Changing filter media?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Ctammy2, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Ctammy2Valued MemberMember

    Hi! What is the best way of changing my filter media without getting rid of too much good bacteria? El cheapo filter and I will try to attach a pic of the media...

    My counts have been perfect for several weeks now, water looks great and fish seem happy. At the beginning I changed the cartridge several times. I don't know if it was good or bad. Last change was a month ago with just a couple rinses in the vacuum water since then. However, it is looking scudgy and I would like to change it. Water flow is still good, just "scudgy". Thx! ;)ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1404449541.406094.jpg

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  2. Jomolager

    JomolagerWell Known MemberMember

    I would just rinse the filter in used tank water and ditch the carbon if it is inside. It has done its duty. In a couple of months I would add a new cartridge and run both of them simultaneously for a few weeks. Then bye bye dilapidated filter.

    Your filter does not look bad.
  3. OP

    Ctammy2Valued MemberMember

    Thank you. Hopefully I will be able to shove both in at the same time. Thats my biggest concern. Plus water flow. Should still work ok? Thx!

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

  4. ivarnarikValued MemberMember

    Hi Ctammy2,
    I'm in the same boat. I've had my tank cycling for a month now.
    i put an extra filter cartridge a week ago in the filter.
    Im planning to remove the earlier one in a day or two and add a new one.
    im hoping the newer cartridge will have some bacteria so it won't have to restart the cycle.

  5. Jomolager

    JomolagerWell Known MemberMember

    Just make sure you remove your carbon after a month. Some purists believe that carbon should be replaced every three weeks.

    If you have been here for a while, you know that the use of activated carbon is rather controversial among us. Some FishLorians, especially the ones who don't have fresh plants in their tanks, swear by it, while many others say it is totally unnecessary.

    I say: your tank, your fish, your call! I stopped using carbon for a while, and my tanks developed a certain river smell. I guess it would be alright on the patio, but not in the bedroom :). I now prefer carbon sheets, they work just as well, but are easier to replace and ditch.

    If somebody has something against those carbon sheets, please speak up now. So I know I gave wrong advice.
  6. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember

    Guys you need to consider having sponge filter if you using airstone. It provides great bio filtering and also great back up option in an emergency.
  7. Jomolager

    JomolagerWell Known MemberMember

    We do, we do use air filters as a second filter and airstone.
  8. poeticinjustices

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Ctammy2 -

    As mentioned above, many of us don't even mess with our filter cartridges unless they are (a) falling apart or (b) too clogged up to allow the water to flow and unfixable by way of swishing in tank water. However, even in these cases, I find that sometimes swishing them out in fresh, dechlorinated (this is so important) water rather than used tank water often goes a long way toward saving filter sponges I thought were beyond saving. My tank has been up and running for over three months, cycled for almost two, and I only just last week replaced a tiny bit of the mechanical media. Mind you, this is a goldfish tank haha. They are quite the master mess makers!

    The carbon sheets, to my knowledge, work great. I don't use carbon in my tanks however I do keep carbon readily available in the event I need to strain out meds or odors, etc. What you may benefit from is going to the store and grabbing some small chunks of biological media like ceramic rings or sintered glass beads (this is what I use) can even go to a home improvement store and grab a big bag of lava rocks (however I have heard whispers that sometimes painted coral is sometimes sold as lava rocks so be careful as coral is not chemically inert and will increase pH/KH). Give them a good rinse to clean them up a bit, break them up into tiny chunks. Very porous and great for BB. Anyway, take out the carbon/floss cartridge, dump the expired cartridge (be warned...wet carbon is a nightmare to get out) and re-stuff the cartridge the biomedia. This will allow you to provide more surface area for the BB to grow on and less fear that replacing the sponge will restart your cycle. You can also put the media in a mesh media bag (or NEW mesh stockings/pantyhose too I think will work) and stuff it in your filter wherever it will fit. Done this way, you can just leave the media there basically for all eternity haha, though it may requrie a quick rinse on occasion.

    At this time, I don't really recommend you toss away the sponge if it isn't falling apart/clogged beyond repair, simply because the tank is newly cycled. One way or another, I would get some extra biological media in there first so you aren't wholly dependent on the sponges, which do sometimes needs replacing, to house your BB.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  9. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    The bacteria that keeps your tank cycled lives primarily in the filter media. Replacing the media means you are removing all of your bacteria, leaving you with an uncycled tank. You should keep your media far as long as possible, So long as water is flowing thru it,

    In my goldfish tank I have two filters, an AquaClear50 and a Aqueon filter. The AquaClear has a separate sponge, bag of carbon and bag of ceramic bio rings. It's been about 5 years now and all that media has never been changes, The Aqueon filter has a cartridge which I removed the carbon from. It is about 2 years old now and the only reason I replaced it is because I used the previous one to seed another tank.

    One week no where near enough time to seed a new cartridge. And with a newly cycled tank you have young, fragile bacteria, Changing media so soon will almost definitely result in your cycle starting all over again.

    When the time comes that your old media is to tattered that it actually requires replacement, then you should run it along with the old media for 4 weeks. Even then you may get a mini cycle since you only grow enough bacteria to handle the bioload of your tank, (Since ammonia and nitrite are the foods for the bacteria there is not enough food to support extra bacteria). But establish bacteria will reproduce rather quickly, so as long as your bacteria is well established any mini cycle should be short lived.
  10. bescher

    bescherValued MemberMember

    Putting in a filter that is not biomedia ( such as the fiber ones, ( non chemical) you can do at your own choosing) a lot of people myself included clean my cannister filters in tap water it fine. Just make sure your biomedia holder is cleaned with aquarium water and not left out in the air for too long
  11. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember

    I meant on separare sponge filter that is conected to airhose instead airstone which will provide you extra filtration and a solid back up for a bb if ever needed
  12. Jomolager

    JomolagerWell Known MemberMember

    Do you mean the ones like this? Dolfan suggested we get those from eBay and we did:)

  13. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember

    yes i have 2 similar ones to it. I used to have 2 airstones, but now i have 2 large sponges instead
  14. bescher

    bescherValued MemberMember

    I also have a sponge filter, replaced a air stone with it I may very well replace the other air stone as wee

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