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shedra
12-22-2009, 03:20 PM
Good Mornin'...it is time for me to change out the 3 inserts (foam, charcoa, and bio-Max...in my Aqua-Clear power filter...

Are there a certain steps I need to go thru to do this?

I inherited a 75 gallon aquarium from a friend and I am new to this aquarium maintainence on this huge tank.. It is a freshwater aqua. with just 2 catfish-type bottom scavangers...and 11 fancy tail goldfish...I want to eventually graduate to some slow moving angel fish and whatever is compatible with them...but for now I really need to know how to go about changing out the old filter inserts and replacing them with the new ones....I have them here at the house...but wanted to be sure I do it right..

I need to know if I should turn the filter off...and remove all 3 inserts...or what?

Any help would be appreciated...
thanks
sherri.

annageckos
12-22-2009, 03:48 PM
Don't get rid of the foam. If you throw that out you are throwing out your bacteria colony. Just get a bucket of tank water and sqeeze the foam out in that and reuse. I run AquaClear filters and that is what I have always done. Also you don't need carbon. The bio max never needs to be replaced, it also houses some bacteria too. If it is time to replace the sponge(it is fallling apart or clogs too quickly) get a new one, put in the filter with the old one. Then after a couple of weeks you can throw the old one away. Don't go by the directions to replace media, they just want your $$$$. I replace the foam insert maybe once a year, and that is only if needed. Drop the carbon, it isn't doing you any good.

shedra
12-22-2009, 04:40 PM
Thanks for the quick reply...I have another question while I have you here ....How often should I squeeze out the foam and put it back in...? Would it be good to do that with my monthly water exchange? the first time I exchanged the water...after a couple or 3 weeks....I only removed 1/3 and replaced it...this next time should I remove 1/2 of the water and replace that amount?

Would you recommend a plecostomos(sp) cat? I have no algae on the glass yet..but I do have some of that orange/rust looking "coating" on my power heads (2), and on the tips of the artificial greenery....Is that iron? we have well water....


Thanks again,
sherri

stevezx2002
12-22-2009, 04:48 PM
I agree with annageckos, just rinse/squeeze the foam about once a month in the old tank water when you do a water change. you will be amazed at how dirty it can make a 5 gallon bucket of water. I have never used the carbon, it is mostly for removing chemicals. The Bio-max never really needs anything it is there just to house the benificial bacteria.

As far as how to take the media out to clean it, I usually do this near the end of my waterchange. I unplug the filter to keep it from pushing any debris that may be under the basket into the tank. Remove the lid, grab the two gray handles, pull up on the right on first to release the left one from its hold down tab. Usually after I take the media basket out I use the hose off of my gravel vac to suc out the bottom of the filter and around the impeller. the filter will continue to fill itself aslong as the intake is still under water so you can vacume it out as much as you want. After you rinse the sponge and get most of the big stuff out just reinstall the media and plug the filter back in.
I may be a little OCD with my filter cleaning, but it works for me. I do this on my AC 110, 30 and 20, never replaced any of the media so far but I have had them less than a year.

I usually do a 20-25 % water change every week on my 75. and I use a MagFloat for keeping the glass clean.

aspects
12-22-2009, 04:56 PM
Aside from a couple minor things, Anna hit the nail right on the head.
The onlt things I would add are that the bio-max actually houses the beneficial bacteria. While the sponge will have some as well, the bio-max provides a much better surface area for tthe cultures, so this is where you need to be careful not to disturb them.
Also, the sponge should last you well over a year. I've onle ever changed the sponges in my AC110s after about 5 years.

here's how I clean nine. Maybe this will help you.

1. Siphon some tank water into a bucket. depending in the size of the bucket, you will want a few inches of water in there at least.
2. Unplug your filter
(if you have an air pump and air stone, I would suggest putting it in the tank at this time. At least until you have an idea of how long it will take you to clean your filter. once you get a system in place, it will only take you a couple of minutes. )
3. Remove the media basket from the filter and place the whole thing in the bucket of tank water.
4. either siphon out or just take the filter off the tank and dump out whatever water and waste is in the bottom of the filter.
(during this step, I usually take the entire filter over to the sink for a quick rinse and scrub down. This is not necessary during every WC, but I would suggest doing it at least once in a while. I do it almost every time just because to me it makes more sense to just clean it while its already shut down)
5. give the media and the plastic basket a good rinse in the bucket of tank water.
Dunk the bio-max a few times. Wring out the sponge. And give the plastic basket a good wipe down with your hand.
6. Reassemble your media basket (sponge on the bottom, bio-max on top) and place back in the filter.
7. Fill both your tank, and the back of the filter to the appropriate level
8. Plug the filter back in.

it might seem like a lot of steps, but its actually extremely easy. It takes me between 5 and 10 minutes to do all this, including washing the filter and a 25% WC.

aspects
12-22-2009, 05:01 PM
Also, you should be doing WC weekly, not monthly.
Keep a test kit handy to check your nitrate readings between WC.

(sorry for the typos and late response. I'm posting from my blackberry, so it took a little while to type that out )

shedra
12-22-2009, 05:02 PM
Thank you for your post also Steve...and as with Annageckos, I have a coouple questions for you also since I have you here...
#1....not being "computer literate all that much"..what is meant by OCD?
#2...AC 110. 30 & 20??? (again, sorry I don't know what you mean by this.
(my mind is a terrible waste) <g>
#3 what is a mag float? I am new to this aquarium business ...except for the goldfish I had in a goldfisdh bowl when I was a kid...and a betta about 12 years ago.

Again, thanks
sherri

aspects
12-22-2009, 05:09 PM
OCD = obsessive compulsive disorder . Not aquaria related (actually for a lot of us I guess it is. Lol. )

AC20/30/110 = model numbers of the AquaClear power filters.

aspects
12-22-2009, 05:10 PM
OCD = obsessive compulsive disorder . Not aquaria related (actually for a lot of us I guess it is. Lol. )

AC20/30/110 = model numbers of the AquaClear power filters.

shedra
12-22-2009, 05:44 PM
Aside from a couple minor things, Anna hit the nail right on the head.
The onlt things I would add are that the bio-max actually houses the beneficial bacteria. While the sponge will have some as well, the bio-max provides a much better surface area for tthe cultures, so this is where you need to be careful not to disturb them.
Also, the sponge should last you well over a year. I've onle ever changed the sponges in my AC110s after about 5 years.

here's how I clean nine. Maybe this will help you.

1. Siphon some tank water into a bucket. depending in the size of the bucket, you will want a few inches of water in there at least.
2. Unplug your filter
(if you have an air pump and air stone, I would suggest putting it in the tank at this time. At least until you have an idea of how long it will take you to clean your filter. once you get a system in place, it will only take you a couple of minutes. )
3. Remove the media basket from the filter and place the whole thing in the bucket of tank water.
4. either siphon out or just take the filter off the tank and dump out whatever water and waste is in the bottom of the filter.
(during this step, I usually take the entire filter over to the sink for a quick rinse and scrub down. This is not necessary during every WC, but I would suggest doing it at least once in a while. I do it almost every time just because to me it makes more sense to just clean it while its already shut down)
5. give the media and the plastic basket a good rinse in the bucket of tank water.
Dunk the bio-max a few times. Wring out the sponge. And give the plastic basket a good wipe down with your hand.
6. Reassemble your media basket (sponge on the bottom, bio-max on top) and place back in the filter.
7. Fill both your tank, and the back of the filter to the appropriate level
8. Plug the filter back in.

it might seem like a lot of steps, but its actually extremely easy. It takes me between 5 and 10 minutes to do all this, including washing the filter and a 25% WC.



Thanks so much for all these step by step instructions...because that is exactly what I need..."step by step"...I am like that also when explaining something, and have to tell the person, that I know this seems complicated, but I like to "spell it out" so the receiver isn't standing there scratching their heads saying [what?]....

I am printing all this info out that everybody is giving me and will put it in a folder...

Thanks,
sherri

shedra
12-22-2009, 05:46 PM
OCD = obsessive compulsive disorder . Not aquaria related (actually for a lot of us I guess it is. Lol. )

AC20/30/110 = model numbers of the AquaClear power filters.

Ok gotcha! I am like that something will come to my mind and off I go...typing what is "there" at the moment or I will forget it. So you are liable to run into some of my "tongue in cheek" comments as I type...no harm meant. just me and my mind. :)

stevezx2002
12-22-2009, 05:46 PM
A mag float is an aquarium glass cleaning tool that has a handle on the outside of the tank and a scrubber on the inside of the tank. Both pieces have magnets in them that lets you move the scrubber all around the inside of the tank to wipe off alge, water spots, or anything else that is on the glass without the need to put your arms in the tank.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=4083

shedra
12-22-2009, 05:52 PM
Ok steve...I have seen those...when you said float...I was thinking of something you leave in the tank and it cleans. "duh" <g>

I was going to mark this "solved" but don't see where that option is..

Thanks everyone...
all good answers for my questions...Think I will stick around ..

sherri