Changing the filter

Angie

Member
Well, I am a tiny bit confused. If you are supposed to change the filter, will that take all the good bacteria out, or will there still be enough in the water. I read that the filters with 2 types of filters inside are best, so you can do one at a time. My 20 gallon has 1 filter, and I was just curious about that. Now, with the 10 gallon tank it came with a little blue filter and a white different looking thing. I also was rinsing the filter in the tap to make it last longer, but now I read the clorine kills the bacteria. So, when I do a filter change, will my fish suffer?

Angie
 

sgould

Member
Do you know what kind of filter you have? (Whisper, Aquaclear, etc?) It is hard to tell from your description. In general, the answer to your question is yes...changing your filter media does remove some of your good bacteria. Many manufacteres compensate for this to a degree with designs that allow you to change part of the filter media while still leaving part of it in place to keep your tank cycled. For example, in a Whisper filter, which is what I have, there is a cartridge that you periodically change. It is a white square/rectangular shaped cartridge of filter "floss" (white material) that is sometimes filled with activated carbon. However, there is also a black sponge that also sits inside the filter along with the cartridge. When changing the cartridge, you leave the sponge in place, with the idea being that the sponge will retain enough bacteria to keep your tank cycled even though the cartridge itself was changed out.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
Rather than rinse things in tap water, you can swish them in a big bowl filled with treated tap water. I'd like to know your filter models too, so I could look at them and see what types of filtration they provide. Should either be lacking (or if you just feel like it), you could always add a sponge filter to the tank.
 
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Angie

Member
I got the 20 gallon kit from top fin. So, it is a top fin power filter 20. It only has the big filter. My 10 gallons both have the small blue and the white "floss". So, when I do go to change the filter, is there anything I should do to help keep some of the bacteria?

I know this is a subject change, but what about changing fish from tank to tank. Like, for example, taking the fry out of the big tank into the nursary tank. Will the stress of doing that kill them?

Angie
 

COBettaCouple

Member
I went to petsmart's website and i'm guessing from the products listed that you're using the Bio 3 filter cartridges? In which case the blue part in the black frame would be the sponge for the good bacteria. Let me know if i'm wrong on the cartridge.

what we do is put the fry into a plastic baggie.. sandwich or bigger (so you can leave a lot of air) and float it in the tank they're going into. every 5 minutes or so add a little water from the new tank to the bag (the good ol' turkey baster is helpful here). After 30-60 minutes of doing this, release them into the new tank.
 

sirdarksol

Member
The blue ones in your ten gallons sound like they are the biological media. This is where the colony stays when you change out the floss-like media, which is your mechanical, and might also be your chemical (if they are filled with carbon) filtration. Honestly, you really just want to change out whatever is catching the bigger pieces of stuff that goes through the tank while leaving the other media in place. It doesn't really matter which is which, unless you are using activated carbon and care about chemical filtration (this is something of a disagreed-upon subject in fishkeeping, whether or not chemical filtration is necessary).
If the Top Fin filter didn't come with a separate sponge as biological media, things are going to be difficult to do, but not impossible. When changing out filters, I would take out about a quarter of the carbon from the old filter and add it to the new filter (along with the new carbon). In this way, you'll keep at least a portion of the colony going in the filter. Honestly, if you ever have a chance, you might want to get a new filter. Tetra's Whisper filter is pretty good. People on this forum have said that the bio-wheel filters are excellent. Both have a separate thing to provide a growing medium for the bacteria colony, allowing you to easily change out the chemical/mechanical without disrupting anything.

As far as moving fish, it may stress the fry out, but I think being eaten by Mom and Dad might be even more stressful
 
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Angie

Member
thanks for the advice. No, my filter is not blue. Its white, and is one of those big square ones that slide down into the thingy. Until I do go geta new filter, I will try your adding media idea. As for the others, I will no longer change both at the same time. Thanks again!
Angie
 

vin

Member
Top Fin uses floss for their filter media. This is where the bacteria grows...The mechanical portion of the filter uses a cartridge style biobag filled with activated carbon.

What you should do when doing a water change is periodically swish the floss media around in used tank water. This will not kill the bacteria and will loosen any sediment on the floss. Don't wring it out dry.....Carefully insert it back into your filter slot....Next, take your new cartridge and swish that around in used tank water to loosen any carbon dust. Swish it well because carbon dust can be harmful to the fish....Insert that into the slot behind the floss....The cartridge should be closest to the filter reservior while the floss faces closest to the tank.....

Hope that helps.
 
  • Thread Starter

Angie

Member
that does help on the tanks with this "floss" but my filter on my 20 gallon does NOT have any floss. It is a top fin 20, and the only thing in there is a big white cartridge that slips in there...no floss.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
would adding a sponge filter to your tank be an option that you'd like? it would simply need a air hose connection and collect a lot of good bacteria.
- this is one that we have.
 

ABiondi

Member
- Sorry if i'm repeating anything but I skimmed through the other posts and thought i'd share my experience. In no way to I condone these to be the proper techniques, but they have worked for me
- Put the new filter in place and the old one in the reservoir section so that the water contacts both. Though this may not be ideal, I found it didn't take but more than a day or two, more to be safe. Another option would be to use a media from a cycled tank in a similar fashion. The plants and other decor in the tank do retain some beneficial bacteria and will aid in the process. I have seen small spikes in Ammonia and Nitrite but nothing major.
- A better filter system would be ideal.

- I've also had success moving Molly fry from one tank to another. I have 3 cycled tanks, I started by doing my weekly water changes but using old water from one into another, and so on until I was comfortable with the testings that they were all almost identical water, now I do 10% water changes weekly in each. So it was only a matter of acclimating the fry to the temperature. Which I keep different to encourage gestation and such. Make sure they have some place secure to hide, like a thick plant even if the tank is free of predators, they will still want to feel safe. I do believe they'll experience much more stress staying in the original tank with other fish, even parents. I suppose a breeding net isn't a bad option either.

Hopefully somewhat helpful... Good Luck
_AB_

(PS - just got the pics so I have to attach one.. ;D)
 

vin

Member
Angie said:
that does help on the tanks with this "floss" but my filter on my 20 gallon does NOT have any floss. It is a top fin 20, and the only thing in there is a big white cartridge that slips in there...no floss.
The Top Fin 20 should have the floss insert as that is the bed for the beneficial bacteria...Something is missing from your filter. If I were you I would get a replacement from the pet store.

I am assuming that your cartridge is the bio-bag type?
 

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