How To Change Filters.

Lauradesu

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So a filter change is coming up on both of my tanks I'm more worried about the 15 gallon its cycled more than the 50 gallon (though I question that because all it has left is ammonium that just wont go away) but my 15 gallon is just about ready for a filter change and how do i go about doing that since all the good bacteria is in the filter its self. Isnt changing the filter like starting the cycle all over again? What should I do?
 

MommaWilde

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You are right about the filter. I’m guessing you have a filter that uses cartridges? If that’s the case you can cut the fabric out of the old cartridge and rinse it in dirty tank water. Then put the used cut pieces in with the new cartridge.

An other option, what I would do is to cut it like the above suggestion, but don’t replace the cartridge for an other cartridge. I’d buy a sheet of filter sponge material. Cut that to the size of the cartridge. So no more cartridge replacing. Use the old cut fabric with the sponge until it’s all cycled. Then when the sponge is dirty you just rinse it in dirty tank water and put it back. Saves a lot of money and your cycle.
An other option is to always have a second filter that is especially for biological media. Like a sponge filter or the same one you’ve got but fill it with sponge or ceramic rings etc.
 
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Lauradesu

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MommaLake said:
You are right about the filter. I’m guessing you have a filter that uses cartridges? If that’s the case you can cut the fabric out of the old cartridge and rinse it in dirty tank water. Then put the used cut pieces in with the new cartridge.

An other option, what I would do is to cut it like the above suggestion, but don’t replace the cartridge for an other cartridge. I’d buy a sheet of filter sponge material. Cut that to the size of the cartridge. So no more cartridge replacing. Use the old cut fabric with the sponge until it’s all cycled. Then when the sponge is dirty you just rinse it in dirty tank water and put it back. Saves a lot of money and your cycle.
An other option is to always have a second filter that is especially for biological media. Like a sponge filter or the same one you’ve got but fill it with sponge or ceramic rings etc.
Okay I know some things about the filter sponge I just didnt know if I could use it as a replacement for the stupid cartridges and it would make it a **** of a lot easier on both tanks. And I know 100% my LFS sells the filter sponges in different sizes. But still I can cut it down to size like you said. So I will assume that I put the same bacteria solution I have on the sponge and it will do exactly what the cartridge will do. My only worry is that the cartridges have carbon in them as well like a very small amount but enough to detoxify the tank. Should I find a alternative to this as well? Or could the tanks live without.


Further more how often should I change the sponge if I have to or how often do I need to clean it
 

MommaWilde

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For carbon: this is a highly debated topic. Personally I don’t use carbon in my filters unless I’m setting up and brand new tank and I want to clear the water out. If you want to use carbon you can buy little bags of it (it doesn’t matter if it says it’s for a certain filter, if it fits then it’s ok to use).

For detoxifying your water, the declorinator will do that. Prime is the best but others are perfectly fine too.

Sponge and ceramic media and bio balls never need to be replaced unless they are literally falling apart. I have some sponges and ceramic rings that are almost 2 years old and still perfectly good. That’s why they are so great because you save so much money and don’t loose your cycle. Also they are separate form carbon. So if you use carbon and if you had to medicate your tank, you could just remove the carbon and your cycle stays

Edit: I just wanted to add, yes the bacteria supplement works the same. If you use prime declorinator then use stability bacteria. If you use say API or some brand that does not affect the ammonia, then use tss plus (tetra safe start). If you are outside the US then it would be whichever products are comparable to your location.
 
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Lauradesu

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MommaLake said:
For carbon: this is a highly debated topic. Personally I don’t use carbon in my filters unless I’m setting up and brand new tank and I want to clear the water out. If you want to use carbon you can buy little bags of it (it doesn’t matter if it says it’s for a certain filter, if it fits then it’s ok to use).

For detoxifying your water, the declorinator will do that. Prime is the best but others are perfectly fine too.

Sponge and ceramic media and bio balls never need to be replaced unless they are literally falling apart. I have some sponges and ceramic rings that are almost 2 years old and still perfectly good. That’s why they are so great because you save so much money and don’t loose your cycle. Also they are separate form carbon. So if you use carbon and if you had to medicate your tank, you could just remove the carbon and your cycle stays

Edit: I just wanted to add, yes the bacteria supplement works the same. If you use prime declorinator then use stability bacteria. If you use say API or some brand that does not affect the ammonia, then use tss plus (tetra safe start). If you are outside the US then it would be whichever products are comparable to your location.
I'm in Canada but I know prime is available at my lfs but we use their store name conditioner and we also use something called aquavita seed in our filters and it works so well. Actually I think using the seed was what made my tanks cycle so darn fast.
 
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Lauradesu

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UPDATE:

I took out my filter inserts out of each tank and cut off the fabric (as carbon partials fell all over the place) but I managed to get some filter sponge for both tanks put the fabric in wedged between each sponge and put some aquavita seed in the sponges to start cycling them with the already cycled fabric and now I just sit back and wait.
 

smee82

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If your filter has more then 1 cartridge of you change 1 then wait 2 weeks to change another you shouldnt affect your cycle.
 
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Lauradesu

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smee82 said:
If your filter has more then 1 cartridge of you change 1 then wait 2 weeks to change another you shouldnt affect your cycle.
Both only had one but the 50 gallons filter has the space for two but I only ever put in one. So the sponges are working.
 
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