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Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. Default Let's Talk HOB "Cartridge" Media...


    0 Not allowed!
    Seasoned hobbyists will, of course, know the stringent rule when using one of Hagen's coveted "AquaClear" HOBs with regard to its media...that is, never throw away your sponge save if it's on its last thread (would take an AWFULLY long time) or your biological media (i.e. BioMax rings/pellets/noodles or whatever you're using in that place), and instead go to rinse/dunk it in removed tank water...however, the situation becomes a bit more complex when talking about HOBs that take these "cartridge" forms of media, such as the Marinelands, Tetras and Aqueons...

    Indeed, pro hobbyists will advise against using such filters strictly for the inconvenience of needing to constantly replace the cartridge media (according to the manufacturer), but I have had some luck with the Aqueon line of HOBs and actually like them...they put out a ton of water return flow and are self-priming due to an in-water pump system. That being said, the maintenance of these HOBs has always bothered and confused me in the same vain; Aqueon claims that the catridges should be removed and thrown away after about six or so weeks or when flow is so backed up from debris the filter has a noticeable reduced performance exhibition...their explanation for not needing to worry about throwing away beneficial bacteria? With their line of QuietFlow filters come "bio-grids" and "diffuser grids" which are supposed to grow and house the bacteria supply -- and which are not recommended by the company to be rinsed or otherwise cleaned in any way because of this -- thus allowing the actual cartridge pads to be discarded without fear of going into a mini-cycle...

    Okay, so all that said, I am wondering if media such as this -- cartridges with carbon and floss -- should be routinely changed out when they're really gross and overstuffed or if they, too, can be dunked and rinsed just like the AquaClear media...the thing with the carbon cartridges is that after awhile, the carbon is exhausted and I have heard that this can leech toxins back into the water if not removed fast enough. On the other hand, I have heard that there's no such thing as "poisoning by old carbon" -- I understand the reasoning behind modern hobbyists turning away from using carbon as any kind of media source unless removal of medication or toxic odors are necessary, but let's just say for a minute there are still hobbyists like me out there that like to run HOBs like these Aqueons with the carbon cartridges...what should the maintenance schedule be like? Do these things really need to be removed and replaced every six or so weeks like the company says, or can I get away with doing what we all do with our AquaClear media -- that is, remove the pads and simply dunk and swish around in removed tank water just to loosen the debris hanging on? Is there any danger of carbon "leeching" something back into the tank when exhausted?

    If these cartridges can indeed be reused over and over, just cleaning by rinsing in removed tank water, how long can this/should this go on for...like with the AquaClears, until they're "falling apart"?

    Let's get some thoughts!

  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by ClinicaTerraLTD View Post
    Is there any danger of carbon "leeching" something back into the tank when exhausted?
    No, at least not under the conditions in our aquariums. We use activated carbon in the water treatment industry as biomedia for bacterial treatment of drinking water just as we do in our fish tanks. Also, from all the research I've done on activated carbon, the only way for the carbon to leech would be under extreme conditions such as highly acidic or basic water.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by funkman262 View Post
    No, at least not under the conditions in our aquariums. We use activated carbon in the water treatment industry as biomedia for bacterial treatment of drinking water just as we do in our fish tanks. Also, from all the research I've done on activated carbon, the only way for the carbon to leech would be under extreme conditions such as highly acidic or basic water.
    Thank you for the prompt reply, funk...

    So are you suggesting I can continue to rinse and dunk old cartridges over and over again to reuse them instead of constantly changing them out per the manufacturer? What did you mean by "basic water"? I only ask because I think that...well...that's what I, and millions of others, use!

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    In water chemistry, acidic refers to water with a pH closer to zero and basic water has a pH closer to 14. Neutral water, which more closely resembles what most of us have, has a pH of 7.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hmmmmmm.....okay....so are you basically saying I would have to get a pH reading of my water in order to determine if the carbon is going to affect any kind of "leeching" process back into the tank...or can I simply continue rinsing these cartridges without much worry of any toxic carbon getting out once exhausted?

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    No, sorry I wasn't clear. In the environment that we keep our fish, you would never need to worry about the carbon leeching. If the water is acidic or basic enough to start leeching anything then your fish and anything else in your tank would be dead. So forget the science talk and just know that there's nothing to be concerned about.

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by funkman262 View Post
    No, sorry I wasn't clear. In the environment that we keep our fish, you would never need to worry about the carbon leeching. If the water is acidic or basic enough to start leeching anything then your fish and anything else in your tank would be dead. So forget the science talk and just know that there's nothing to be concerned about.
    Thank you; so, in the context of the topic of my thread, I CAN re-use these cartridges by rinsing them in removed tank water during basic maintenance (until they show signs of physically falling apart)?

    Also -- I have been told that carbon-based filter media can become nitrate (or maybe it was nitrite) factories from exhausted carbon leeching toxins back into the tank...you disagree with this wholeheartedly?

  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    another suggestion: pull out the carbon after a month and add some bio-media inside the cartridge if you're gonna use it for long periods of time.
    Thar she blows!!!

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by ClinicaTerraLTD View Post
    Thank you; so, in the context of the topic of my thread, I CAN re-use these cartridges by rinsing them in removed tank water during basic maintenance (until they show signs of physically falling apart)?
    Those filter cartridges can't be reused forever because it gets clogged to the point where the water will pass over the cartridge instead of through it, even if regularly rinsing it. That's why it's best to use a filter that allows for a separate biomedia cartridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClinicaTerraLTD View Post
    Also -- I have been told that carbon-based filter media can become nitrate (or maybe it was nitrite) factories from exhausted carbon leeching toxins back into the tank...you disagree with this wholeheartedly?
    I've never heard that. Filters in general can become nitrAte factories if not properly maintained, but it has nothing to do with the carbon leeching. This is because they trap debris/waste which decomposes in the filter pad creating ammonia which is converted to nitrate. If a filter is not cleaned out on a regular schedule then more and more waste will build up. By cleaning out the filter and removing the excess debris, it's like preemptively doing a water change because you're removing the nitrates before they had a chance to form. It's the same reason people clean the bottom of the tank with a gravel vac. Having the debris in that form is completely harmless (although it may look bad) but it will eventually break down causing nitrate and other pollutants. On the contrary, I never clean the bottom of my tank because it's heavily planted and the waste at the bottom will just be fertilizer for my plants.

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Over here in Europe this internal filter is very popular for small tanks:

    aqua-flow-50-filter-100-l-h.jpg

    Comes in various sizes, dirt cheap and works well. With these you just pop off the bottom and you can get at the sponge. There's a hollow in there filled with carbon and plugged with some sponge. Most knowledgable people just chuck the carbon and replace with some small glass sinter balls. Maintenance is easy enough, draw some tank water, shake out the ceramics in the bucket. Squeeze the sponge a bit and reassemble. My daughter's shrimp tank runs on one of these.

    If a cartridge doesn't allow for easy disassembly then in my opinion it's not a viable solution for any serious aquarist.

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