Do You Clean Your Filter Every Wc? Question

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by fishrlene, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. fishrleneValued MemberMember

    Hi guys, just thought I would ask this. Do you normally clean your filter medias during each water change? I do a weekly water change and have a sponge on my filter intake. I swoosh that in aquarium water that I take out every week to remove the gunk. Because of this, not much debris has been getting in the actual filter media in my HOB filter. So I’ve only been cleaning that (swooshing in aquarium water) about every other week? I was afraid to clean in too much in case I loose any good bacteria.

    Am I doing this right or should I also be cleaning that weekly? Thanks!
  2. mlashValued MemberMember

    Everybody has different routines but I think the cleaner you keep your filter the better. If you only use old tank water to rinse everything with you will loose minimal bb and it should be back to normal by the next day. The problem for me is that I get lazy or "forget" to clean it so I rationalize that it doesn't need to be cleaned that much. That reminds me, I need to clean my filters this weekend!
  3. JeffsgloValued MemberMember


    I normally clean my filter media once per month in aquarium water. I have a sponge filter in the aquarium, and a two in one filter HOB that came with my aquarium. I normally squeeze the sponge filter really good once a month in aquarium water, and change my cartridge filter once per month, and just swish my HOB filter media once per month. I also normally don't do all this at the same time. I kind of lag it. At the first of the month, I change my filter cartridges and swish the HOB filter. Then the next week or in the middle of the month I squeeze my sponge filter. I also gravel vac once a month but only half the aquarium at a time. I do this so I can make small baby step changes to the aquarium. Doing thing's very slowly in my aquarium is the key for me.:)
  4. CheshireKatValued MemberMember

    With my convict cichlids years ago, I actually only cleaned the filter every month or two and topped off water, didn't do many water changes. It worked in that setup. I only fed a few times a week.
    For my 25 gallon now, I feed 1-2 times per day with platies and mollies. I have a good amount of fry in there right now so that tank gets extra food. Because of this, and all the snails, and the fine powdery food, I have to rinse the filter floss every week and replace it every two weeks. Every few weeks I clean out the intake and rinse the intake sponge. I'll give a quick rinse to the biorings as well. I don't really gravel vac because of all the driftwood scattered about and the fish go through and pick up any food, so it's all waste that gets broken down, which the plants like.
    For the betta tanks, I rinse the filter media every couple of weeks or so, no real schedule, just when they seem to need it.
    For the very small fry tub, I used a turkey baster to suck up all the waste several times a week. They've moved up to a 5 gallon tub with a box filter so I have a bit more leeway there.

    It really depends on your bioload, your feeding schedule and amounts and type of food, if there are plants, etc. What works with one tank may not work with another. I usually just adjust to needs of each tank.
  5. Zka17Valued MemberMember

    I am using canister and hob filters, most of them have intake filters.
    I do clean intake filters every time I do water changes (once every 2 or 3 weeks), but the filters themselves will be cleaned only once in a year.

    Note, I have heavily planted tanks with high lighting and CO2 injection, and actually very low stocking - hence the low frequency of water changes. I do, however, replace the evaporated water...
  6. SkavatarWell Known MemberMember

    my hob's are cleaned every week. the media is gently rinsed out in the buckets of the old tank water i pumped out into buckets.

    the canister is cleaned about once per month.
  7. GlennOValued MemberMember

    I rinse the fine sponges/pads in my canister each week, the coarse ones every 3 or 4 weeks. I don't do anything with the biomedia.
  8. jjohnwmWell Known MemberMember

    There is no single correct answer to this is the case with most aquarium questions! :)

    I have a 30-ish-gallon tank in my den which houses a single Musk Turtle and usually some guppies, along with a small population of RCS. This gets a 95% water change at least once a week, along with a thorough rinsing/squeezing of the foam in the internal filter. As an aside, I am usually absent for 3 weeks at a time throughout the summer months, so my wife does the water change on this tank for me. It's all done with pipes running into the basement, utilizing a pump to refill the tank from the water change reservoir down there...but it's still a bit of a drama so it's a darn good thing that my wife loves that turtle! :) When I am home, I do that same 95% change every few days. In any case, the foam is rinsed and squeezed a lot; we are on a well so have the luxury of just using tap water for this.

    At the other end of the spectrum, my basement tanks using matten-type sponge filters get lots of massive water changes as well, and the filter surface gets vacuumed with a siphon on most of those occasions...but if you're talking about actually removing and squeezing/rinsing the filter...well, let's see: we're in July now, so I suspect the next actual "cleaning" of those filters will be sometime after next Christmas...if it looks like it's necessary.

    Gotta love a matten filter...:)
  9. angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

    I should be cleaning my HOBs every week with my water changes since it's so easy, but they don't really get dirty due to low bioload levels and fish that don't dig or move the bottom. In my pleco growout, I have to clean the filter every week at a minimum. My canisters don't get as much cleaning since it's more difficult and time consuming to do so. I also have an Eheim prefilter on them so that keeps them cleaner and rinsing those takes 2 mins.

    The cleaner the better. I mean free of detritus, not beneficial bacteria. Too much debris on the filter media keeps BB from colonizing there.
  10. TolValued MemberMember

    I clean mine in old tank water during weekly water changes.
  11. AllNoodlesValued MemberMember

    I do mine every other week, with doing 1-2 a week water changes since im slightly heavily stocked in one tank. I may do it more often if needed, but every other week is my minimum
  12. Señor PescadoValued MemberMember

    My Aquaclear 30, hob, gets cleaned once a month. I usually do it between (not during) water changes just to be safe.
  13. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    My AC filters get cleaned when the lid starts to rise up it’s like my pop up timer right @coralbandit :) and my canisters I do about every 3-4 months
  14. fishrleneValued MemberMember

    Wow! This is great info. Thanks everyone. And yes, you’re right, there is no one answer to this question. I may start doing it weekly once my I start stocking more fish. Thank you everyone! :)
  15. Charlie’s DadValued MemberMember

    Ding.... Ding....... Ding.......

    For final Jeopardy......

    My final answer is.........

    What is all of the above answers are correct!!!!!!! ;););)
  16. FaytayaNew MemberMember

    I guess it depends on a number of factors, like what fish you keep, your filter itself, your bioload...its different for everyone. I think I might need to upkeep mine monthly or at least bi-weekly.
  17. 86 ssinitWell Known MemberMember

    I clean with each water change on tanks under 30g. Discus I clean sponges with every water change (every other day) but have yet to clean the canister. My 90 has 2 filters so one cleaned weekly with 50% water change. Everything you’ve read works but I find the cleaner the water the better.
  18. ParrotCichlidWell Known MemberMember

    Cleaning on every water change is actually more detrimental than most of you think.

    Even cleaning in tank water will remove a large portion of the BB. Plus its really not necessary to clean your filter every week. At max once a month.

    I clean my filters every 4-6 months and everything remains stable.
  19. fishrleneValued MemberMember

    Good to know. Do you have a lot of fishes though?
  20. ParrotCichlidWell Known MemberMember

    Every fish tank i have is overstocked.

    I have 3 red snakeheads each between 12 and 16" long right now. The filter on that tank still only gets cleared every 4 months or so. That tank by calculations would be about 200% overstocked with the bio load.