out duckweed at least that often, but, bah!

I "thought" I saved the Amazon sites for the thin Fluval filter-like sleeve 1s but I can't find them since I was "blended" into my husband's update recently. They were mostly too small for most of my filters (AC 70s & Rena 3s).

I know 2tank probably uses coarse Poret foam, I think we've discussed it.

Any help? It's driving me crazy!
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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The only ATI type prefilters I knew about were https://www.yourfishstuff.com/collections/filters/products/filter-max-pre-filter-sponges

For my XP filters I have always used the filter that came with the marineland kit for converting powerheads to reverse flow, but pretty sure that hasn't been on the market as a kit for over a decade.

But basically use https://www.marineland.com/parts/power-heads-and-pumps/penguin-power-head/core-and-adapter-660r.aspx
With

And it fits onto the end of the intake is you remove the strainer.

Hope that helps some.
 

FJB

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Jun 7, 2019
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After using various kinds of sponge pre-filters for years, this is what I use now in all my filters (Aquaclear, Penguin, Emperor and Fluval FX6) - plastic window screen and rubber bands.
Rubber bands last about 1 month, and the screen pieces 3-4 months. I bought a roll of screen several years ago, and am still going through it.
All prefilters are washed weekly (removed and cleaned) and all media squezzed in tank water weekly.
Works well for me, and I won't go back to sponges as prefilters.

prefilter comp.jpg
 
Apr 2, 2002
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You can find all the ATI prefilters, filters, adapters and spare parts here https://kensfish.com/search?q=ATI

I have used these for years until I found the Poret. I also use AquaClear sponges as prefilters. However, the ATI and the AquaClear do not last anywhere near as well as the Poret. I began using the 20 ppi and now use the 10. The nice thing is if one uses a black background on a tank you can use the black foam and it becomes much less visible. I have one blue background and in that tank I used a blue piece of Poret.

I have the ATI prefilters on all 3 canisters, on my one AC 500. I even have a plumbers H.O.T. magnum where the canister and the intake, sponged with an ATI, is at the other end.

As for how long they last: ATI sponge part is a few years as is the AC sponge. I cannot speak to how long the Poret will last because I only began using it for prefiltering a few years ago and it its still in great shape.

Very early on in the hobby I hung out in a long gone chat room. There were some very expert folks there who I now see at fish shows speaking. One such person made their living in the world of huge pumps. You know the ones when you can walk standing up in the intake pipes etc. The one thing in pounded into everyone's head was never to slow the flow of a pump by blocking the intake side, always regulate the outflow. The more pores in a sponge, the "finer" it is and the faster it will clog. The last thing you want to see is an intake sponge collapse towards the internal frame and a mere trickle or a drip coming out of the filter.

Basically, if one runs a mattenfilter you learn that most of what is considered to be handled by mechanical filtration involves organic matter and this will get mostly broken down biologically when one has massive filter media. My clearest water is in tanks where filtration media is very large.

One of the worst things about the ATII is the s=two pieces that are the internal frame for the foam. Those things break too easily. I have spares not only for them but also for the clear plastic caps one uses to seal the open end. I use the ATI prefilters on powerheasds. But I may use the sponge filter sponges with the prefilter part on a powerhead. You can also buy pre-drilled Poret for prefilter use http://www.swisstropicals.com/filtration-shop/foam-filter-cartridge/
 
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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Thank you all, I appreciate the help & links. I think I got my old coarse, now finally breaking down ATIs from Ken ~15 years ago when I lived in MA & he was local-ish...an interesting trip or 3. He's a really nice guy.

2tank, I hear you on the easily broken ATI parts. The 1's I use are adapted from the various breakages. & yeah, my 1 powerhead in use should also have a prefilter...I have what seems like pretty fine Poret foam. I haven't used it, it's a big block & I'm pretty sure it'll clog very fast, as prefilter or in filter media.

I would use AC filter sponges (again) if the "old good" sponges were still an option...& if they weren't yellowy. I'm keeping the "good" sponges for indestuctable-ness. The cheap knock off sponges are really not even close in quality & I "hear" the new AC sponges are seriously lesser too. Who can blame them for not wanting to sell sponges that last forever?...I can!

FJB, I appreciate the screen option but with my extreme duckweed/bba infestations it's not likely a good option for me going even close to a week without more cleaning. Rubber bands don't last as long for me as yours do...Different water chemistry? I dislike trying to vacuum out all the rubber bits, lol.

Right now I'm thinking I will try out the cheap "foam sleeve options" or the fine "Poret" I have (sigh)...I'm not too optimistic
 
Apr 2, 2002
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Do not use fine foam as a prefilter it will clog way too fast.

You can buy a 9"x9'x2" sheet of 10 ppi Poret for $10 + shipping. You can easily get 16 prefilters 2x2x2 and have excess left. The excess would permit you to make 4 of them a bit longer. But I have found I can make that size work on any model AC intake save the 500 where I use an ATI prefilter.

Once you cut the block use a scissors to cut into the top of it in the center. Align the scissors with either of two opposing corners and cut a slit most of the way down into it. Rotate the foam and do the same thing again, but align the scissors with the other two corners. This will create am opening slit in the foam that will grip the intake tube when you insert it. I also prune the foam edges to make them more rounded.
 
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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
That sounds like how I used AC sponges as prefilters back in the day. I know how to do that, no problems snipping corner to corner.

I saw the swisstropical site also sells Repashy foods, a bonus! I need some soon-ish. Thanks!
 

FreshyFresh

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When I had lots of java fern or setups that needed pre-filters, I also used pieces of aquaclear HOB sponge over the intakes.

I hear you though.. You really have to search for suitable coarse sponge for this purpose.
 
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