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AAP Filter Max Aquarium Sponge Pre Filter;
Fits HOB, Canister, more

For improved bio filtration, improved aquarium filter efficiency (especially HOB filters).
The AAP Filter-Max Sponge pre-filters prevent fry, debris, and other material from being trapped in an aquarium filter intake.

Click on Desired Product/Information (For Faster Site Navigation):
• Filter Max 1
• Filter Max 2
• Filter Max 3
• Filter Max 1/3 Combination
Filter Max 2/3 Combination
Replacement Parts
Pre-Filter Installation Info (right side bar)

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AAP, ATI Filter Max

AAP MeWe Page
AAP MeWe Page

We are the COMPLETE and MOST experienced seller of ATI Filter Max Products with over THREE Decades of hands on experience and in in depth articles to back up our products!

Also beware of sellers of similar Chinese made sponges without the patented design being marketed to just slip over your HOB or Canister Filter strainer, these are VASTLY less effective than the Filter Max Patented design which uses the strainers to hold open the entire sponge surface area.
Professional experience over decades of use (& experiments) has shown that simply placing a sponge over a filter strainer only utilizes a small area of the sponge and results in clogging much more quickly!


• Prevents debris such as dead fish and plant material from clogging the intake by distributing suction evenly down the length of the sponge.
• Maintains the biological filtration when the main filter is changed or cleaned.
• Vastly increases bio filtration capacity over many standard Aquarium Power Filters (HOB filters).
• Can be used with most power heads as a temporary or permanent filter in aquariums, isolation tanks, holding tanks, etc.

Professional Aquarium and Pond Filter Experience • Prevents small or baby fish from being suctioned into the main filter
• Prevents anemone and invertebrates from being suctioned into the filter.
• Traps larger waste particles, mechanically cleaning the water
• Can be used with most outside filters, canister filters and power heads.
• Increases depth of HOB filter intake by up to 6 inches (15 cm.) for better over all circulation (it is still recommended to have more than one independent filter or at least a separate air stone for best over all filtration results).

• Increases longevity of filter cartridges (often by 300% +) of filter the Filter Max is attached to by removing a considerable amount of debris prior to entry into the filter, this in turn saves money with less filter cartridges purchased and less clogging hassles (especially with high efficiency filters such as the Rena Smart Filter).

• Includes three adapters for use with various main filter intake tubes.
• Easy to clean. Just rinse and squeeze in used tank water
• Can be used in the vertical or horizontal position.

• Available in three sizes

Aquarium Pre Filter in aquarium• A must for HOB (hang on back power filters), such as Via Aqua, Penguin (older models), SunSun, AquaTech, Aqueon or Whisper (or most others with “round” intake).
As well the Filter Max fits all canister filters with round intakes we have ever attempted such as the Eheim, Via Aqua, Fluval & many others (sometimes a little DIY ability is needed).

These pre-filters retain and improve biological filtration even when HOB filter media is changed. These pre filters also extend intervals between filter cartridge changes, saving money (and contrary to some opinions, improves the efficiency of cartridges by removing more coarse debris before entering the filter, thus allowing the cartridge to remove more fine debris)

• The Entire Patented Filter Max is recommended for best results based on AAP's founder's vast experience with this product, use of just the sponge often results in 1/4 the capacity of the sponge being utilized.

• Excellent to use with CO2 generators to better diffuse CO2 into the aquarium (you use these filters to diffuse the CO2 bubbles into the aquarium)

• Please note that in each Filter Max suggested Flow Rate we state "Actual Flow Rate", this means the flow in gph or lph that the filter or pump actually produces with all filter media & head pressure added.
Example; the Filstar XPS is Rated at 250 gph, but its actual flow rate is 142 gph as normally configured on an aquarium

The picture below shows a variety of ways to connect to less than standard intakes (which are more and more common of late). Click to enlarge.

Filter Max intake connection examples

For more examples, please see the right side bar Pre-Filter Installation Info

(Click on pictures for a larger view.

Filter Max 1

*Complete Filter-Max 1 (I):

• Sponge size 2 inches by 2.75 inches
• Tank size: up to 20 gallon
• Surface area: 30.6 sq. in.
• Suggested Actual Flow Rate under 130 gph

Price: $7.49 Jump to Shopping Cart

Filter Max 2

*Complete Filter-Max 2 (II):

• Sponge size 4 inches by 2.75 inches
• Tank size: up to 40 gallon
• Surface area: 49.4 sq. in.
• Suggested Actual Flow Rate 130 to 200 gph

Price: $8.99 Jump to Shopping Cart

Filter Max 3

*Complete Filter-Max 3 (III):

• Sponge size 4 inches by 2.75 in
• Tank size: over 40 gallon
• Surface area: 49.4 sq. in.
(Note: the Filter Max #3 differs from the #2 not in sponge size, but in design, allowing a higher flow rate)
• Suggested Actual Flow Rate over 200 gph

Price: $10.69 Jump to Shopping Cart

Filter Max 1, 3 Combination

*Complete Filter-Max 1 & 3 Combo:

• A combination of the Filter Max #3 and Filter Max #1 to get the best of both filters (fine particulate filtration and higher flow rates).
• 1.5 x Sponge size 6 inches by 2.75 in
• Tank size: over 40 gallon
• Surface area: 80.0 sq. in.
• Suggested Actual Flow Rate over 200 gph

Price: $16.59 Jump to Shopping Cart

Filter Max 2, 3 Combination

*Complete Filter-Max 2 & 3 Combo:

• A combination of the Filter Max #3 and Filter Max #2 to get the best of both filters (fine particulate filtration and higher flow rates).
• 2x Sponge size 8 inches by 2.75 in
• Tank size: over 60 gallon
• Surface area: 98.8 sq. in.
• Suggested Actual Flow Rate over 200 gph

Price: $17.99 Jump to Shopping Cart

The Filter Max Adapts to most all round intakes (& Teflon tape can be used to make a more snug fit on less tight connections), here are the sizes of the adapters:

• 1-1/4” OD. 1-1/4” ID
• 1-1/8” OD, 1” ID
• 5/8” OD, ½” ID
• 7/8” OD, Ύ” ID

All adapters can be connected to either the outside or the inside of the intake pipe for your filter, whatever works best.

NOTE (from AAP founder Carl S.):
There is NOT one round intake that I personally have not been able to connect a Filter Max together with, although sometimes with some Teflon Tape was used for a more snug fit.
I even once (with much modification, silicone, and Teflon tape), connected a Filter Max to a square intake on an Emperor filter (please do not purchase a Filter Max thinking this will be a simple DIY modification to adapt it to a square filter intake, as it is not)

Also note; that the replacement sponges are NOT meant to be used by themselves on intakes, etc.
Our long time professional use in literally 1000s of applications has shown that when a sponge is simply "slipped over" an intake, instead of used with the full "skeleton" of the patented Filter Max filter, the amount of debris trapped is considerably less!!

Filter Max Replacement Parts:

PLEASE NOTE that all these parts are initially included with your Filter Max, these are only "spare parts"

• Filter Max #1 Replacement Sponge - $1.89

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• Filter Max #2 Replacement Sponge - $2.69

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• Filter Max #3 Replacement Sponge - $3.89

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• Set of TWO Filter Max Elbows- $2.99

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• End Cap for Filter Max- $1.59

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• Set of Three Replacement Adapters- $2.99

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All other parts that fit the AAP/Hydro Sponge Sponge Filters Systems such as male/female Strainers are sold on our main AAP/Hydro Sponger Filter Page:

AAP/Hydro Sponge Filter Parts

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World Class Aquarium & Pond Information

Why Purchase from American Aquarium Products


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AAP Tidal Aquarium HOB Filter

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ATI Hydro Sponge Aquarium FilterATI Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filters
ATI Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filters for bio and mechanical aquarium filtration. New Hydrosponge Pro filter for high bio load tanks.
Also replacement sponges and parts for Hydro Sponge

Economy Aquarium HOB FilterSunSun Premium Economy Aquarium HOB Filter
The SunSun HBL-501 & 701 combines Dual (701) cartridges AND Dual (701) Bio Sponges for reliability and a price that beats many filters of half the capacity and double the price

Rena, API Filstar Aquarium FilterRena XP Canister Filters
The BEST Canister Filter at ANY price; Rena XPS, XPM, XPL, XPXL

HYDRO POND FILTERS For Hydro Pond Filters, follow this link
Hydro Pond Filters are essentially extra large Filter Max Pre-Filters
Excellent for use in High Flow Aquarium Sumps, Central Systems or similar.

Submersible Aquarium Power Head PumpSubmersible Aquarium Power Head Pump
Superior to Hagen or Marineland, yet more economical to purchase.


Occasionally, even with all the variations available with the three adapters plus the elbows provided with the Filter Max Pre-Filter, the filter does not fit as snugly as desired.
The above picture displays a SunSun HBL-501 Hang On Aquarium Filter where some Teflon Tape was added to make the fit more "snug".

The picture below shows a variety of ways to connect to less than standard intakes (which are more and more common of late). Click to enlarge.
Filter Max intake connection examples

Filter Max or  Hydro-Pond Pre-filter mounted to aquarium or pond pump

A Filter Max can also be mounted to a power head/water pump such as the Rio Plus 1000 pump shown in this diagram/picture ABOVE & BELOW using the parts that are provided by both the Filter Max and Rio Pump (a Filter Max #3 is recommended, although the #2 can work as well).
The picture above also shows the larger AAP HydroPond Prefilter too mounted to a Rio Plus Pump.

This application works well for using your Pump to run other devices/filters such as a Fluidized Sand Bed Filter.
(Click to enlarge the picture)
Rio 1000 Pump with Filter Max 2 Sponge Pre-filter

For Further Sponge Filter Use Information, including Pre-Filters:
Sponge Filtration



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