More cost effective filter media?

hdmstr

Hello everyone

I've had an Aquanano 40 tank (15 gallon) for 3 weeks now. It has a sort of built in filter at the back (Pic attached). The water flows in from the right to the left.

FilterPicture1.jpg

It first flows through these two cartridges below before going through a sponge and out the left side.

FilterPicture2.jpg
FilterPicture3.jpg

The first cartridge is pretty clogged. I've slotted it in at an angle to let water through but I'm guessing this just negates the point of this cartridge in the first place.

From what I understand is that I shouldn't replace the filter media (second cartridge) as this holds the essential bacteria for the tank cycle? It does cost quite a bit to keep changing the first cartridge out every few weeks so wanted to know if I could put in some other media in to reduce the amount of changes I have to do. I do have quite a bit of space in the back. My tank is mid-cycle right now, showing nitrites but no nitrates.

Appreciate the help!
 

Azedenkae

From what I understand is that I shouldn't replace the filter media (second cartridge) as this holds the essential bacteria for the tank cycle?
That is correct.
It does cost quite a bit to keep changing the first cartridge out every few weeks so wanted to know if I could put in some other media in to reduce the amount of changes I have to do.
You can just get bulk filter floss. Still needs replacing but it is far cheaper.
 

Fishstic

Hello everyone

I've had an Aquanano 40 tank (15 gallon) for 3 weeks now. It has a sort of built in filter at the back (Pic attached). The water flows in from the right to the left.

FilterPicture1.jpg

It first flows through these two cartridges below before going through a sponge and out the left side.

FilterPicture2.jpg
FilterPicture3.jpg

The first cartridge is pretty clogged. I've slotted it in at an angle to let water through but I'm guessing this just negates the point of this cartridge in the first place.

From what I understand is that I shouldn't replace the filter media (second cartridge) as this holds the essential bacteria for the tank cycle? It does cost quite a bit to keep changing the first cartridge out every few weeks so wanted to know if I could put in some other media in to reduce the amount of changes I have to do. I do have quite a bit of space in the back. My tank is mid-cycle right now, showing nitrites but no nitrates.

Appreciate the help!
I would recommend quilt batting its far cheaper than any aquarium filter floss.
 

hdmstr

That is correct.

You can just get bulk filter floss. Still needs replacing but it is far cheaper.
I would recommend quilt batting its far cheaper than any aquarium filter floss.
Thanks for the help, the first cartridge with the floss does have some (black) media in it too whereas the other one is white. Any difference or i shouldnt worry about it?
 

Fishstic

Thanks for the help, the first cartridge with the floss does have some (black) media in it too whereas the other one is white. Any difference or i shouldnt worry about it?
the black media is probably carbon.. don't use this as filter media if that's the case. new filters come with carbon usually but its only use is removing medication from the water. if it looks like a sponge though leave it in because it will polish the water
 

JTW

I toss those cartridges in the trash right away. Its where they belong. Their only purpose is to get you to spend money regularly.

I buy a filter sponge, and a bag of poly-fil. The poly-fil gets replaced regularly, but the sponges don't get replaced for a very long time. This combo is much cheaper, and much more effective than those cartridges.

I don't bother with carbon or bio-media. Carbon is unnecessary, and sponges work just as well as bio-media most of the time.
 

jtjgg

it appears the 3rd picture is some type of bio media balls. what's in the middle chamber? i would put the bio media balls in the middle chamber and fill the right chamber with polyfill or quilt batting.
 

Flyfisha

I have cartridges in filters that are 5 years old. No need to replace anything. When they are falling apart or should you find that particular model of filter an inconvenience to keep clean replace the cartridge with a sheet of foam/ sponge.

I use a little polyfill / floss in box filters and find it blocks up every month and needs rinsing. Where as foam/ sponge can go much longer before needing a rinse.

I don’t have a current photo hdmstr but I can assure you after years the cartridge is black.
 

Spinich

Wow, I guess I am on the other side of this spectrum. I remove and clean my filter thoroughly at least once a year. Bear in mind, I am former military with OCD.

When I was a kid, I used old tube socks because we were broke. They fit right over the Top Fin filter frames and it worked like a charm!
 

86 ssinit

Got to say that looks like a nice filter! Yes get rid of the first cartridge and replace with poly fill. Yes it will need to be rinsed weekly. What’s in the third and forth chamber? And what’s up without putting in a picture of the tank ?? :).
 

CindiL

You can rinse that really well in some old tank water until its not usable anymore then you can buy Marineland bonded filter pad, or something like it. It’s a huge amount for about $5.00 and it has both a course and finer side. You just cut out the size you want when it’s used beyond doing much help.
Also, when you go to do this, cut the floss off of the frame and put it in with the new pad for a week or so to seed the new pad.
 

Cherryshrimp420

For cost-effective just use gravel if you want porous media, and dollar store sponges if you want fine media
 

hdmstr

I toss those cartridges in the trash right away. Its where they belong. Their only purpose is to get you to spend money regularly.

I buy a filter sponge, and a bag of poly-fil. The poly-fil gets replaced regularly, but the sponges don't get replaced for a very long time. This combo is much cheaper, and much more effective than those cartridges.

I don't bother with carbon or bio-media. Carbon is unnecessary, and sponges work just as well as bio-media most of the time.
Completely agree with the cartridges being designed to get you to buy more. The people at my LFS told me that having some carbon that you don't wash out is beneficial since the sponge always needs a rinse?

Either way I've gotten rid of that first cartridge (second photo in post) and put some filter floss in because I was unsure of the quilt batting/poly fil. Anyways I'll use those from now on, defintely more cost effective.
it appears the 3rd picture is some type of bio media balls. what's in the middle chamber? i would put the bio media balls in the middle chamber and fill the right chamber with polyfill or quilt batting.
Got to say that looks like a nice filter! Yes get rid of the first cartridge and replace with poly fill. Yes it will need to be rinsed weekly. What’s in the third and forth chamber? And what’s up without putting in a picture of the tank ?? :).

Hey guys, I appreciate the replies!

This is exactly what I've done now. Tossed out the first cartridge and put in some filter floss (will get the poly-fil from now on) and loaded up the second chamber with the big sponge. Third chamber has got some extra filter media (Bionood I think its called by Aquaone) in a bag.

Here a photo of the new filter and heres a picture of the tank for you 86 ssinit, glad you asked! Btw this was a starter tank called aquanano 40, I do agree the filter design is quite intuitive!
I have cartridges in filters that are 5 years old. No need to replace anything. When they are falling apart or should you find that particular model of filter an inconvenience to keep clean replace the cartridge with a sheet of foam/ sponge.

I use a little polyfill / floss in box filters and find it blocks up every month and needs rinsing. Where as foam/ sponge can go much longer before needing a rinse.

I don’t have a current photo hdmstr but I can assure you after years the cartridge is black.
Hey Flyfisha, thanks for the reply!

Yea I thought it would be best to remove the first cartridge and replace with filter floss/poly fil, which is what i've done. I did rinse it out the but it was still pretty clogged so in the bin it went. And yep i've got a fair bit of polyfil on hand now so no issues there.

Cheers!
You can rinse that really well in some old tank water until its not usable anymore then you can buy Marineland bonded filter pad, or something like it. It’s a huge amount for about $5.00 and it has both a course and finer side. You just cut out the size you want when it’s used beyond doing much help.
Also, when you go to do this, cut the floss off of the frame and put it in with the new pad for a week or so to seed the new pad.
Hey CindiL, yea I gave it a rinse but it was still pretty clogged so I got rid of it. I put some fliter floss in with the second cartridge and will let that run for a few weeks to see how it goes. Added some more filter media in so think i'll be set, won't need to keep replacing those cartridges.
 

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86 ssinit

Nice set up. The filter is designed like a sump. Smart set up and good luck with it.
 

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