Filtration

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MudHog

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How often should I rinse my filter and/or change my filter?

I have a Emperor 280 w/ Bio-Wheel filter on a 39 gallon tank.
 

Luniyn

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Check the bio-wheel when you do your water changes. Make sure it is moving freely and at a steady pace. If it is "limping" (i.e. slowly moving and then spins halfway around real fast then slowly again, then fast, etc.) then you can gently rinse it with room temperature dechlorinated water. Do not scrub it or clean it in any way, the gentle rinsing is enough. As for the inside material, it really depends on the tank. Watch the flow of water through the filter when it's brand new. Then after a few weeks check it again. I've noticed that after 3-4 weeks my flow is decreased and the water in the fill tank seems to be backing up a bit. At that point I will either rinse out that filter when I do the water change or outright change it. Right now since I'm using activated charcoal filled filters, I'm just changing it every 3-4 weeks so I can get a fresh batch of AC in there since it goes bad faster then the filter material does. But if you don't use AC in your filters, then a simple rinsing out will do. Some people rinse them until they fall apart in their hands then they change them. As long as the flow of water is good that works well too, it's personal preference really.
 

COBettaCouple

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We change ours every 4 weeks - same reason as Luniyn.
 
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MudHog

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thanks, so once a month.

I'll start looking for some good deals on bulk filters. Anybody come across some good deals? I seen some auctions on ebay for (24) filters for $48 shipped, that's $2 a filter.
 

Luniyn

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. It adds an extra level of bio filtration and I can change out my filter media without working about having to seed another pad. Right now their 24 pack is on sale for $30.39 and they usually charge a base shipping of around $9.99. Also they don't increase the shipping price per item but rather based on how much money you spend. So I can usually buy a whole bunch of things and still pay the $9.99 shipping.
 

chickadee

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You should NEVER rinse a Bio-wheel no matter how Gunked up it gets. If you read the instructions on the aquarium set-up you would know that this is entirely normal and is the growth of the bacterial bed. Every time you do this you loose a good portion of the cycle of bacteria that you have built up. Please change the filter media if you feel you must although most of us rinse the media in used tank water and use it over instead of wasting money on new ones all the time. Some of the members have been able to use the same ones for as long as 15 years with no harm to their tanks. It is safe to do and a tremendous savings. The only reason they say to change them every few weeks is to line their pockets with money. But to rinse the Bio-wheel is really a big mistake and will eventually cause you a real problem cycle wise and could throw your tank into a mini cycle or totally negate your cycle depending on just how much bacteria you rinse away.

Rose
 

COBettaCouple

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We have 2 tanks with the bio-wheels (once the new yard-sale pickup is cycled.) and like the idea of rinsing our filter media in tank water rather than buying new ones every month. With our other filter media we can easily add new AC, but is there a way to do that with the filter media in the 5 gallon hex tanks? (or is it not important?)
 

Luniyn

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Let me rephrase what I said about the bio wheel. You should never CLEAN your bio-wheel, i.e. no scrubbing. However, when you have excess build up on the wheel and it looks to not be spinning at a steady pace, follow what the manual says and "RINSE gently with room temperature dechlorinated water". Though I just reread my earlier post and it read like I was saying to rinse it with every water change. This is definitely NOT needed nor recommended. It should have read to check it when you do water changes, and only if it actually needs to be rinsed (sorry for that implication). However, it is important to keep an eye on it. One of the people I work with didn't pay attention to it in his wheel and one day found it had so much build up on it that it wouldn't spin anymore and half of the wheel had completely dried out. He rinsed off some of the excess and it started spinning like it was new, but he had to deal with a mini-cycle as he lost half of his bio-filtration.

EDIT: Went to my first post and adjusted it so no one just reads the first post or two without reading the rest and gets the wrong idea.
 

Luniyn

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FLBettaCouple said:
With our other filter media we can easily add new AC, but is there a way to do that with the filter media in the 5 gallon hex tanks? (or is it not important?)
Is there a special type of filter used on the hex tanks other then just the hang on back type? With AC using it beyond trying to remove meds from a tank is really a matter of preference. A lot of more experienced members on this forum have said that they don't use it in their tanks on a regular basis. I have gone back and forth with it really, but ended up keeping it in my tank because of the Prime I use to treat my water. From what I've read, once you add Prime (I've read this with Amquel+ as well) whatever isn't used to handle the toxic chemicals in your water just stays in the tank waiting till there are some toxins to bind with. While that is how it is supposed to work, since I'm not cycling I don't need to bind up that much of my ammonia or nitrite anymore because the good bacteria have that covered. The AC is said to remove even these left over chemicals from the tank, so I figure rather then let them build up in the tank (since I add more with each water change anyway) I would let the AC help remove them. Yeah I'm probably wasting my money, but the added AC gives me a little more comfort about my water quality. So again, it's a matter of preference.

One thing to note though, normally things like AC don't know good from bad. So if AC can get rid of the bad chemicals, it also gets rid of good things like vitamins or nutrients in the water. I prefer to add my vitamins directly to the food I feed my fish and not in the water because of this reasoning. But this also applies to tanks with live plants as it will remove the nutrients from the water and slow plant growth. So when I eventually switch to a planted tank I'll have to lose the AC.
 

chickadee

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Here is what I use to replace the purchased filter cartridges that contain the activated carbon.



I get the big blue bonded pads and cut the piece to fit the space I need to fill. In the Hex tanks you can make a lot of filters out of a pad. I have used them for a long time and the only time I use the carbon filters that are factory made is when my tanks get smelly or are medicated and need to have the medications removed, but I would not even need to do that as all you need to do is put a layer of carbon between two layers of the blue bonded material and you have a carbon filter so you really do not need to have the premade filters. I just do it that way by preference.

Hope this helps.

Rose
 

Luniyn

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Yeah that is the filter material that I've had sitting in my shopping cart for the Drs site for weeks now... LOL. I just keep flip flopping back and forth about keeping AC, not keeping AC, keeping AC, not keeping AC...... :
 

COBettaCouple

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chickadee said:
Here is what I use to replace the purchased filter cartridges that contain the activated carbon.



I get the big blue bonded pads and cut the piece to fit the space I need to fill. In the Hex tanks you can make a lot of filters out of a pad. I have used them for a long time and the only time I use the carbon filters that are factory made is when my tanks get smelly or are medicated and need to have the medications removed, but I would not even need to do that as all you need to do is put a layer of carbon between two layers of the blue bonded material and you have a carbon filter so you really do not need to have the premade filters. I just do it that way by preference.

Hope this helps.

Rose
Thanks Rose, that's a great help and we'll be putting that on our next DFS order.
 
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MudHog

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I must say that Drs F&S website is amazing. Prices seem to be the best on anything I have shopped around for. I'll be using them for any of my future needs.
 

Luniyn

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They also only charge shipping based on $ amount that you buy rather then per item. So you can get a lot of things and still keep their base ground shipping price of $9.99 to most places. They even tell you "You can still spend up to $X.XX more before the shipping increases" in your shopping cart. Yeah they did a really nice job... or at least their webmaster did
 
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MudHog

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Yep, Perfect way to get me to spend more money.

I ordered my test kit, filters and a algae scraper, noted the little You can spend XX amount more money and keep shipping cost, I ended up buy a couple more decorations.

I think it's a conspiracy against the consumers. ;D ;D

by the way, order delivered today so I can test my water and have some results this weekend.
 

COBettaCouple

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they do have such a great website & seem to be mostly 1/2 the price of petco. the way the shipping is setup, encourages us to spend more & more because it goes up so slowly after $60. Glad you got your order today.
 

Radcliffe

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Luniyn said:
. It adds an extra level of bio filtration and I can change out my filter media without working about having to seed another pad. Right now their 24 pack is on sale for $30.39 and they usually charge a base shipping of around $9.99. Also they don't increase the shipping price per item but rather based on how much money you spend. So I can usually buy a whole bunch of things and still pay the $9.99 shipping.
I have just discovered how nice that shipping deal is! The shipping was a flat 9.99$ even when I added two bags of substrate to my order- making the substrate way cheaper than in local stores. I just got the shipping confirmation for a 44 pound package- lol.

--R
 
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