I have had my tank running for almost 6 weeks but have not changed the cartridge. When should I change it and how often should I change the water? Thanks
Well Known Member
5 to 10 years
Well if you listen to someone at the LFS, they may tell you it needs to be changed every month. Really though, it only needs to be changed when it is falling apart and can hardly function any more. If you throw out the filter cartridge, you are throwing out a large amount of your BB and theres a good chance you will go into a mini cycle. When I do a water change, I typically swish the cartridge around in the old tank water. This will remove any decaying material that may be stuck on the cartridge and helps keep water flowing through all parts of the cartridge. Just be sure not to rinse in tap water, chlorine and chloramines can quickly kill the bacteria
There are a few exceptions though, like with chemical filtration; Things like activated carbon, zeolite, etc. wear out and need to be replaced if you choose to use them long term. Instead of replacing the whole cartridge, it is a better idea to cut a slit in the cartridge, remove the old chemical media, and replace it with new.
I would definitely listen to bass master.
I've been going through a cycling nightmare for months because I changed my filter cartridges a few times before I learned that is where most of the beneficial bacteria lives.
so what should i do, my tank has a slight earthy smell. How could keep the bacteria but replaces the cartridge.
More than 10 years
I have moved your thread to the Filters - Filtration section of the forum.
If you have a floss cartridge with carbon in the center, slice an opening in it, dump out the carbon. (carbon should be replaced every 3 to 4 weeks). You can swish the floss, gently, in siphoned tank water only and never tap water. Rinse the carbon first and add it back to the floss if you want to continue using carbon (I suggest you do use it but many do not).
If you need to change the filter floss section, I recommend that you add some additional floss to your filter or hide it some where in the tank for at least 2 weeks to 1 month. This will give the new floss time to grow some good bacteria and then you can remove the old floss portion. This will help to prevent a mini cycle.