Aqua Clear 20 sponge/filter/biomax

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by SilverMIssy, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    Hello again,

    I was having a look through the other threads about the AquaClear filter, biomax, and foam sponge. I just wanted to clarify a few things to make sure I understand correctly.

    1. What I have been reading is that you don't really need to change out any of these for new ones because of the good bacteria that grows on them so people here rinse them out in old tank water. Correct?

    Once a month, can you rinse all them out in old tank water all at once or is that too much good bacteria loss for the tank (10 gallon)? Must they be rinsed out separately during different water changes?

    2. Since the AquaClear biomax stones, how do you know when they've been used past their time or do that never really need to be replaced?

    Thanks again.
  2. lbonini1Well Known MemberMember

    Hi there.

    You're not supposed to change out any filter media in your filter because this contains your Beneficial Bacteria and removing a lot of it will cause you to either go into a full-cycle or a mini-cycle which is harmful for your fish because they will get exposed to Ammonia and Nitrite.

    You're supposed to rinse it out in tank water to clean it once it either gets too much gunk that it won't filter or that it starts releasing stuff back into the tank. Don't clean this too often as you don't want to rinse off too much bacteria.

    I wouldn't replace any Bio-Media, leave it in and rinse it in tank water when necessary.

    Good luck!
  3. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    I give my sponges a swish in old tank water to remove any large pieces of debris every couple of weeks, you only need to change sponges when they're falling apart & that can take many years.
    The stones you'll probably never need to change, they can also be gently swished in old tank water if they're particularly gunky.
  4. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    Ok great. How do you know when they need to be rinsed? Are there particular signs to looks for?
  5. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    Good to know; thanks :)
  6. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    I have an AquaClear 20 and I absolutely love it! I would say I rinse the filter media in old tank water about every month or so. About a week ago, I took out my sponge media and it was black!(Ew). I rinsed it in the old tank water and it became as white as when I first got it! So, I would look for any signs of obvious dirt such as that.

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  7. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    The sponge part, just squeeze out the junk each week when you do a water change, the carbon is useless after a month so you should replace it with more biological media and for the biomax, just give it a quick dip if they get dirty. No part of the filter media needs replaced unless it has deteriorated significantly. But that shouldn't be an issue for years.
  8. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    By filter media do you mean the filter cartridge? Should I give that a light rinse in old tank water every month too?
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  9. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    Thank you. It really is a great filter. Mines on the lowest setting though because medium was knocking my betta around too much and he's much happier now. He even likes to chill under the light current. So I'm assuming my filter won't fill up as quickly as one on high setting.
  10. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    Filter media just means the thing that filters the water, in the case of the Aquaclear it's the sponge, chemical component (carbon) and the biomax.
    by cartridge I assume you mean the media basket, you don't need to wash that but you can if you want.
    You aren't really going to hurt the beneficial bacteria at all unless you clean using tap water.
  11. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    No, I didn't meant the basket. Like you have the biomax on top, the chemical component in the middle (I though that was the filter cartridge) and sponge on bottom so I mean the chemical conponent than. Do you rinse that in tank water monthly? I hope this is not a stupid question :p
  12. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    Well the carbon basically 'wears out' after about a month. If you want to keep it in there then sure wash it out, I don't use carbon in mine, I have the ammonia remover which I'm sure is doing nothing for me anymore, I just rinse that out when I rinse the sponge out.

    Carbon is used as a clarifier, it should keep your aquarium from getting murky or smelling bad. It's best use is to remove medications from the water, but like I said after about a month it loses its useful properties. As it would be expensive to replace it monthly when you really don't need it, you could replace it with an alternative media such as more biomax rings for more biological filtration.
  13. thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    That's awesome!! So glad your betta likes it :) thanks for the info too! I was curious about whether or not the filter would be too strong for a betta since I think I would like a betta someday but I didn't want to get rid of my filter.

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  14. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

  15. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    Do you already have the filter? Or have you ordered it?

    Yep that's what I have in my filter, and I just clean it out when I clean the sponge so that no nasty stuff builds up and pollutes the water.
  16. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Putting ammonia remover in the filter of an uncycled tank will actually slow down the growth of beneficial bacteria.

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  17. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    Looking online many people advise against using the ammonia insert unless you have a drastic spike for some reason. I put it into my filter when I had ammonia trouble and it worked and I've just never removed it.
    I think it has lost its ammonia removing properties now anyway and is just extra surface area.

    What I read said that it could take away ammonia that beneficial bacteria would otherwise feed on, I really don't know how true this could be, but if it is your only filter on your tank then it could be something to look into. I'm not worried on my tank as I have 2 filters.

    Like I said, your best option would be to take out the chemical phase and use the extra room for more bio rings.

    If you are cycling your tank I would advise against using the ammonia remover, you should only use it for emergency purpose. I left mine in and it's been in ther months, so I am sure it's essentially useless just like an old carbon insert.
  18. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    I have the filter; it's in the tank now. Ok, great. Thanks again.
  19. SilverMIssyValued MemberMember

    I didn't realize you didn't need the ammonia remover insert unless you're having troubles. I also didn't think about how it would effect the cycling process. So much to take in, ugh.

    I just have one filter.
  20. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    Its not a bad thing to have, you never know when you might need things like that, better to have and not need than need and not have.