Beer Pitchers, happy fish and filter changes....

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by moon317, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. moon317New MemberMember

    In a previous post to Woodsplace1, you said
    "Don't change the filter until it gets clogged and your water flow is affected.  If you have a hang on back (HOB) filter, simply get a cheap plastic pitcher from WalMart (88 cents) and put some tank water in it.  Then simply swish the filter media in the tank water to rinse off the gunk and put it back in place.  Mine usually last about 6 months.'

    You are obviously the man when it comes to this stuff, but I get nervous when I see advice which seems to contradict the manufactors recommendations. (Change the filter every 2-3 weeks so that we can make more money, type stuff) . What is a good way to know when I actually should put in a new, shiny , ungunked filter?

    By the way, any post that manages to include Fish,Beer Pitchers, and a corporate conspiracy to increase profits at the expense of helpless tetras.. well.. , I see the makings of an After School special here!!!!

  2. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, she's the one who can tell you the truth about what is actually needed and what is hype. (In case you hadn't noticed - the sex of the member is indicated under their name on the left hand side of the post. ;) . )

    It really depends on the brand and your own personal opinion. If you don't feel comfortable reusing there is nothing wrong with replacing and using a new filter. It just isn't NECESSARY until the old one won't work anymore. The only difference is the cost to you.

    The way you know that it is time to jettison the old one is when it isn't letting the water go through anymore or it isn't keeping the stuff out of the tank you don't want in there and a rinse won't help.


    Welcome to I do not believe I have had the pleasure of posting to you before. I really hope you enjoy being here with us as much as I have loved being a part of this group the last several months.

  3. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    Lol, I noticed that too :D
    hehehe ;)
  4. moon317New MemberMember

    Hi Rose ,
    LOL!! I hadn't noticed the gender thing..  :-[. I hope Gunnie forgives me!!! I'm a dope. I don't know anything about fish, and now it appears I don't know anything about social grace. Yikes.

    And thanks for the wonderful welcome, I look foward to talking with you again. In a million years, I never thought I would get into this fish stuff, but I really am enjoying it. Hopefully I'll go a few days without posting anything which proves what a knucklehead I am, and eventually I may even learn something.  ;D

    Thanks for the advice on the filter change-outs!

  5. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Believe me: you CAN trust Gunnie (it's a her, lol). She'd never provide people with misleading information. The reason we want to keep filters running for as long as possible without any media changes is that by removing old media, we are also removing A LOT of beneficial bacteria. And these bacteria are what keeps our tanks cycled and safe for fish. So, it makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? I do believe manufacturers ask us to change filter media very often as it is the only way they can make money. Imagine if all the people stopped changing media, these manufacturers would go bankrupt. If you really want to change media that often, just rinse your sponge in your tank water gently, to open up the pores for filtration but not to destroy all the beneficial bacteria. As for charcoal or carbon, all they do is they keep the water clean (by absorbing discoloration or fine dirt particles) but they do not help with water's chemistry. Plus, they're effective for only first couple of days, not until the next change of carbon, believe me. What they can provide however, after they expire, is more surface area for beneficial bacteria.
  6. moon317New MemberMember

    Thanks Isabella!!! Fantastic explanation ,and advice. And you are so right about Gunnie.. SHE is awesome!! especially to newbies like myself that ask dopey questions over and over again. I should have known someone patient, kind and smart had to be a she, not a he. LOL ;D

    Oh, and say hi to New York for me... we moved to Chattanooga ,Tennessee last year( it is amazing down here!!) but every now and then I get homesick for my Yankees.. :)
    Thanks again

  7. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    ha ha, so true... ;D
  8. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome moon317 !!! Yes gunnie knows HER stuff ;) (you know you'll never live that down, LOL )
    If you live in Chattanooga TN. then you are about ten minutes away from some of us ;) You should come to the next Smoky Mountain aquarium Society meeting in sweetwater Tn.
    Now as for the filters, everybody has their info in line. When you throw a filter away after 2-3 weeks your throwing away beneficial bacteria it took you a long time to grow. If you choose th change them according to manufacturers instructions thats fine, just don't change all filters at once. Doing so may cause you to have a mini-cycle.
  9. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    waaaaa all you guys live close to aquarium clubs and I probably have to travel across a few states to get to one....
  10. moon317New MemberMember

    Hi Butterfly and Emma,
    Thanks for the invite to the Aqaurium Society Meeting, but do you think I'm too much of a rookie to go "Clubbing"?  I'll feel like even a bigger dork then I do now if I go there and ask dumb questions in person!  :D
    I'll check out the Society's website and see if I can make the next meeting.  :) I'll be the clueless guy, walking around with the confused look, carrying a box of slightly used filters.... ;D

    Nice talking with you!,( holy smokes.. I almost said "Y'all") and once again, thanks for the kind advice,
  11. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    We love rookies!!!!! Everybody was one once!!! ;)
  12. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Wow! (blush) You all are too good to me! I am honored and humbled by your kind words! :)

    We would LOVE for you to try and make the next meeting. I believe it will be in either May or June, and like Butterfly said, "WE LOVE ROOKIES". You will meet some good folks, and I love coming up there so much, I make a long weekend out of it! You don't have to bring anything, just be there. ;)
  13. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    I wish I could live closer to all you guys, but I already set up a fish tank, so my parents don't get to move for the next, let's see, how many years? ;D

    One quick tip about HOB filter media, once you actually do NEED to change it, like the water has stopped running through (okay, so don't wait that long ::)), cut a piece of the used media and stick it inside the new stuff. This will help seed the new bacteria colony, so hopefully your tank won't have to mini-cycle.
  14. JonWell Known MemberMember

    hmm i never thought of that... would it really be necessary though... w/ all the bacteria in the substrate would you need to seed the filter?

    good advice cool cool
  15. jim55379Valued MemberMember

    Yeah this filter changing is a bit of a mystery sometimes. I have the carbon/ blue filter medias. At first I replaced my HOB filters about 3 times per month but as I started to learn about beneficial bacteria I was a little hesitant. I wait until the water starts to come out of the overflow part of the filter which means the filter media is just about plugged. I am just hesitant to kill the beneficial bacteria. The filter is a 2 piece which has another biological filter that is supposed to keep in the beneficial bacteria. it seems kind of like a straw hat to me. Don't know how/if they really work (biological filter). Anyway I am just crossing my fingers trying to keep my current fish well. I think if you mess with things too much you can cause more harm than good. All those different chemicals for Ph and Cycle (new stuff that is supposed to reduce frequent water changes) to me are not good. I think a 25% weekly change is a better alternative than constantly checking ph. alkaline, ammonia, ect. Just my opinion. for a while I felt like I was a chemist experimenting with all these chemicals and test strips. I do use the test strips every month or so but I heard they are not that accurate. anyway I believe in the KISS principle. Keeep it simple stupid. And they were also a great band LOL ;D 8)
  16. moon317New MemberMember

    Thanks everyone for the great advice.
    Gunnie, May or June it is!! I'll really try to be there.
    Omorrokh and Jon, Thanks !
    and Jim.. I think we all can agree on this one universal truth.. KISS did indeed rock!!! ;D

  17. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    As for my method of cutting a piece of old media and putting it in the new stuff, I don't know if it's necessary or not, I don't even know if it works or not. But I just think, hey, why not. Gives me the peace of mind that I at least tried to keep the bacteria going strong. I have never had a mini-cycle, but I don't actually know if that is because of what I do. I just try to keep the bacteria going well because my filter is about the oldest, most basic model HOB filter in existence--not exactly your high-tech bio-wheel filter. ::) :p ;)