Want to switch from TopFin 10 Filter to Aquaclear 20 Filter SAFELY

  • #1
Hello. I'm a 1st time aquarium owner. I bought a 10G TopFin starter aquarium about 2 weeks back from Petsmart. Everything is up & running great. I let it run fishless a week & then got 2 male Guppies that have been in there for a week & are eating & swimming happily. My goal is to have a guppy tank with 5 males (introducing them only 2 at time 1-2 weeks apart) to give them plenty of space & to keep the Bioload low for easy maintenance. I want to get a Aquaclear 20 Filter for my tank because Ive read lots reviews & done lots of reaserch & it seems there's a lot of good things about them. I like the idea of having the extra filtration both mechanical & biological to have optimal water conditions.

By the time I get the $$ for the Aquaclear the tank will have been running with the TopFin for probobly 4-6 weeks & the cycle should be well along. Now I'm about 99% sure that if I just take the TopFin out & throw the Aquaclear in its going to totally throw the cycle off & cause problems.

So I'm asking for suggestions on how to switch the filters without having to re-cycle the tank & effect the fish negativly. My hood only has 1 spot for a filter. I guess I could just cut another hole manuelly in the hood for the Aquaclear but Id rather avoid that. My other thought was just to leave the hood off completly & run both of them to let the Aquaclear build up bacteria. But can Guppys jump out? How long should I run the Aquaclear before taking TopFin out? Should I avoid getting anymore guppys until this whole filter exchange process is done?

Thank you for any suggestions.
  • #2
If you can take the bio media out of the topfin and squish it into the new filter, you won't lose your cycle.
  • #3
Ditto with LexI - if you just run the Aquaclear and take out the TopFin, you will be cycling the tank again. If you have trouble squishing the biomedia of the TopFin into the AC 20 you could also run the AC 20 without the activated carbon.
  • #4
I wasn't aware that topfin10's had biomedia.....

Just put the entire topfin filter cartridge in the AC. You may need to use a pair of scissors, and you may need to leave the carbon out like meatpie said. There's no harm in that, and it's absolutely more beneficial to have the seeded media in the filter than the carbon.
  • #5
You should be able to rip the floss part of the TopFin's filter cartridge off and put it into the AquaClear. You can just throw out the carbon that is inside the TopFins cartridge.

I don't know how knowledgable you are about cycling with fish, so forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know. But since ammonia and later nitrite are very toxic, even at low levels, you need to do daily partial water changes (35%-50%) with a detoxing water conditioner such as Prime. Prime will detox the ammonia and nitrites for 24 hours, at which point you will be doing another water change. Note that Prime detoxes ammonia/nitrite, not remove them. In a detoxed state the ammonia/nitrite is still able to feed the bacteria that you are trying to develop.
  • #6
yup simple as mentioned just keep that filter media in the new filter and you'll have an instant cycle, assuming you are already cycled.

Carbon only lasts about a month or so at best. Its really unto you if you want to continue the use of it or not.

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