29 gallon tank - planted - replace standard carbon filled filter pad with reusable, but what?



This is what my filter looks like 2 weeks in. At first I thought “oh no, I have to change it already!” but then realized I shouldn’t have to this fast AND that’s where all the good bacteria live.

The Aqueon HOB that came with my 29 gallon tank kit is so quiet. After doing some reading it looks like I could have a more efficient, effective and reusable system inside that HOB. I read that a combination of:

a pre-filter sponge
A course sponge pad
Bio rings
Fine poly pads (they’d have to be replaced but would make the water crystal clear)

Thoughts? Suggestions?

if I went this route, how do I clean those things without destroying the bacteria??

thanks a bunch! Picture of HOB. And tank. ☺


Your filters look great! Seriously, they are doing their job. When I used those kind of filters I literally kept them until they were almost falling apart. Unless you need carbon for medication there is no need to change monthly. However, rinsing them in a bowl/bucket of tank water is a good idea, and you can do the same with sponges or filter media. I still use hob's but replace the media with just what you have suggested to the point they do not restrict the water flow. In fact, I use two hob's for flexibility and so I'm never cleaning one at the same time.


My dear, you have not seen a filthy filter yet! That cartridge is clean compared to what lies inside my own filters. Give it another month and then maybe consider giving it a rinse, no point in rinsing a newly established filter that isn't all that dirty.

To clean filter media simply remove it and rinse it well in old tank water during a water change. Swish it around and give it a squeeze to get most the organic matter out of it, then put it back in. As for other media, IMO it is not needed in a small, understocked tank. I mainly have filter floss (polyester fiber) in my HOBS, some have a bit of lava rock and ceramic media at the bottom. My tank water is always crystal clear, and I rarely replace the media, when I do I only replace half the media at most. Just about every weekly water change I will rinse the media in most my tanks, others don't need it for several weeks.

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