Replacing Cartridges In Aqua-tech 30-60

MushroomMang

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Hello, I've been running my 29 gallon tank with the Aqua-Tech 30-60 and seems to work well. I have two questions though. First, i'm not sure if the return current is too strong so contemplating putting a sponge in front of the return to slow the current as I saw another FishLore user recommend. Second, I've seen a lot about replacing the cartridges with sponges. I bought a big pack of the cartridges for this filter so I still have a bunch. I was replacing one every month then the other the next, but I've read that you can just rinse them off in the water you take out during water changes and reuse them until they are physically damaged. Should I keep using the cartidges and washing them off until they are damaged? Or do I need to replace them since they have the activated carbon in them? Once i'm done with the cartridges should I just switch to sponge filters instead of using the cartridges? A lot of questions I know, but i'm curious and know you guys know what's up as i'm a newbie.

Thanks in advance
 

endlercollector

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As far as how often you change the media in the filter cartridges, it just depends on this particular tank's bioload and how much b.b. and plants are in there. Some people just find it easier to stay on a schedule since cell phones can do reminders every four weeks. You could measure the parameters weekly to double check the amount of nitrates (or anything else) should they pop up, and replace carbon accordingly. Another method is to watch for something getting out of balance (say, an increase in algae that is feeding off of excess waste) and dying rams horn snails (due to high nitrates), and then change media. And then there are the people like me who have insanely tough fish in Walstad-inspired tanks, so I change media maybe every few months. Mostly, I top off the water, but do as people say, not as they do
 
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MushroomMang

MushroomMang

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endlercollector said:
As far as how often you change the media in the filter cartridges, it just depends on this particular tank's bioload and how much b.b. and plants are in there. Some people just find it easier to stay on a schedule since cell phones can do reminders every four weeks. You could measure the parameters weekly to double check the amount of nitrates (or anything else) should they pop up, and replace carbon accordingly. Another method is to watch for something getting out of balance (say, an increase in algae that is feeding off of excess waste) and dying rams horn snails (due to high nitrates), and then change media. And then there are the people like me who have insanely tough fish in Walstad-inspired tanks, so I change media maybe every few months. Mostly, I top off the water, but do as people say, not as they do
at the moment I only have one molly in it and no live plants. my parameters are always at 0 besides the nitrate which is 5-10ppm. so the carbon is necessary? the cartridges have the carbon inside them so do I need to change the cartridges or is just rinsing them off every month fine?
 

endlercollector

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MushroomMang said:
at the moment I only have one molly in it and no live plants. my parameters are always at 0 besides the nitrate which is 5-10ppm. so the carbon is necessary? the cartridges have the carbon inside them so do I need to change the cartridges or is just rinsing them off every month fine?
Sounds good, and no, you don't have to change the carbon at this point. Just rinse off any gunk with some of the tank water. It may also become necessary to swish around some tank water in the filter itself. Aquatech HOB filters tend to build up gunk through the intake, spinner, and all parts, faster than other filter that I've had.

Is your molly a boy or a girl? If the latter, you will soon have fry and more fry until you have hundreds. That's part of the joy of livebearers. And if you have a boy, then you should get him some company (preferably several females) as they're very social fish. One trick is to get him females that he can't mate with (a few swordtails, for example, but they're likely to be pregnant when they arrive) or even half a dozen cory cats. They will be harassed, but they will survive
 
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MushroomMang

MushroomMang

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endlercollector said:
Sounds good, and no, you don't have to change the carbon at this point. Just rinse off any gunk with some of the tank water. It may also become necessary to swish around some tank water in the filter itself. Aquatech HOB filters tend to build up gunk through the intake, spinner, and all parts, faster than other filter that I've had.

Is your molly a boy or a girl? If the latter, you will soon have fry and more fry until you have hundreds. That's part of the joy of livebearers. And if you have a boy, then you should get him some company (preferably several females) as they're very social fish. One trick is to get him females that he can't mate with (a few swordtails, for example, but they're likely to be pregnant when they arrive) or even half a dozen cory cats. They will be harassed, but they will survive
What filter is the best/would you recommend?
 

endlercollector

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MushroomMang said:
What filter is the best/would you recommend?
It depends on what kind of fish and how many you plan on keeping in this tank. I don't do cannisters due to space constrictions, so if you have the space, you may want to go that route. All HOB's get gunked up at some point. I do like that I can see what's going on with the one Aqua Clear that I have, but the return does create a strong current. Definitely, all black HOB filters have the issue where you just can't see what's going on until it's a mess. I have fish that deal fine with the current, so I don't have to baffle it.

For 10's and 20's, my all-time favorite HOB is the Marina slim. Gentle current and mostly clear, so I can see if there are problems developing.

I'm also moving more toward sponge filters. Ugly, but they're cheap, not hanging on the back where it's hard to reach around my racks of tanks, and one large air pump can keep 4 tanks going.

Hope this helps
 

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