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 How does it function?

As mentioned previously, you connect air to an intake tube which pumps water from the tank into the box. The water flows across the box and exits the opposite end. Two screen sizes are available for the outlets  back to the tank that are small enough to keep most cichlid fry from going through. The intake is adjustable two ways. Firstly, an air valve is included that lets you set the volume of air (and thus water flow) going into the unit. Secondly, you can adjust the water outlet into the box. I set the air/water flow high to fill the box initially and then turned it down once I got ready to put some mouthbrooder fry in the box. On the tank side, the intake includes a strainer screen which keeps any larger items from entering the box.

The whole set-up reminds me very much of the early air-driven outside filters I used when I was a kid. 

How well does it work?

Short answer: Pretty darn good. Fry in the box get a continuous volume of water and seem to grow well. Water conditions in the box are just as good (or bad) as the tank, so it is one less thing to worry about. If you do a water change on your tank, the box doesn't drain back into the tank. When you refill your tank, this air-driven box just starts working again.

What could be better?

I don't have many complaints. Like any air-driven device, noise could be a problem if the flow is high. Unlike a sponge filter, there isn't room in the intake tube to add an airstone to quiet it. However, in my fishroom, I found the noise level acceptable.

The box seems strong enough, but I don't know if it would survive a drop to a basement floor.


If you are limited in space and need a good place to raise some fry, the Marina Hang-on Holding and Breeding Box might be attractive to you. 

Marina Hang-on Holding and Breeding Box


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