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Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default Importance of filter maintenance

    2 Not allowed!
    I need to confess - I just cleaned my cannister filter after...let's say it's been way too long. I used to routinely clean it every 3 mos or so and the whole process took about 30-45 min - a few buckets of tank water to squeeze out my sponges, replace the pillow stuffing, etc.

    This time, there was so much gunk build up, it took me 4 buckets of tank water and several buckets of dechlorinated water just to clean the sponges - then I disconnected the hoses and that took time as well. I kept thinking about how easy it was when I did all this regularly and felt bad that my fish were in an environment without a properly functioning filtration system - after all, I set this whole thing up to ensure I keep my fish alive and maintain a clean home for them. My tank isn't even fully stocked so I guess I figured "how bad could it have gotten?" - bad thinking.

    I went away for a few days and when I returned, all their color was gone and they were pretty listless - that's what gave me a clue - 3 days away shouldn't be so bad. After I took care of the filter and after there was more fresh water in the tank, they all perked up. This is just a post to encourage people to not be lazy about tank/filter maintenance - it really does make a difference.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!

    One advantage of running a small canister like I do is that I'm forced to do maintenance every 3-4 weeks.
    Anyone running any kind of external I'd advice to get a hose brush. Cheap as chips, especially if you get one via ebay and a hose clean twice a year seriously improves filter performance.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Lots of people have spoken about flushing them out in the shower or with a hose outside but getting a brush is next on my list : )

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for that imma24...My canister was set up Sept. 1, so I have a scheduled reminder on my PC calender for a cleaning on Dec. 1...then, I will re-schedule again
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    There's a 60 inch length brush on the bay for very decent prices.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    And, the same applies to HOBs. Not just the intake tubes and filter media, but also unscrew the impeller/motor housing from the U-tube and clean the impeller and its blades, and inside the chamber in which it rests. Gunk can build up in there, too. And the walls of the large box which houses the media can also get cruddy, along with the smaller box and platform surrounding the U-tube to which the intake tubes are attached.

    It's nice (necessary) to have a tiny impeller brush, several Q-Tips to get into small crevices, paper towels and a nice long, flexible filter brush for those tubes and hoses. In addition to flushing things out, which alone can't remove the more stubborn, stuck-on stuff.

    Yep, nitrates can build up bigtime when the filter is dirty. Not to mention impeding the flow.

    A good balance needs to be maintained, however. Cleaning filters too often can deplete the supply of beneficial bacteria and cause ammonia spikes. Overcleaning can get you into trouble as much as undercleaning.

    Your post is a nice reminder. Thanks for sharing.
    20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.

  7. Default Thank You

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for reminding me that I only have a week left before my filter cleaning day arrives . Could you possibly recommend a type or style filter to run in a tank that has a compost and sand substrate.
    ask ?'s and change some water pair of JD's and loving it.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by eltylT View Post
    Thanks for reminding me that I only have a week left before my filter cleaning day arrives . Could you possibly recommend a type or style filter to run in a tank that has a compost and sand substrate.
    What is the tank size? And what type of fish?

    By compost I assume you are referring to a layer of soil capped by sand. Some advocate no filtration with this, but I prefer a filter in all my tanks though I have minimal filtration. I don't have soil but I have sand substrates which I do not touch.

    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by eltylT View Post
    Thanks for reminding me that I only have a week left before my filter cleaning day arrives . Could you possibly recommend a type or style filter to run in a tank that has a compost and sand substrate.
    Cannister. Just raise the intake 3-4 inch over the sand. Have a look at my tank thread

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    +1 - my intake is a few inches above my substrate - that's the way the instructions said to position it when I was assembling everything - any closer and finer substrate can get sucked inside and impede water flow.

    And for anyone here who's a newbie - mermaid is correct in that overcleaning isn't a good idea, nor is following the instruction manual for your filter and replacing media - that's how the filter manufacturer makes money and how you lose beneficial bacterial. I've had my filter for almost 3 yrs and still have the same media - including sponges, as brown as they are - but they aren't falling apart yet!

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