Clean Or Replace Filter Inserts Question

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by peterphonic, May 21, 2018.


Clean vs replace

  1. I clean as long as the filter inserts don`t fall appart

  2. I meticulously follow filter instruction about replacing foam, activated carbon and bio max

    0 vote(s)
  1. peterphonicValued MemberMember


    Recently bought my fluval vista 23g aquarium and I wanted to religiously follow my Aqua Clear 50 instructions about changing the media (foam, activated carbon and biomax) when needed.

    But after some searches I realized that changing something might hurt the tank by removing good bacteria. I understand now stores sell products to add to the tank when doing maintenance, to avoid ammonia peak.

    So, I am not sure anymore what is the best thing to do. I read that some people just clean once in the while their filter inserts (with tank water), and they change them just when they fall appart. I also read some thread where people follow Aqua Clear guide and change the filter inserts. Some people even add their own filter pads to keep the bio max cleaner.

    So, that is the question, what is the best approach to keep the tank healthy? I think it is really important because I`d like to have shrimps and everybody told be that they are really sensible to ammonia.
  2. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    Hi! So i have very strong opinions on this one, please don't feel i'm upset with you?

    I strongly believe the instructions to replace filter media are complete poo designed to make you buy stuff you don't need.

    Every single time you change your media out, you lose nearly all (90%+) of your established cycled beneficial bacteria.

    carbon is ok to change, as i understand it. but please don't put yourself (or your fish) through the trauma of throwing away and replacing your foam and biomax!

    the best way to clean your filter is to turn it off, take your media out and rinse it in a bucket of tank (not tap) water and replace. then turn the filter back on.

    carbon is ok to replace periodically but most of us don't use it except for things it's designed for (algae, smell, removing medications after you've finished treatment).

    if you must replace, the best way to do it is to put new media in your filter with your old media for at least a month, then you can slowly remove and throw away the old media (25% per week every week).

    again, i dont do this. i did once with disastrous results. i simply keep all my old media and rinse it in a bucket of tank water once every couple months.
  3. peterphonicValued MemberMember

    I am not upset at all! :) This is the reason why I am asking. My 7 years daughter and I are new to this hobby. I wanted to do things right to not having our fish die after a few days. I read and read so much since 2 months, it is unbelievable. And this is because I am reading that much that I realized that changing media filter might not be the best thing to do (and add other products to control the ammonia peak following the change of the media). So, I say thank you for you're honest advice. This make sense...

    I wanted to keep activated carbon for another thread, but since that you raise the topic, with what could I change it? It is my intention to meticulously do water change every week, so, I think it won`t be needed for my case...

  4. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    I have activated carbon on hand in case it's ever needed, but none in any of the 8 filters we're running across 5 different tanks. You can really use anything. :) Just buy a fish safe mesh filter bag and fill it with things like:

    bio noods
    bio balls
    bio litter
    ...check out these videos if you want more options:

  5. peterphonicValued MemberMember

    Really interesting video, thx! Biohome products look interesting. Now, I am wondering if
    1. it is better to add more product like bio max,
    2. or add another foam to filter the water.

    I guess it depends of parameters like how many fish I will have in my tank. I guess it might be also useless having to much bio max if I don`t have enough load in my tank?

    If I am adding more bio filter (like biohome), is that correct to have by biomax on top of the biohome or vice versa? One of them will be fully immersed.

    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  6. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    sorry been off the site for a while. I'm not fussed about the order you put media in a filter... I normally follow what the manufacturer says or Google it :)

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