5 Gal Tank With Hang In Filter Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by napa15rt, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. napa15rtValued MemberMember

    I have a 5 gallon tank going with a hang in the tank filter with disposable carts. Question tank has been running for about 3 months. The filter is almost clogged - tried shaking in used tank water , helped a bit but flow is almost stopped again. If i change filter whats going to happen to tank. Will all the good bacteria be gone ? I have 9 platy fry that are about 5 weeks in the tank and just waiting for them to be big enough to give to pet store. Which is another question how big should they be before i give them to someone else. they are about 3/4 of an inch or so except for one that is only about 1/2 inch long.
  2. BotWell Known MemberMember

    You can switch it out, just leave the old cartridge in the tank. Most of the beneficial bacteria is on the cartridge, so throwing it out will possibly spike your parameters.

    Here’s a tip, get some aquaclear sponges, and cut them to fit your filter, then you don’t have to buy the cartridges anymore.
  3. napa15rtValued MemberMember

    So just leave the old dirty filter in the tank and put the new one in the filter ? Just let the old one sink to the bottom ? I just need to get to the point that I can take fish to another home.
  4. Anna ChristineNew MemberMember

    This is what I did for my filter. I have a HOB that came with my tank. I ditched the carbon filter and just got an aquaclear Spong that I cut down to size and use instead. It works great!
  5. bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    A cartridge should not need replacing after just a few weeks. I use mine for years sometimes! I don't think you are cleaning it well enough. You don't just "shake it" it tank water. You need to get down and dirty and rub your fingers over it and scrub as much gunk off as you can.

    I shove bags of matrix (biomedia) behind my cartridges so if I do need to replace one, I have those in there. Or I can use those to instantly cycle a new tank if I need to.

    Personally, I wouldn't just let a dirty cartridge sit in your tank. It'll just make the tank gross. And the beneficial bacteria does better with water flowing through it rather that just sitting in the water column.
  6. BotWell Known MemberMember

    You can stick it near the intake.
  7. napa15rtValued MemberMember

    Or what if I leave the new one sit in the tank for a few days. Would good bacteria attach to it and then i can just swap the old for the new ?
  8. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    If you don't have room in the filter housing to fit both the new cartridge and the old one just cut the fiber off of the plastic frame. The bacteria is on that piece of fiber. Toss the plastic frame and the carbon. Put that piece of fiber in with the new cartridge and you will be good to go.
  9. napa15rtValued MemberMember

    This is the kind of filter it uses. See pic.

    Attached Files:

  10. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Is it kinda like a bag with maybe carbon in it? If so then just pour the carbon out and then clean the bag well in some water you have taken out of the tank. You can get a lot rougher with it than you think. Bacteria is pretty tough so rubbing it well will not remove it or kill it. I have been known to scrub mine a lot like one would do to a stain on fabric after spraying a stain remover product on the stain.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  11. GrayRasValued MemberMember

    My setup for filtration is a 3 media combo. The filter cartridge that comes with the filter, after its initial use rotation the carbon inside of it basically become useless so I make a slit at the top on one side (the back) then empy out all the carbon. From there I clean the filter as best I can in tank water. Then I fill the inside with floss filter. Stuff it pretty dense. Slide the cartridge into the filter. Then I backfill the filter (begind the cartridge) with seachem matrix. Then I lay a filter sponge on top of the matrix.. My theory/logic is that the flow of water comes up thru the pump where it is first filtered by the sponge (takes care of large detritus and can easily be cleaned off) next it passes down thru the matrix which is a biomedia for nitrifying bacteria and doesn’t need to be replaced (the directions state that it only needs to be cleaned of detritus and grime - but I never have this problem since mine is all on the first step sponge) then lastly the flow goes thru the filter floss cartridge for that final fine filtration before return to the tank. I always maintain good bacteria in my matrix, so even when I clean the sponge or replace the filter floss in the cartridge im not losing all my good
  12. MeghanfloofValued MemberMember

    I have a HOB currently too, with the cartridges containing carbon. As long as your cartridge doesn't contain carbon, you can keep it in there for a ton of time without cleaning. If it does, take out the carbon, because all it's good for is taking medicine out of the water, taking tannins out, and "masking" odors of the tank... and why mask the odor when you could solve the problem? Plus if you keep it in too long, it's known for actually putting bad stuff back into the water
    It doesn't do anything great, the only thing you really need is something for your beneficial bacteria to grab onto.
  13. napa15rtValued MemberMember

    I think I will try to open it up and see what i can clean I have someone to take the fish in about 2 weeks so I just need it too last that long. Worst case i was thinking of putting new filter in and just add stability every day like i was cycling it.
  14. MeghanfloofValued MemberMember

    yup, that sounds good! Add a full dose of prime to the tank every 24 hours too, it'll keep the ammonia down for your fish (what's the bioload like in there?)
  15. JeanelleNew MemberMember

    I use poly fill from walmart like the stuff used to make stuffed animals or quilts. We started off with the filters that came with filter and then I put the poly fill in nylons and stick them in front of the old ones. We get a pair of knee highs that make at least 3 filter pads for .25 cents! The poly fill is only like $8 and last us forever!
    I have always been told on another site to use sponges. New ones that are like scrubby sponges I bought at walmart. Anything that holds onto good bacteria. I have always saved our BAD filter pads and put them in a nylon and floated them of sunk them with some rocks in another tank.
  16. MeghanfloofValued MemberMember

    ooh, I have a ton of polyfil in the basement from when I was trying to make stuffed animals, finally gonna put that to good use haha
  17. napa15rtValued MemberMember

    Bi load should be ok. But they are getting bigger just 9 platy fry.
  18. MeghanfloofValued MemberMember

    Oh yeah, temporarily that should be fine but make sure to upgrade them when they get bigger!
  19. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I also use the poly-fill for my mechanical filtration. Since I don't depend on it for my biological filter I usually just replace it every other week. It can be just rinsed out and reused but at a few bucks for a huge bag I don't bother using it for any length of time.
  20. napa15rtValued MemberMember

    It is a small hob aqua clear 20 in my 10 gal. I use sponge then 100 micron polishing pad that i just tried last night, and then 2 bioring bags. I think i will try the filter floss that every seems to use also. But theres not a whole lot of room.