How To Replace Filters?

Hello! I have a Marina S20 SlI'm Filter with 4 cartlidges inside. It’s attached to my 20 gallon long tank that I currently keep guppies in. I’ve had them for about 4 months now ( the tank is split for the fry) and I’m rather ready for some more experienced fish. I was thinking a dwarf gourami or two and a school of neon tetras. I’m not certain though, and I will definitely do more research on it. But the filter cartridges are quite disgusting, they were used for I’m not sure how long when I got them. I’d prefer to replace them before I get new fish. But id hate to ruin the cycle I’ve spent so long on building up, so how should I go about replacing them without ruining the cycle? Should I replace them one at a time over the course of a few months or so? Anyone have any advice? I greatly appreciate any and all help! - Caroline
 
You could replace one or two of the cartages couple of weeks apart till they are replaced. Add beneficial bacteria with each new cartridge.

Darn good advice. ;-)

I have the same filter waiting for my 10 gallon tank. I ordered these here:



Only need three. I then traced a cartridge out over the media bag and used 4lb fishing line to sew a new bag the size of the cartridge and cut it out.

I have added a prefilter to the the intake tube. The first cartridge slot have 2 pieces of Pinky Floss. The next three will have 2 filled with Matrix and 1 filled with bio rings using the new bags.

I will move over some Matrix from my Tidal 55 in the bags. Also some Pinky Floss shoved down the intake tube section to jump start the Beneficial Bacteria.
 
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Instead of using the replaceable media that costs $ over time and throws out your beneficial bacteria each time it's replaced, use some DIY media.

Some sponges and a bag of ceramic bio-media will cost you less $$ in the long run, filter the water better, and colonize more beneficial bacteria.

A 3-pack of Aquaclear sponges () for $5 can be cut to size and filled in the first 3 slots. The last slot can be filled with a bag of Aquaclear/Fluval Bio-Max () for $6.

The sponges should fill the entire slot area. This will provide maximum surface area for the sponge to filter the water. The sponges are reusable (just squeeze them out in a bucket of tank water) and besides primary mechanical filtration, they are a secondary place for colonized bacteria to live.

The bag of Bio-Max can also be cleaned in a bucket of tank water.
 
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I was thinking a dwarf gourami or two and a school of neon tetras. I’m not certain though, and I will definitely do more research on it.

Howdy! I'm currently cycling a 20 gallon (high) tank, and I am planning on keeping neon tetras, some Otocinclus catfish, and a dwarf gourami as well. From what I have been reading online, male gouramis (every gourami I've seen at my LFS is a male) have a tendency to fight with each other, so I would recommend just one to keep the peace. Good luck!
 
You could replace one or two of the cartages couple of weeks apart till they are replaced. Add beneficial bacteria with each new cartridge.
Thank you so much for the help! I apologize for the very late response, didn’t realize notifications weren’t coming through. And do you mind elaborating on the beneficial bacteria? How would I go about that? Thank you so much for the advice! I really appreciate it.
 
Howdy! I'm currently cycling a 20 gallon (high) tank, and I am planning on keeping neon tetras, some Otocinclus catfish, and a dwarf gourami as well. From what I have been reading online, male gouramis (every gourami I've seen at my LFS is a male) have a tendency to fight with each other, so I would recommend just one to keep the peace. Good luck!
Hiya! That’s wonderful, I bet yours will be a beautiful tank and I wish you luck. I’ve heard about that too so I think I will just keep it to one. Thank you so much!! again, sorry for the late response. Have an amazing day!
 
Instead of using the replaceable media that costs $ over time and throws out your beneficial bacteria each time it's replaced, use some DIY media.

Some sponges and a bag of ceramic bio-media will cost you less $$ in the long run, filter the water better, and colonize more beneficial bacteria.

A 3-pack of Aquaclear sponges () for $5 can be cut to size and filled in the first 3 slots. The last slot can be filled with a bag of Aquaclear/Fluval Bio-Max () for $6.

The sponges should fill the entire slot area. This will provide maximum surface area for the sponge to filter the water. The sponges are reusable (just squeeze them out in a bucket of tank water) and besides primary mechanical filtration, they are a secondary place for colonized bacteria to live.

The bag of Bio-Max can also be cleaned in a bucket of tank water.
Thank you so much for this!! I’ve heard about the DIY filters, but I’ve always been hesitant about it because I worry that I’ll mess it up. But I think now I’ll do more research on it and keep your advice in mind because it seems like the sponges are overall much more beneficial. I appreciate your help so much!
 
Darn good advice. ;-)

I have the same filter waiting for my 10 gallon tank. I ordered these here:



Only need three. I then traced a cartridge out over the media bag and used 4lb fishing line to sew a new bag the size of the cartridge and cut it out.

I have added a prefilter to the the intake tube. The first cartridge slot have 2 pieces of Pinky Floss. The next three will have 2 filled with Matrix and 1 filled with bio rings using the new bags.

I will move over some Matrix from my Tidal 55 in the bags. Also some Pinky Floss shoved down the intake tube section to jump start the Beneficial Bacteria.
Very interesting! Thank you so much for your experience and advice, I appreciate it greatly. I’ll definitely keep it in mind, especially since you and I have similar filters. Thank you so much for the links as well!
 
When I posted originally, I didn't see CichlidDude's post before mine. Either the sponges that I suggested or the pinky floss (or any brand of bulk roll filter pad media) that he advised, or both, will work.

CichlidDude, can you post a pic of your Marina S20 setup?
 
Thank you so much for the help! I apologize for the very late response, didn’t realize notifications weren’t coming through. And do you mind elaborating on the beneficial bacteria? How would I go about that? Thank you so much for the advice! I really appreciate it.
I use Seachem Stability and Pristine. I just follow the label.
 
Yeah I know what they look like, just wanted to see the Pinky Floss and custom media bags in it.

Here is a Youtube video that shows basically what I have done. It's for the S15 but just add one more compartment.

 

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