Need Advice on Changing Filter w/o Losing Cycle or Harming Dwarf Shrimp

JesstheWanderer
Member
So. I am new at this and ended up in the shrimp hobby organically and not completely by intention. BUT that is a long story. I like and am attached to them now. I now know what I need to do for a shrimp specific tank, when I have money for my birthday... for now, I have a 3.5 gallon tank that came with it’s on carbon filtration system. My shrimp are doing well. The tank is cycled... 0 ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites and Nitrates range from 0-10. The increase in nitrates from 5-10 occurred this week. In any case, I do weekly 10% water changes. I know they say not to run a carbon filter longer than a month. This one has been running for 2 months, and I have rinsed it in aquarium water when doing water changes at least twice...in the bucket of course. I don’t have the equipment to do anything complicated... when and how do I replace the filter w/o losing my bacteria or cycle. Thanks for your time and assistance.
 
Crimson_687
Member
If you mean to replace the media, you do not ever need to do this unless the media is physically breaking apart. If you need to remove carbon there should be a way to open it, but if not, you can punch a small hole. If you do need to replace media, run old media with new media for a few weeks, or cut a small piece of old media to place alongside new media.

For replacing filters, run your replacement filter alongside your old one for a few weeks. If you cannot do this, then transfer all media from the old filter to the new filter
 
Nickguy5467
Member
if you are getting a new filter you can - if you have room for both you can just use both until you feel comfortable getting rid of the old one after you feel the new one has collected bacteria. or you can take the media inside the old one and put it in the new one even if its not ment for it,while the old bacteria spreads to the new one. you can still stuff whatever in there i assume. not sure what type of filter you use. but i like the power HoB filters like the tidal 55 etc. anyway thoughts for your brain. I'm no expert
 
  • Thread Starter
JesstheWanderer
Member
Thank-you both for your replies. It is a Medium Tetra Whisper filter. I am not sure I could get 2 of those in the compartment on my aquarium. It just says they are supposed to be replaced monthly. How would I remove the carbon? And then could I just run it w/o the carbon or would I need to put some other media into it?
 
Nickguy5467
Member
JesstheWanderer said:
Thank-you both for your replies. It is a Medium Tetra Whisper filter. I am not sure I could get 2 of those in the compartment on my aquarium. It just says they are supposed to be replaced monthly. How would I remove the carbon? And then could I just run it w/o the carbon or would I need to put some other media into it?
oh. anyway to remove carbon you cut open the cartridge and take it out... personally i hate cartridges. and you dont need to replace them unless they are falling apart. they just want more money from you (just rinse them out in a bucket of you fish water when doing a water change every now and then >< but honestly i replaced cartridges with sponges. they have so much more homing space for beneficial bacteria. if you want to and have the space stuff a filter sponge in there and eventually your sponges would replace your cartridges comepletely . i mean unless you prefer cartridges >.> (also dont have to worry about carbon(unless its a carbon sponge i guess) =)
 
wateriswet
Member
Funny thing about companies that make their money selling replacement filter pads, they tend to tell you to replace them often. I have the exact same filter and rarely or never replace the pad (0-2 times per year). I usually just rinse it out in the bucket of old water.

I'd recommend getting a pre filter sponge to go over the filter intake. It adds another surface for beneficial bacteria, keeps the main filter pad from getting dirty as fast, keeps baby shrimp from getting sucked into the filter, and gives the shrimp a favorite place to graze. I wring it out during every water change and also never or rarely replace it.

Another thing you could try is using polyfil instead of or in addition to the filter pad. No carbon and never needs replacing. Plus it's easy to cut a piece from to use to seed new tanks with beneficial bacteria when MTS kicks in :)
 
  • Thread Starter
JesstheWanderer
Member
Hah. So, please forgive my ignorance. But as I am researching both a sponge filter insert to replace the cartridge and also the pre filter sponge...based on y’all’s awesome advice, I discovered something about my particular aquarium. Mainly I was trying to figure out where the intake was located as the filter box is built into the aquarium...so that part is not as simple as slipping a pre filter sponge on it. However, it seems it has a built in bio foam component, which presumably houses bacteria and doesn’t need to be replaced. Thus the carbon filter could be removed without losing bacteria if I understand correctly... so then, I could just replace it with another carbon filter or a sponge if the consensus is that it is better for the shrimp...and in theory I would still have bacteria because of the biofoam?
 

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