filter Cartridge

  1. racerchaser Initiate Member

    I have a new 20 gallon tank it's been up and running with 8 tetra's and a very small pleco, The tank has been up and running for 3 weeks. I was wondering when to change my filter Cartridge. I have a Marineland 150.
     
  2. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    Do you know what your readings are for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle and cycling your tank?

    You would not change your filter out until the cartridge is literally falling apart. When the cartridge gets clogged up, you rinse it out in used tank water.

    What species of tetra and pleco do you have?
     

  3. QQQUUUUAADDD Well Known Member Member

    The cartridge you have probably comes with carbon. Many members on here don't use carbon too often. Most just use it for removing meds. It's your decision whether you want to use carbon or not.

    You could cut the cartridge and dump the carbon out and not use the carbon. Or, you could change the cartridge monthly. (cartridges are very costly)

    Good luck!
     
  4. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    Unless there is another source of filter/bio media in the tank, I would absolutely NOT suggest that the OP change out the cartridge monthly, unless they are dual cartridges in the tank, so that the benefical bacteria is not lost.
     

  5. Lupinus Member Member

    In short, you don't. The cartridge houses a good bulk of the beneficial bacteria in your tank and if you change it, you throw it away and run a good risk of a mini cycle.

    So cut open the top, dump out the carbon, and just give it the occasional rinse in used tank water.
     
  6. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to Fishlore, it is nice to hear new voices in the forum.

    Don't change the cartridge monthly, or you will send your fish tank into a new cycle every month. I did that the first time I cleaned the tank. I had two units with three cartridges and I changed them all at once. Big NO NO. I sent the tank into a cycle you would not believe... took me two months of 30 gallon a day water changes to get the cycle back. If you have more than one cartridge, change one of them at a time. Only change them when their condition absolutely warrants it. If you only have one cartridge, Keep some of the media from the old cartridge and tuck it in with the new cartridge to hold the cycle somewhat stable. If you ar set on using carbon, cut out the old carbon replacing it with new carbon. Stitch the whole loosely with thread to keep the carbon in place. What I do is run a Duetto 100 underwater filter packed with floss and carbon. That way the water stays crystal clear with the floss and the carbon keeps the water clean. I replace that every 30 days, but I still don't replace the media in that. It is about 2 years since I changed that media.

    id, rinse your cartridge when "gunky" in a bucket of syphened tank water. Never use tap water.... the chlorine will kill the good bacteria.

    If you don't know if already learn the cycle of the tank so you don't lose any fish
     
  7. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Does that filter have a biowheel? (i.e. a wheel with pleated paper that the water pours thru just before leaving the filter). If so, in theory, you should be able to replace your cartridge since a bunch of bacteria is supposed to live in the biowheel. I had a filter with a biowheel for a while, but I never trusted it enough to change the cartridge. I just cut a slit, dumped out the carbon (since it stops working after about 4 weeks) and would rinse the cartridge in used tank water with my weekly water changes (never use tap water, since the chlorine will kill the bacteria)
     

  8. QQQUUUUAADDD Well Known Member Member

    Sorry guys. I misspoke. Since it's a Marineland 150, it does have bio-fltration from the Bio-wheel, right? If you don't have another form of bio filtration, by all means never change your filter media. I was just thinking since the filter has a bio-wheel for bio filter they could change the cartridge.
     
  9. amber0107 Well Known Member Member

    I have the same type of filter, and I put some aquaclear sponges behind it (the original filter cartridge) to seed them and then eventually just threw out the filter cartridge that came with it. Since it's such a new setup, I wouldn't trust that the biowheel would have enough beneficial bacteria built up on it yet to withstand throwing out the original filter cartridge yet.
     
  10. racerchaser Initiate Member

    This is great.. Thanks for all the replys. I won't change the cartridge. I will allow time for bacteria to grow in the bio-wheel. I have did a 20% water change I used tap water but I used tap water conditioner in a water jug with the water before adding it to the tank. I never knew that tap water killed the bacteria I thought it was bad for the fish thats good info to know. Thanks for all the great help