Improve Hob-style Filter By Removing Cartridges?

KarlsJr

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I bought the 3.5 gallon Top Fin Enchant tank that comes with a HOB-ish style filter (Top Fin Element). The filter comes with two cartridges filled with carbon. I made a couple changes to get more bang for my buck with the filter, but I'd like to know from someone more experienced if this is a decent method.

I removed one of the cartridges and stuffed an AC sponge in its place. I also added a small bag of BioMax. This way I can change out the 1 cartridge monthly, but leave the sponge and BioMax to keep the beneficial bacteria (I hope).

After modifications, the current is stronger and the filter is noisier. The sponge looks a little big in there, but I wanted to be sure the water flows through it instead of channeling. Is it possible I overstuffed it?

Did I do this right? Any advice regarding this would be much appreciated.

I'm very new to fish keeping, and the more I read on this forum, the more I realize I don't know. I'd like to learn how to do it right. I apologize for the bombardment of questions, and really appreciate everyone's help.

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NavyChief20

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the current is stronger due to less flow restriction which in turn higher flow in this case increases your noise. Is it a gurgling or a mechanical noise? Gurgle you can fix with another little sponge. Mechanical noise you need to shutdown and reorient the media.
 
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KarlsJr

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Does that mean the sponge and biomax have less restriction than the cartridge?

It's a mechanical noise. Because of the walls to hold the cartridges in the filter, my options to reorient the media are somewhat limited.

Maybe I should switch back to just the cartridges like it was designed?
 

NavyChief20

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yeah less restriction with the sponge and biomax. I personally would not use the cartridge at all since it is a carbon cartridge. Ive posted alot about carbon and I am making a informational write up on fluid flow filters and media and chemically what they do. For now though I will say that carbon only removes some things from water and ammonia and nitrite are not it. you can ditch the cartridge and go only biomax and sponge. that should help the sound alot. Lava rock is also excellent and super cheap!
 
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KarlsJr

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Thanks for the help! The cartridges are so expensive, I like the idea of not needing them.

Do you recommend not using any chemical filtration then?
 

NavyChief20

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I stick to biological and mechanical filtration plus plants for a nice little kicker. I stay away from typical chemical filtration because it is usually overglorified. If you ditch the cartridges then your monthly overhead will drop too.
 
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KarlsJr

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Thanks for the help NavyChief! I'll give it a shot. Looking forward to reading your write up
 
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