Not actually sure what I am supposed to do with the filter

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Stephinpdx, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. StephinpdxNew MemberMember

    So my first cycle was destroyed when a person at the LFS told me to replace the filter cartridges once a month. I still feel very unclear about what I'm actually supposed to do. It's a hang on back Auqeon that has cartridges. How often should these be replaced?
  2. Grimund

    GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    When they start falling apart, which is a long time.

    Charcoal can be put into a filter bag and replaced once a month, but it's not really a needed item in the filter
  3. sunshine2012

    sunshine2012Valued MemberMember

    Grimund is right, charcoal isn't really necessary, but some people like it and some don't. If you want to keep using the charcoal filters you can when its ready to be changed out once a month you can just rinse out the new one in a bowl of water from your fish tank or you can put the new one in the filter system with the old one after you have rinsed it with water from the fish tank if there is room for it for a few days, then throw out the old one. The only time I use charcoal ones is after I have had to medicate the tank with water changes. I myself for years when I was younger thought you had to use the charcoal filters and then found out it's not necessary and a pain in the butt. I have now for years haven't used charcoal and my fish are very happy and healthy.

  4. OP

    StephinpdxNew MemberMember

  5. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    If your cycle totally crashes from replacing your filter cartridge there is something else going on. The filter cartridges are made to be replaced. Most filters have a bio something. (Marineland have bio wheels, aqueon has the casing you put the cartridge in cant remember what its called). Pretty much anything with a surface is a bio filter including your substrate which is probably your biggest bio filter

    The cartridges say to replace every 4-6 weeks. But really that is the lifespan of the carbon
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2016
  6. Grimund

    GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    I use a ceramic bio media in addition to the cartridge. I haven't a need to change mine.

    The substrate doesn't do a great job of bio filtration because of the low flow it gets. The filter is the best place because if the flow through stationary media
  7. MinhMai

    MinhMaiValued MemberMember

    You're not supposed to replace all the cartridges all at once. Change one one month and the other next month.
  8. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    Grimund im not arguing about substrate not doing a great job but it does do bio filtration so shouldn't have totally crashed it.
    MinhMai sound like she has the same as me (which im looking at replacing since i want like bio rings or something similar instead of the plastic bio holder). Which doesn't have separate media technically. It has a bio holder that you put the cartridge in. So replacing the cartridge shouldn't have really effected her cycle.

    stephindx to answer your question. You can just rinse it off for a while if you want. Mine i left in and just rinsed off weekly for 2 months while it cycled and got the bio holder loaded
  9. MinhMai

    MinhMaiValued MemberMember

  10. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    MinhMai not arguing that. What i am saying is its all one piece. Not individual pieces. That is all im saying. So there is no partial. Its replace all or nothing
  11. sunshine2012

    sunshine2012Valued MemberMember

    Can you maybe give us a picture and what brand of filter system do you have?
  12. SmilingJocker

    SmilingJockerValued MemberMember

    Lol. We're making it sound more complicated than it should be..
    Here's what you should know: there will be a certain amount of bacteria in almost every solid surface in the aquarium. The amount of bacteria on a specific spot depends on how much ammonia or nitrates flow through there.
    Therefore, most of the bacteria live in the filter media.
    When the filter media is replaced it takes some time before there is enough bacteria to process the ammonia and nitrates in the water.
    Now that that is cleared here is what you should know about replacing carbon or other "active" water cleaning stuff that can be put inside the filter:
    The "active" stuff (like carbon) is to remove excess chemical stuff in the water like medication or even some waste products in the water. This is not always needed as the stuff that is naturally produced in the aquarium are not bad for the fishes health (with the exception of ammonia or nitrates).
    Because of this, you don't need to change the cartridge out all the time except when it starts to fall apart.
    You can try the Purigen cartridge as it comes in a really good bag that should stay intact for many years. Saves you a lot of money that way.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016

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