Question about changing filter cartridge before tank has finished cycling.

Thomas369

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I have to change my filter cartridge once a month and it's coming up to a month. However, since my pH in my tank was so low it never began to cycle properly. I have since sorted the PH issue but my tank still hasn't cycled, it has 0.25 ammonia and 0 nitrates and nitrites. My question is do I still change the filter cartridge? I was thinking if I did I would lose any bacteria that is currently in the cartridge, putting the cycle back to square one again. Also, over the past couple of days I have had a moderate algae bloom on the tank itself. I scrub it then a few days later it's starting to grow back again. I was wondering if algae growth has anything to do with the cycling or if it's just based on light exposure? I was never getting any algae before sorting out my pH
Thanks.
 

Chanyi

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Algae thrives off of ammonia.

Don't ever change your cartridges, just clean them in old tank water as a precaution every other water change.
 

CichlidJynx

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Thomas369 said:
I have to change my filter cartridge once a month and it's coming up to a month. However, since my pH in my tank was so low it never began to cycle properly. I have since sorted the PH issue but my tank still hasn't cycled, it has 0.25 ammonia and 0 nitrates and nitrites. My question is do I still change the filter cartridge? I was thinking if I did I would lose any bacteria that is currently in the cartridge, putting the cycle back to square one again. Also, over the past couple of days I have had a moderate algae bloom on the tank itself. I scrub it then a few days later it's starting to grow back again. I was wondering if algae growth has anything to do with the cycling or if it's just based on light exposure? I was never getting any algae before sorting out my pH
Thanks.
So first, yes you will lose your cycle. I was suggest using ceramic media that way you don’t ever have to change them until they are literally falling apart. Now the algae bloom I’m assuming is your bacterial bloom from a recent tank setup, it should only last a week or two.
 

nikm128

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What kind of filter do you have? It would do you and your future fish a lot of good to ditch the cartridges and get media for it that you don't have to replace and only rinse. The only benefit to the cartridges is them containing activated carbon...which is not very useful after about a month and that's why companies say you "need" to replace them.
I'm yet to come across and HOB style filter that you can't stick some sponges/pads in along with some ceramic media rings.
 
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Thomas369

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Chanyi said:
Algae thrives off of ammonia.

Don't ever change your cartridges, just clean them in old tank water as a precaution every other water change.
I thought with the filter I am using you had to change the cartridges. I am using a tetra easycrystal 600, so it's just like a fabric bag with some stuff inside it.

nikm128 said:
What kind of filter do you have? It would do you and your future fish a lot of good to ditch the cartridges and get media for it that you don't have to replace and only rinse. The only benefit to the cartridges is them containing activated carbon...which is not very useful after about a month and that's why companies say you "need" to replace them.
I'm yet to come across and HOB style filter that you can't stick some sponges/pads in along with some ceramic media rings.
I am using the tetra easycrystal 600. I am new to fish keeping so am not sure what media to buy or how I would set it up in my current tank. Would I have to buy a new filter or something in order to use media?

CichlidJynx said:
So first, yes you will lose your cycle. I was suggest using ceramic media that way you don’t ever have to change them until they are literally falling apart. Now the algae bloom I’m assuming is your bacterial bloom from a recent tank setup, it should only last a week or two.
It's been about two and a half weeks since I managed to sort out the pH so I am not sure if it is the bacteria bloom causing my algae. I asked someone in the pet shop and they said it normally happens sooner than 3 weeks?
 

Chanyi

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I would buy some coarse sponge, some fine filter floss, a small mesh filter bag, and a small package of Seachem Matrix.

Run the course sponge first - where the water enters first to remove debris, then run the Matrix in the small filter bag, then the fine filter floss to polish the water further. This way, you re-use the course sponges, re-use the matrix, and only have to change out the filter floss.

Rise the sponges and the bag of matrix in old tank water every couple of water changes.
 

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It looks like everyone else has addressed the misperception that cartridges need to be changed monthly, but I don't believe anyone mentioned anything about your ammonia level. I haven't done a fishless cycle, but I don't think you'll have much luck with it with ammonia at only 0.25. That's very near being within the margin of error for the tests. What specific method and ammonia source are you using for your cycle?
 
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Thomas369

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Chanyi said:
I would buy some coarse sponge, some fine filter floss, a small mesh filter bag, and a small package of Seachem Matrix.

Run the course sponge first - where the water enters first to remove debris, then run the Matrix in the small filter bag, then the fine filter floss to polish the water further. This way, you re-use the course sponges, re-use the matrix, and only have to change out the filter floss.

Rise the sponges and the bag of matrix in old tank water every couple of water changes.
Is there like a video guide or something to show how to set this up properly?

JettsPapa said:
It looks like everyone else has addressed the misperception that cartridges need to be changed monthly, but I don't believe anyone mentioned anything about your ammonia level. I haven't done a fishless cycle, but I don't think you'll have much luck with it with ammonia at only 0.25. That's very near being within the margin of error for the tests. What specific method and ammonia source are you using for your cycle?
I am doing a fish in cycle, I have 2 guppies and 1 platy in my tank currently. My tank is 105L so I am changing about 20L of water every 2-3 days.
 

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Thomas369 said:
I am using the tetra easycrystal 600. I am new to fish keeping so am not sure what media to buy or how I would set it up in my current tank. Would I have to buy a new filter or something in order to use media?
I'm not familiar with that specific filter, but looking at how it's setup it looks fairly easy to modify the media. The term "media" just refers to whatever the water flows through before going back into the tank, so what you're already using counts as media, it's just media that could be improved.
The 600 uses two cartridges correct? You can swap the back one for a sponge/filter pad, and then put some matrix in front of that. All you have to do then is rinse the gunk out every couple weeks
Thomas369 said:
It's been about two and a half weeks since I managed to sort out the pH so I am not sure if it is the bacteria bloom causing my algae. I asked someone in the pet shop and they said it normally happens sooner than 3 weeks?
Is it brown algae? That's a very common step in cycling and can happen at almost any point in the process.
 
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nikm128 said:
I'm not familiar with that specific filter, but looking at how it's setup it looks fairly easy to modify the media. The term "media" just refers to whatever the water flows through before going back into the tank, so what you're already using counts as media, it's just media that could be improved.
The 600 uses two cartridges correct? You can swap the back one for a sponge/filter pad, and then put some matrix in front of that. All you have to do then is rinse the gunk out every couple weeks

Is it brown algae? That's a very common step in cycling and can happen at almost any point in the process.
It uses just the 1 cartridge, I doubt there would be enough room for 2 in there. It's not brown no, it's green. It is not growing all over, just on the actual tank itself and near where the water exits the filter.
 

kered

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On youtube look up Aquarium coop and in corys videos he has a good one on diferent types of filters and how to get better performance I think its called turbo charge your filter or something similar.
not having nitrates is probably due to the algae as they eat it, as mentioned the ammonia is low and could just be a read error.
Do you have many plants, they too consume nitrates.
 

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Thomas369 said:
I am doing a fish in cycle, I have 2 guppies and 1 platy in my tank currently. My tank is 105L so I am changing about 20L of water every 2-3 days.
Never mind then. For some reason I thought you were doing it fishless. In that case it's good that you're doing water changes to keep the ammonia low.
 
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Thomas369

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kered said:
On youtube look up Aquarium coop and in corys videos he has a good one on diferent types of filters and how to get better performance I think its called turbo charge your filter or something similar.
not having nitrates is probably due to the algae as they eat it, as mentioned the ammonia is low and could just be a read error.
Do you have many plants, they too consume nitrates.
I just saw one his videos and the amount of room in the cartridge slot is a lot smaller than most of the ones he modified. It's probably so you can't add stuff into it and so you have to keep buying the cartridges. I have been testing with strips and the API master kit and they are both reading 0.25. Yes I have 7 plants in there and 6 moss balls.

JettsPapa said:
Never mind then. For some reason I thought you were doing it fishless. In that case it's good that you're doing water changes to keep the ammonia low.
Do you know roughly how long it will be before the tank is fully cycled?
 

nikm128

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Thomas369 said:
Do you know roughly how long it will be before the tank is fully cycled?
Every tank is different, it could range from a month to 3 months honestly. Fish in will probably take about a month
 
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nikm128 said:
Every tank is different, it could range from a month to 3 months honestly. Fish in will probably take about a month
Was just curious cause I thought I would be seeing some readable amount of nitrites but am not yet.
 

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