DIY FILTERS (pictures included)

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atmmachine816

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I thought now that I have a digital camera I can show how I do my filters since I'm changing them today.

Steps(number's correspond with pictures)
1. Buy a bag of filter fiber/floss
2. Take a good size handful of it
3. Open your filter and take out any media you might still have
4. Stuff in fiber, let it soak in the water a little, it will compress some
5+6. Make sure fiber sits behind the rim so it will not get caught on your wheel or go into your tank(you do not want this in your tank, a pain to clean-up) and make sure the wheel is spinning
7. Close filter back up and you are done
8. You don't have to change it until it's very dirty (or you can rinse it)

Feel free to ask any questions or for me to take a picture on something your unsure of.

atm
 

obusweetT

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How do you make up for the loss of chemical filtration? Also where is the floss/fiber available?
 
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atmmachine816

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I make up for the loss of chemical filtration with my bio-wheel so changing all the media is fine for me. If you have an aquaclear or other HOB filter and you don't have a bio-wheel you can change half of it at a time so you don't loss the chemical filtration.
 

Golden Fish

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ATM, How is your Bio-wheel making up for the Chem filtration?
I think what obusweet t was asking is most of the mechanical filters like in your penguin come packed with carbon inside.
BTW, I don't use chem/carbon in mine either.
The floss is available at petsmart or if you are sure it is 100% polyester just buy it in a craft store (it's the stuff they stuff pillows with find it at wal-mart).
 
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atmmachine816

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O sorry wasn't very clear, the bio-wheel keeps spinning all the time so it's in contact with the water and the bacteria grows on it like it would on a filter cartridge or sponge or filter media. So when I take it all out I don't restart the cycle because it's like changing half the media. The drawback is if you have the filter not running long you need to take off your bio-wheel and float it in your tank so the bacteria doesn't die.

Ya the carbon is meant to filter out tannins and chemicals and if it's not filtering out that then what is it, and after about a week it starts leaking stuff back into the tank that can be bad for you fish.

Ya most stores sell it, and yes my grandpa used those from sewing because my grandma's into sewing, I tried it but found it clogged to fast because the type he had was so thick.

If you have another type of hob filter you can buy a bio-wheel and stick it on your filter so you can have a bio-wheel, saw it done with a aquaclear.

hope that clears some stuff up.
 

AlfaBetta

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I have an Emperor 400 Biowheel and what I do is cut a horizontal slit at the top of the cartridge and dump the carbon out. I then use this empty cart which already has filter wool on it for filtering out large particles. Every couple months I just pull this empty cart out and rinse it to remove any blockage then slide it back in the filter. This way I don't have to buy and replace anything such as filter wool and it keeps the filter flowing freely. This method works for all Biowheel filters and not just the Emperors.
 

chickadee

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This is what I use and it works great.



I buy the big Uncut Blue Bonded Pad and they last in all my aquariums for a year or so as you can rinse and reuse the same as other filter media. I keep the cartridges with the carbon for when I need to remove medications as my tanks never smell with all the water changes.

Rose
 

AlfaBetta

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That's basically what the filter carts have on them and the carts are already sized and framed perfectly. Why spend more money to cut up pieces of wool that don't fit the filter perfectly?
 
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atmmachine816

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I just did it this way because my fish were producing so much waste at the time that I couldn't keep up by rinising, maybe I'll try it again, still have three filter cartridges
 

chickadee

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Because I can get about 20 small filter media pads out of the pad for $3.00 or less depending on where I buy it and if I buy the bulk material. Since I only use carbon to remove medication, there is no real advantage in using the expensive cartridges all the time when all I need is the piece of the Bonded Fiber material. These can be used and rinsed the same as the factory made cartridges and they cost a fraction of what the others do and they do everything the cartridges do as the carbon is the only thing missing and carbon is not needed on a daily basis. Even if you do use the cartridges, the carbon has lost its purpose after the first couple of days so there is no reason to buy them except to remove medication.

I would rather spend my money on the fish and other things they need or little presents for them.

Rose
 

AlfaBetta

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Sure but if you did what I explained you don't need to buy anything because every filter comes with 1 cart that already has built-in filter wool. All you need to do is cut a slit at the top of the wool and dump the carbon out. Now you've got a nice wool-only cart that you can remove and rinse every couple months without disturbing the biowheel. Also when you need carbon to remove medications you simply pour some carbon into the cart through the slit that you already made.
 

chickadee

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There is nothing wrong with doing it EITHER way.  The nice thing about this forum is that there is generally more than one way to do most things.  You are most welcome to continue doing what you are doing and if this works well for me then I will continue to do the way I am.  We have given everyone a couple of options and this is not a contest.  Eventually the cartridge will have to be replaced and I have just chosen to do it differently...it is okay to use Both methods or neither of them. Neither method will disturb the bio-wheel in any way.

Thank you for the suggestion.

Rose
 
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atmmachine816

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Hmm interesting Rose, how much shipping usually cost you, I'v found that it's a little gross but if I squeeze mine in used tank water they become almost white again and a huge bag costs me 5$, maybe I'll try your way
 

Asinity

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This is a little off topic but since throwing off the biological filtration came up, I figured I'd ask.

In my Aquaclear mini, I've got my foam insert at the bottom, then the biomax bag, and then right now I've got carbon sitting at the top. Is there really any specific way to putting these filters in? On the packages it says that the foam is stage one, carbon is stage two and then the biomax is stage three. Does it REALLY matter where they are put in? When I do end up rinsing my foam, will I screw up my cycle if the biomax is out of the water for a minute or two? How long can it last out of water before the good bacteria die off?
 

lolagurl

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How much was your filter atmmachine, mine was 40$ can. I dont know if it would be worth it for me to do that, cuz i would probably mess it up, plus i dont know if i have the same filter, cuz i dont think i can open it up. But it does have that fiber stuff in it, just at the very very bottom
 
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atmmachine816

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Asinity said:
This is a little off topic but since throwing off the biological filtration came up, I figured I'd ask.

In my Aquaclear mini, I've got my foam insert at the bottom, then the biomax bag, and then right now I've got carbon sitting at the top. Is there really any specific way to putting these filters in? On the packages it says that the foam is stage one, carbon is stage two and then the biomax is stage three. Does it REALLY matter where they are put in? When I do end up rinsing my foam, will I screw up my cycle if the biomax is out of the water for a minute or two? How long can it last out of water before the good bacteria die off?
Ok I have never used an aquaclear but know what it looks like. I would assume they have it that way as it sits the best and that the foam is the largest filtration media thus going through first. I would take the carbon out unless you are removing meds as it doesn't do any good in your tank otherwise, considering replacing with some filter media like filter floss or pad for mechanical filtration. I would read your instructions first ont he biomax, but I know with my bio-wheel which holds the biological media it's 20 minutes before it starts dieing so if you rinse the foam in tank water for a few minutes I don't think it will hurt at all. I wouldn't risk it so don't leave it out longer than 20 minutes max, less is better, you can ask Isabella for confirmation as she has an aquaclear.

lolagurl said:
How much was your filter atmmachine, mine was 40$ can. I dont know if it would be worth it for me to do that, cuz i would probably mess it up, plus i dont know if i have the same filter, cuz i dont think i can open it up. But it does have that fiber stuff in it, just at the very very bottom
Not quite sure what you are saying but mine cost me 24$ as I found it on sale, but regular it's 36$ at one store and 42$ at another. Usually on your filter it will say what type it is or the company that made it somewhere and also it should say on the instruction book as hopefully you kept that.
 

JMatt1983

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i have an aquaclear mini or 20 as it is now called, and I can't find the bological filtration anywhere, so i just use 2 chem filters, one carbon an one ammonia remover, these cost about $2.70CAN, and no shipping.

just an opinion here, what atm is doing with the filter floss is not really a DIY filter, its an inexpensive alternative, as it is sold at all lfs' with the filter cartridges
 
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atmmachine816

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The biological filtration in the aquaclear 20 is the bio-max stuff, or at least according to them.

Ya I guess it's not really DIY but I did include the link to plantgeek's DIY method for real DIY and I used to do that also, just perfer this way.
 

Muffymouse

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Ok, so I have a whisper 5-15 that came with my 10 gallon tank kit. It uses the medium sized filter cartridges. But if I am understanding correctly I could not use those and put in something else like the blue and white pad that Rose uses or the fiber/floss stuff that atm is using and it would still work great unless I was removing meds from the tank? is that right? and then I could do the same type of thing for my new tank that uses some kind of cartridge and a bio-wheel? that would be cool as it would seem to be much cheaper.
 

Luniyn

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Muffymouse said:
Ok, so I have a whisper 5-15 that came with my 10 gallon tank kit. It uses the medium sized filter cartridges. But if I am understanding correctly I could not use those and put in something else like the blue and white pad that Rose uses or the fiber/floss stuff that atm is using and it would still work great unless I was removing meds from the tank? is that right? and then I could do the same type of thing for my new tank that uses some kind of cartridge and a bio-wheel? that would be cool as it would seem to be much cheaper.
Yep that is correct. Though with the whisper filters, you would still need to use the black sponge that came with it for your bio media. But other then that, yep it will still work just fine.
 
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