Throughout my early years of fishkeeping air-driven sponge filters were a staple, running large tanks and tiny breeding set-ups with equal ease, says Nathan Hill. So it's a delight to know that not only are they still going strong some 30-odd years on, they've even improved!
I have so much love for the basic, air-driven sponge filters and Boyu’s model comes with lovely touches. The first thing you note is the weighty base, ensuring the thing stays put — unlike some models that bounce like a washing machine filled with bricks once the air goes on.
Even better, that base comes off, giving you access to the centre tube itself. There’s space in that tube and flow going through it, so the wise aquarist will immediately be thinking either biomedia or some chemical resin in there to really polish off the water.
Remove the top plate and you can pull off the top foam. There’s a nice, fine mesh on the foam, so it’s not going to guzzle up and trap those delicate fry. Take it away, give it a squeeze in old tankwater and it’s ready to go again.
The uplift pipe is clever and removes for when you want to connect your air line to the nipple that sits directly at the centre.
At the same time nothing sits so loose as to fall apart once submerged and running — which is a big failing in flimsier competitors.
It’s quite sturdy and there’s very little chance of anything splitting through a bit of rough handling.
My favourite feature? It doesn’t have to strictly be air-driven either. If you want more oomph, connect a powerhead to that 23mm uplift pipe. Get some hosing and connect it to your external as an in-tank prefilter.
Alternatively, connect it to the pump in a canopy-mounted filter. There are many possibilities with this versatile little lump.
It’s not even that big. I have the medium model which sits with a diameter of under 8cm/ 3.1”and a height under 19cm/7.5”.
Boyu deserves a Nobel prize for fishkeeping for this one. Costing just over a fiver, it’ll never be obsolete — lasting and lasting.
It’s the perfect back-up/breeder’s kit and running costs are negligible.
I reckon at a push this’ll just about maintain a lightly stocked 60l/13.2 gal tank for pennies, so really could be the ultimate budget goodie!
Price: £5.49, but smaller and larger models are available at differing prices. More info from All Pond Solutions.
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