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Thread: Filter media

  1. Default Filter media


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm looking to replace my filter media soon-ish. it is long overdue, but since I did a 1/3 water change recently I don't want to stress the fishes.

    I have a fluval canister filter, but I heard that there was other compatible (and less expensive) media than the fluval brand.

    I'm looking to gradually change everything including the sponges (they were cleaned a lot of time, but I think new ones wont be a bad change!)
    Since I added 8 new little barbs, I'm also aiming to maybe buy a combo carbon/something to eliminates ammonia.

    Since I never really cared before I didn't put many though into it, so I'm more than happy to hear any suggestion!

    Cheers

  2. #2

    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    I am going to advise you not replace your media - I have owned a fluval cannister for almost 3 years - still have the same media (including the sponges). All that is needed is to rinse what you already have in used tank water (1st choice) or in dechlorinated water - this is to retain as much of your beneficial bacteria as possible.

    Filter manufacturers all recommend replacing media because that's how they make money. If you insist on replacing media, however, it's best to not do this all at the same time - replace one section of a basket, wait a few weeks for it to grow bacteria and then replace another section.

    In general, there is no need to replace media (such as a sponge) unless it is falling apart. My sponges are pretty grimy but giving them a good squeezing out every few months does the trick to ensure there is good water flow.

    There is also no need to purchase carbon - carbon is really only used to remove things from the water such as medication - eliminating ammonia is something water changes accomplish.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above

    I'm still using the same fluval filter that I bought about 4 years ago (no carbon). Unless it start falling apart, I likely won't be replacing it any time soon, just routine cleanings.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    So basically its all a marketing hype? I'm not surprised! it's nice to know.

    Right now I have sponges, bio-max, pre-filter and carbon as well as some clear fine filter pad that I really loved that it give really clear water.

    (on the matter of the pad, can I just rinse it? )

    I might change -some- sponges though since two of them are in very bad shape, but not now.

    Can I put the new sponges in some of the water for a while to grow the bacteria before I add them to the filter?

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by LurkerMom View Post
    So basically its all a marketing hype? I'm not surprised! it's nice to know.

    Right now I have sponges, bio-max, pre-filter and carbon as well as some clear fine filter pad that I really loved that it give really clear water.

    (on the matter of the pad, can I just rinse it? )

    I might change -some- sponges though since two of them are in very bad shape, but not now.

    Can I put the new sponges in some of the water for a while to grow the bacteria before I add them to the filter?
    The bacteria doesn't live in the water - they are on your current filter media.

    You can replace 1 sponge at a time - put the new one in the same spot as one you are getting rid of - there is still bacteria living in them although not as much as on your bio media - as I indicated above, let a new sponge stay in there a few weeks and then replace the next one - I have 4 sponges in mine - as I mentioned, they don't look nice, but as long as all the stuff they've trapped is rinsed out, they function pretty well.

    There is really no need to keep carbon in your filter - many people take their out and replace it with more bio media for even more surface area to grow bacteria.

    The pad you are talking about can be rinsed in tank water.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I don't know what the "sponges" are exactly. I have two Eheim canisters and a Rena XP3. These have initial pads that are dark coloured naturally [= not because they get dirty] and they last for years; those in the Rena do sort of look like sponge. But at the very top there is a white fluffy pad which is like filter floss, and when this is rinsed it loses its shape drastically. I now replace this at every cleaning...which is once every 3-4 months for me.

    You want to keep the filter reasonably clean so the water will easily flow through the various media, but at the same time the media must provide some degree of resistance. Water will take the easiest route, and if it is able to get around media this is not going to provide the best filtration. Which is why I replace the white pads every time; they get thin and pull out of shape after one rinsing. Replacing this white pad each time is not going to affect your biological filtration.

    Byron.

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I agree with the poster above. Generally you should leave your bio media alone (simply rinse it with tank water to free any debris). Mechanical media can be changed if its falling apart or simply isn't doing the job. As imma24 said though, it's best to do that in stages as to not upset the balance of bacteria. Carbon absorbs a number of chemicals and is good for removing medicines from the water and to assist with water clarity. However, the carbon can only absorb so much before its useless, then at that point its simply acting as bio media.

    Bio media can be changed if its falling apart as well; however, that should be done only with the pieces that are broken and new media should be put in its place. I've never had any bio media break apart, but I've heard of it happening.
    110 Gallon New World Cichlid Tank
    Tiger Oscar, Large Common Pleco, Blood Red Parrot, A lot of Black Convicts.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Once every 3-4 months?! wow... I need to stop listening to petstores clerk it seems, they told me every 2 weeks - months!

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by LurkerMom View Post
    Once every 3-4 months?! wow... I need to stop listening to petstores clerk it seems, they told me every 2 weeks - months!
    It just depends on how efficient the filter is working. If you're getting a lot of debris or fish poopy in there then 2 weeks - month may be accurate. Generally I clean mine every couple months and it's quite dirty.
    110 Gallon New World Cichlid Tank
    Tiger Oscar, Large Common Pleco, Blood Red Parrot, A lot of Black Convicts.

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Yes, I didn't mean to imply this infrequently. I have several tanks that are fairly well planted, so filtration is done mainly by the plants. My canisters circulate the water and remove the suspended particulate matter and I find that each tank is different in how often this needs doing. My Rena on the 115g tank should be cleaned probably every 2 months, though sometimes it goes three. My other two tanks are 3-4 months but I have left them for 5-6. Having all the plants makes a big difference. And the fish; I have small fish, tetra, pencilfish, corys, etc.

    Putting everything together, I will assume this canister of yours is on the 32g with the Tiger Barbs? If you don't have live plants, I would rinse it every month at first, and see what it is like. After all, even doing it every week at the same time as the water change is not going to hurt anything if you don't mind doing the work. But leaving it go too long to the point where it is no longer doing the job it is meant to do, is detrimental. If you have live plants you have some buffer.

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