Canister Cleaning Schedule

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Emarley

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Just set up my first 65 gallon cichlid tank and am running 2 ehiem pro4+ 250 external filters.
I'm currently doing a 30% water change weekly, should I be cleaning both prefilters with tank water at the same time?
Should I also be cleaning the white filter foam at the same time?
How often should I rinse (with tank water) the biological media.
Thanks in advance
Emarley
 

2211Nighthawk

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most people say to rinse everything out once a month, i do the sponges weekly because it's easy and i like routine a little to much.
 

Fanatic

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I replace my polishing pad (floss) every month.
 

JesseMoreira06

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50% water change on all my tanks once a week. I clean out all my filters once every two weeks and replace filter floss once a week.
 

Fanatic

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Sometimes there will be times when I'll replace the floss after 15 days or so.
 

fissh

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Make sure your tank is cycled, Only clean 1 filter at a time, most canisters can go 2 to 3 months between cleaning. So once you clean the first filter, you wait a month and clean the second. So you end up cleaning 1 filter every month. Canisters are designed to go longer between cleanings and you will get better overall filtering that way.
 

MikeRad89

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I go 6 months or more. If nothing is impeding the flow and my nitrates are in check there's no reason to take it apart.
 

hacksaw15

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I go 2 months because I keep goldfish. I went 6 months once and it was such a chore getting cleaned and back up and running I never went that long again. Goldies are super dirty.
 

toolman

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Unless you have a high bioload canisters can go 6 months. Usually have to add cuttlebone for my mystery snails sooner.
 

Silister Trench

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How long I go between performing any maintenance on my canister filters depends entirely on the tank, but so long as you are correctly layering the filtration media to the passage of water as it flows through the media a canister filter can go much longer without maintenance than all other filters in my experience.

This is just my opinion, but I think it's important to take the time [and sometimes spend a few extra bucks] to see what media your filter came with, if any, and how the manufacturer instructs to set it up, then see if you can improve on it.

Most of my canister filters draw the water in and pull it from bottom to top through the media, so the top basket is the last basket water is filtered through.

Top [Biological Media]:

- Bagged Ceramic Media
- Polishing Pad

Middle Basket:

- Bio Balls

Bottom Basket:

- Polishing Pad
- Coarse Filter Foam
- Very Coarse Filter Foam


It's really the bottom basket that I wanted to point out. By using differing coarse foams and positioning it so the media that is the loosest and will catch only the biggest particles is what water passes through first, to less coarse media that traps finer particles, and then so on down to the polishing pad that captures the finest particles it helps create a net that prevents larger debris sucked through the filter from clogging the finer filtration media and impeding flow, which is probably the best notification you need to clean your filter.

I can't really set a time-frame on when you should clean your filter, but I could go many months without touching my own and still have adequate circulation and filtration, but I rarely go passed 2 months. You'll see 1 or more of 3 tell-tale signs on your own tank that maintenance is due, which are:

1.) reduced flow
2.) high nitrates
3.) increased algae or diatom growth

Planted tanks require more cleaning while non-planted usually require less frequent cleaning in adequate tanks that are stocked correctly.
 

NightShade

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I am currently setting up my new Eheim classic, so this thread is helpful, even tho I knew most of this, it's a great reminder. Thanks for asking this question Emarley
 
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