Changing Kit Filter for New Filter. Help Please

  1. thumos Member Member

    Hi all,

    I have a 29 gallon topfin aquarium kit I got from the pet store and it came with everything to setup as expected.
    My problem is, I'm still suspicious of the filter as I can see stuff floating in the water that just stays in place.
    I suspect the water is not moving much at all, that or the filter is just barely keeping up.

    I want to change to one of those Aquaclear power filters. The 110 which can do up to 70 gallons.
    I figure you can never have too much filtration.

    How do I not lose bacteria from the current filter's pad if I decide to change filters?
    Is this even a problem?

    Am I just being paranoid about my water quality? Chemically, there is some excess ammonia from too much food but since the shrimp and using an auto-feeder, that seems to be under control now.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes, usually those filters that come with the kit just barely do the job. I think it's a good idea to upgrade. The AC110 might be overkill but as long as your fish aren't being blow around by the current, it's ok. The AC70 would be just as fine as well.

    You could either run the new filter in the tank for about a month before removing the old one or move the seeded filter floss from the topfin cartridge over to the new filter. However, if you have ammonia in your tank that means your tank is not cycled to begin with. What are your complete parameters - pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? And what fish do you have?
  3. thumos Member Member

    I have a clown pleco, 2 juvenile angelfish, 5 bloodfin tetras, a lone tetra of some sort from my last aquarium and some ghost shrimp roaming around (5-6).
    I take my water to a fish store to get tested so I do not have the complete parameters.
    The guy sold me bacteria to avoid the long cycle time. So far, I lost my BN pleco (didn't seem to want to eat) and neon tetras (angelfish got them).
  4. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    I'd definitely invest in your own test kit so you know what's going on with your water - especially as you're making the changes to a new filter. You need to be able to monitor those parameters and having a kit of your own makes it convenient to test whenever you want. And if the store used test strips, they aren't accurate. Most of us here use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit - much more reliable and cheaper in the long run.

    What kind of bacteria did he sell you?

    Yeah, angelfish are really not recommended with neons because they'll eat them. They're also not temp compatible as neons need it under 75 and angelfish need it at 78+.
  5. Dave125g Fishlore Legend Member

    I would simply (like someone else said) leave the old filter on, put the new one on, and in a month take the old one off. You should be good to go at that point, provided your fully cycled now.
  6. thumos Member Member

    So that would mean taking off the hood then for a month. There is no space for two filters with my current hood :(
  7. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Or the other alternative of cutting out the floss from the old cartridge and sticking it below the bio media to seed it.
  8. thumos Member Member

    What exactly is this "floss"? is this the exterior or interior of the cartridge?
  9. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    It's the outside fabric material surrounding the plastic piece.
  10. thumos Member Member

    Thanks. I will post pics once I get the new filter this weekend
  11. thumos Member Member

    I cut out a piece of the floss and put it in the new filter. Also added some more plants.
    Is that gap a problem?

    Attached Files:

  12. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    That should be fine. :)