Bit confused on Filter Changes

Flynnster

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I've recently purchased a Fluval Chi 5 gallon tank. Not my first fish tank, but first after reading everything on here. The filtration set up pulls water first through a white filter with carbon in it, to a fairly open sponge type media (less dense than steel wool is the best description I can giv). If I change the white filter, will my beneficial bacteria live on in the sponge area?
 

p3t3r

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The black one is usualy the carbon filter and the white one is usualy the physical filter. Aside from that, how long have you had the filter going and why do you want to change it?

Sorry just reread what you posted and can now visualise what you mean. Yes the foam filter should still contain the good bacteria.
 
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Nikita

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From my experience, it shouldn't effect the tank if you change out the white carbon filter. The Black sponge will have enough to keep the tank supported when you change them out.
 

ZeeZ

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The bacteria will still be alive in the black sponge, but your tank may go through a mini cycle since the majority of the bacteria is in the white filter floss. The floss has more surface area for them to colonize, that's why. The carbon only lasts one week.

What I do is just take some old tank water and take the filters and rinse them out in the old tank water then put the filter floss back in. I never change my filter floss until it's absolutely falling apart. Then I'll put in a new one behind the old one for about a week to two weeks and let the bacteria multiply and take over the new one then I can take out the old one without worrying about anything.

Hope that helps.
 

luke355027355027

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i have canister and HOB filters and the only time i ever take out the white filters is for my yearly cleaning which i re use them or when i am seeding another tank Basically you never have to change the white filter pad unless its falling apart
 
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Flynnster

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Thanks guys,
Quick thing Zeez, I've got carbon in my white filters, doesn't that stop doing its job after the recommended time from the manufacturer?
 

Cyndi Warren

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I've been wondering about this very question, and actually had the same idea but wasn't sure about trying it, as I am new to fishkeeping. I have been rinsing my filters out with the spray nozzle in the sink as they get really gunky. But water readings remain good so I am hoping I'm not rinsing out too many friendly microbes.
 

Orion5

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Essentially you don't have much choice but to change that white pad attached to the carbon filter, because the carbon has to be taken out after about 3 weeks or so. The bulk of your bacterial population (or at least the bulk that you will be keeping) is in the other sponge. If you can get some kind of pad that does NOT have the carbon attached to it, just a prefilter pad, then it can be kept in for much longer (just like a sponge) and you'll considerably increase the amount of bacteria in the filter.

Otherwise, if you decide to keep the carbon pad, you change it every 3 weeks or so. The bacteria in the other sponge will survive just fine.

Hi Cyndi: There are debates about whether or not a gentle rinse under tap water will kill all the bacteria or not. I know some people who use tap water, and others who insist on using old aquarium water to rinse spopnges after a water change. Personally I use aquarium water because I'm really really scared to lose a well-established bacterial culture.
 

ZeeZ

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All carbon does is polish the water and make it look pretty. After that it just becomes inert. I haven't had anything to indicate that leaving carbon in long term is bad or good. I just buy a bag of filter floss and use that instead. The black sponge holds in the floss.
 
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