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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default Filter change during cycle


    0 Not allowed!
    I've got a 55 gal., freshwater tank. I don't have any fish yet because I'm going to do a fish-less cycle to bring up the nitate level.

    My filter is a charcoal cartridge type that came with the tank from Petsmart. It's probably not the optimum filter, but it's what I have for now.

    The filter instructions tell me to change the charcoal cartridges every thirty days. However, if the bacteria live in the filter media, am I defeating the purpose of the cycle by changing the cartridges?

    Thanks, jeff

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    HECK NO!

    That's where your bacteria is trying to grow! You are not cycling to bring up nitrate levels but to make sure ammonia and nitrites don't kill your fish.

    When possible, get yourself an AquaClear 110 and use both filters. You will be able to convert your current filter over into using sponges once the AC has been running for awhile and you'll not have to buy anymore of those cartridges at all.

    Read the links below please.
    Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 05-09-2012 at 09:30 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Ypsilanti, Michigan
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    A lovely red rose for you to enjoy ... - mermaidwannabe for the help - smaug Happy Father's Day! - Aminax awesome tank in TOTM - Lady Hobbs Good guess! - Lab_Rat 
    To match your Super speed LOL - 850R Cool contest! - Wild Turkey Great shrimp advice - Wild Turkey You have the patience of a rock - Aeonflame Happy 5th Anniversary - Aminax 
    Thanks! - Scrup hmm i dont this its the right species... but merry xmas XD - genocidex Merry Christmas! I blub you! - Aminax I love following your informative and well designed threads. I hope these loaches get huge for you! - Sandz Happy 30th birthday! - Aminax 
    Merry Christmas - Cliff Thanks for you help! Cheers! - koaladarshana Happy Birthday Bud. Cheers! - Strider199 Merry Xmas! Ill drink to that! - Sandz Happy New Year! - jeffs99dime 
    Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - Brhino 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Is this the kind of filter that has an all-in-one cartridge that has a foam/sponge/mesh (mechanical filtration) with charcoal inside?

    if so, removing the filter cartridge would remove a significant portion of the beneficial bacteria that you are now attempting to grow. In truth you should rarely if ever need to replace the filter cartridge. Once you have actual fish it will sometimes get gummed up with solid waste at which time you can rinse the cartridge out in old tank water during a water change.

    The only part of a filter that needs to be changed regularly is the carbon... however, the carbon itself is only needed in certain specialized situations (when removing medication, for example). The best filters are modular and allow you to add and remove media as you desire. In that case you can completely remove the carbon and you won't have to worry about it anymore.
    300 gallon mega tank: build in progress
    75 gallon community tank: tetras, danios, corys, platies, otos, pearl gouramis, bristlenose pleco, assassin snails, red cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp
    70 gallon growout tank: clown loaches, sailfin pleco
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
    29 gallon frog tank: 1 bullfrog
    10 gallon and 5.5 gallon betta tanks: 1 male betta each, sometimes snails

  4. #4

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    Smile


    0 Not allowed!
    If possible, cut the cartridge in a manner that the charcoal (carbon) can be removed. Then stuff extra filter floss into this area - this will increase the available sites for bacteria ... .

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I have an exo terra charcoal filter, and i bought the bioclean trio from big als (or petsmart if thats where you go-they should have a store brand.) with the water conditioner, bio support, and probiotic bacteria. Whenever I do a water change, I take all detachments off, change the sponges in it, and once i get to the cleaning the plastic and charcoal cartridge, I get a toothbrush that I've been using like a mini algae scrubber to clean the delicate parts of the filter. Most people shake the carbon so that all loose flakes inside the tiny cartridge come out, but arowana is right. you should be making it possible to remove the charcoal to prevent bacteria and loss of clycling in your water.

    Once the charcoal/carbon is removed, scrub ALL around the filter entrance/exit areas, including the hole that holds the rubber suction cup on it. make sure that you have running water going constantly while cleaning this. Dump about a half capful of bio clean and bio support into a seperate container, and after wetting the toothbrush, dip it in a tiny bit of the solution. Re-scrub the entire surface of the inside of the filter AND ESPECIALLY the inside of the carbon cartridge. Rinse off the toothbrush EVERY TEN SECONDS and re-dip. Once you've efficiently scrubbed the filter, cover the grate on the side that suctions the water in with one hand, dump the rest of the solution in the filter's water reserve, shake and dump.

    Sounds complicated, but it works and is very easy. I also find rinsing the inserts between changes makes all the difference.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    Posts
    5,759

    Awards Showcase

    A lovely red rose for you to enjoy ... - mermaidwannabe for the help - smaug Happy Father's Day! - Aminax awesome tank in TOTM - Lady Hobbs Good guess! - Lab_Rat 
    To match your Super speed LOL - 850R Cool contest! - Wild Turkey Great shrimp advice - Wild Turkey You have the patience of a rock - Aeonflame Happy 5th Anniversary - Aminax 
    Thanks! - Scrup hmm i dont this its the right species... but merry xmas XD - genocidex Merry Christmas! I blub you! - Aminax I love following your informative and well designed threads. I hope these loaches get huge for you! - Sandz Happy 30th birthday! - Aminax 
    Merry Christmas - Cliff Thanks for you help! Cheers! - koaladarshana Happy Birthday Bud. Cheers! - Strider199 Merry Xmas! Ill drink to that! - Sandz Happy New Year! - jeffs99dime 
    Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - Brhino 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I don't see why you feel the need to completely disassemble and scrub your filter during every water change. Certainly that's the last thing you'd want to do while cycling, which is what the OP is asking about.
    300 gallon mega tank: build in progress
    75 gallon community tank: tetras, danios, corys, platies, otos, pearl gouramis, bristlenose pleco, assassin snails, red cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp
    70 gallon growout tank: clown loaches, sailfin pleco
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
    29 gallon frog tank: 1 bullfrog
    10 gallon and 5.5 gallon betta tanks: 1 male betta each, sometimes snails

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by rachel_pantera
    I have an exo terra charcoal filter, and i bought the bioclean trio from big als (or petsmart if thats where you go-they should have a store brand.) with the water conditioner, bio support, and probiotic bacteria. Whenever I do a water change, I take all detachments off, change the sponges in it, and once i get to the cleaning the plastic and charcoal cartridge, I get a toothbrush that I've been using like a mini algae scrubber to clean the delicate parts of the filter. Most people shake the carbon so that all loose flakes inside the tiny cartridge come out, but arowana is right. you should be making it possible to remove the charcoal to prevent bacteria and loss of clycling in your water.

    Once the charcoal/carbon is removed, scrub ALL around the filter entrance/exit areas, including the hole that holds the rubber suction cup on it. make sure that you have running water going constantly while cleaning this. Dump about a half capful of bio clean and bio support into a seperate container, and after wetting the toothbrush, dip it in a tiny bit of the solution. Re-scrub the entire surface of the inside of the filter AND ESPECIALLY the inside of the carbon cartridge. Rinse off the toothbrush EVERY TEN SECONDS and re-dip. Once you've efficiently scrubbed the filter, cover the grate on the side that suctions the water in with one hand, dump the rest of the solution in the filter's water reserve, shake and dump.

    Sounds complicated, but it works and is very easy. I also find rinsing the inserts between changes makes all the difference.
    And what part of this post is answering the question of the OP about HIS filter and HIS tank? Again you are venturing off into another world.

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Author
    I've got a 55 gal., freshwater tank. I don't have any fish yet because I'm going to do a fish-less cycle to bring up the nitate level.

    My filter is a charcoal cartridge type that came with the tank from Petsmart. It's probably not the optimum filter, but it's what I have for now.

    The filter instructions tell me to change the charcoal cartridges every thirty days. However, if the bacteria live in the filter media, am I defeating the purpose of the cycle by changing the cartridges?

    Thanks, jeff
    Yes, you are defeating the purpose - the instructions are wrong. While cycling, there is no need to touch your filter at all and there is no need to replace the cartridge at all until it is falling apart (when that happens, you put a new cartridge in with the old one to "seed" it with all the good bacteria) - buying more cartridges means more money for the company.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Don't worry too much about getting rid of that carbon. Your tank is going to try and cycle no matter what. Unless you change too much stuff in your tank. Almost every part of your tank is involved in cycling, be it your aquarium glass, decorations, plants, substrate, filter, or water. The largest part is played by the substrate, possibly even more than the filter. Just make sure that you add bacteria supplements regularly during cycling. If your tank gets cloudy, cut down on the bacteria until it clears up again. Adding supplements like Seachem Fresh Trace will definitely help the bacteria survive. Or even API Cichlid Trace. As for the filter, I bought a brand new Aquatop CF-300 canister filter for only $50+. It's rated for up to 75 gallons I think. It's got 3 large baskets to put whatever media you want. I put almost a liter of AmmoCarb (carbon and zeolite) at the bottom, ceramic bio rings in the middle, and close to a liter of Seachem de-Nitrate up top. I replaced the floss with Marineland DIY floss. This filter performs even better than my Fluval 305.

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