Filter Question That I Thought I Knew The Answer To....

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Philippians 4:13, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember


    I thought I knew the answer to this...... my filter is a Tetra whisper ex 45 for my 29 gallon tank. It has a bio scrubber that never needs to be replaced and a carbon filter(supposed to be replaced once a month). I thought the carbon filter was what everyone was talking about with rinsing it in aquarium water and not replacing it unless it falls apart. Now I am seeing that they are talking about a sponge of some sort. But my filter does not come with a bag. What is this sponge and what is its purpose? What needs to be replaced, how often, and is my filter okay without this sponge? Also, when I do replace whatever needs to be replaced, will it affect my cycled tank, and make it do a mini cycle, or should it be fine?


  2. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    In the Tetra Whisper the "bio scrubber" is your biomedia. It's got all those protrusions to increase the surface area for bacteria to grow. Sponge is just another type of biomedia. As are ceramic pellets, plastic pot scrubbers, floss, even carbon!

    The bio scrubber should hold your cycle by itself when you change your carbon but of course it's always a good idea to watch the parameters since you are removing some of your cycle bacteria. That's especially important in a young tank.

  3. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    I used to run a filter just like that until it magically broke down, I got mad and decided to filter the tank with just plants.
    What I did was I opened the foam when I first got the filter, took the carbon out, threw PVC cuttings (my ghetto version of bioballs) and used that as my mechanical filtration. Every now and then I would take the pad out and clean it to get some gunk out. Im not a fan of replacing anything on filters and you should be fine withtout replacing anything.

  4. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    So I found tetra bio bags, which look like unassembled carbon filters. Should I use those? Does anyone know? Also, should I change my carbon filters monthly? They are different than the sponges.
  5. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Whether you really need carbon in your filter is hotly debated. It does provide a place for more bacteria to grow so by throwing it out each month you're also throwing away some of those. But not all of it so it's up to you.

    Not familiar with the bio bags, sorry.
  6. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    Okay, I got more info on the BioBags. They are basically unassembled carbon filter cartridges, but sold at half the price. Everyone says you can assemble them in 2 minutes or less, so I am going with that!

    Thanks everyone for the help!
  7. tocandesuWell Known MemberMember

    I don't think those biobags fit in Tetra EX filters.
  8. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks, I just checked that!
  9. tocandesuWell Known MemberMember

    Since the Ex filters have a little clamshell that holds the biobags, you could just fill it with Polyfil, or cut up a piece of sponge/filter floss to put in it
  10. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    Does that mean I can get the bio bags, or not?
  11. tocandesuWell Known MemberMember

    You cannot use the biobags with a square bottom. You can buy the ones with the round bottom, or make your own media.
  12. WraithenWell Known MemberMember

    I used to cut the bio bags open and dump the charcoal. I've had the bag itself last almost a year on a small tank. My wife was cleaning while I was away because it looked gross but luckily I had put enough of those chalk stick looking bio pieces in it to hold a good enough cycle.

    Just rinse the bag out in old tank water to get them clean enough when filtration slows down or the water hops over the bag. You can leave the charcoal in but it gave me a tiny bit of extra room for those bio sticks to dump it.
  13. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    You use the Tetra bio bags?
  14. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    I have a whisper ex filter. They don't make bio-bags for the ex filters, do they?
  15. WraithenWell Known MemberMember

    Idk if they specifically make them for the ex but I had them laying around from my first filter. For what I was doing with them I was basically just using the outside as filter floss.
  16. tocandesuWell Known MemberMember

    I just realized that the filter cartridge for Tetra Ex filters are called "Carbon Filters," and not "BioBag." Sorry for the confusion.

    Do you see the blue piece that holds the cartridge? You can fill that up with filter floss instead of buying Carbon Filters.

  17. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    How often is it in need of replacing?
  18. WraithenWell Known MemberMember

    When it falls apart. There's no set schedule. If you're referring to the carbon filter they're good for about a month, but unless you're cleaning up medicines you don't really need the carbon to work.
  19. Philippians 4:13Well Known MemberMember

    So I don't need to replace the carbon filters monthly? Or I still do?
  20. toolmanWell Known MemberMember

    I only use carbon to clean up medicine, changing them every month is a waste of time. I use Purigen instead. As suggested I would stuff floss in there. I only use Aquaclears, more room for media.

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