The low cost sponge filters that attach to a tank's sidewall with suction cups work great...until they don't. The problem arises when the suction cups that hold them upright harden and no longer stick to the glass. Replacement suction cups aren't easy to find and aren't cheap.
Fortunately, there is a quick and easy fix that gets these upright again. This fix works by weighing down the bottom of the filter. As long as the bottom stays down, the airline coming into the top is enough to keep things vertical.
The weight I use for these is a short length of 1" PVC pipe. PVC is tank-safe, inexpensive, and easy to work with. I attach it to the front of the filter's bottom tube with a couple tie-wraps. I'm not cutting off the excess on purpose here, and extend them out front of the filter to provide a touch more stability. It's pretty simple and as you can see free standing. My tanks are working tanks with bare glass bottoms, so the aesthetics or lack thereof of this filter aren't a problem. If you have a nicely planted tank with a substrate, you can use smaller diameter PVC, attaching it to the bottom of the filter's bottom crossbar and burying it in the gravel.
There's the repaired filter in a newly set-up tank waiting for the juveniles going into it for grow out!
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