When To Change Filter Media?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by WeeBay, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. WeeBayNew MemberMember

    I have two Aqua Clear 20's for my 30 gallon and have had mixed answers on when to change filter media. Some say to change it by the manufacturers suggestions and others say to never change it. The aqua clear media has a sponge, a carbon package, and then beneficial bacteria in a mesh bag on top. From what i have gathered the only thing that really needs replacing is the carbon packet? I could be wrong on this, but i have not changed my filter media and the water is starting to get a little murky so i have been doing 50% water changes every other day; only to wake up to the water being murky again so i'm thinking this has to be a filter problem. Any advice helps. Thanks

  2. goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    I would change the carbon packet, and give the sponge a quick rinse (it doesn't have to be clean just a little less clogged up), don't worry about the bacteria mesh bag yet.

  3. kabellemValued MemberMember

    From my understanding, carbon is not really necessary unless you are wanting to absorb medications out of the water. It should definitely not be used during medicating of your fish. Beneficial bacteria can be housed in both your sponge and in the mesh bag, so you don't need to change these until they are falling apart. Perhaps your sponge is clogged with detritus, I would try rinsing it out with a few squeezes in water you take out when cleaning your tank. You can also swish your mesh bag around and see if that helps.

  4. goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    Carbon is not just for removing medication it removes all sorts of chemicals and metals that are in the water, and unless you want to spend lots of money on bottled water your fish tank has them.
  5. kabellemValued MemberMember

    Good to know!
  6. aquatickeeperFishlore VIPMember

    Do not change your filter media. Instead, just rinse them on every water change (in the old tank water in the bucket), so all the unneeded particles would get rinsed off. The filter media has beneficial bacteria and if you throw it away, the BB gets thrown away too, so then ammonia levels would rise.

    You can change carbon. Most carbon stops working after using it for a month. But carbon is not needed. I usually just dump it out if I receive some.
  7. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    Carbon is useless , unless removing meds. It's a waste of space IMO. I rather just use Sponge, Filter Floss and fill the rest up with media.

    Carbon is a waste of money , it needs to be changed every month, if you absolutely want something that acts like carbon then concider getting Seachem Purigen which is 10x better and last much much longer.

    Sponges will last several years , It only needs to be replaced if literally falling apart , media as well , just clean them every week in AQUARIUM WATER.

    Carbon is NOT "necessary" in your tank UNLESS your water changing habits are poor. It does help adsorb various chemicals/toxins from the water that accumulate in your tank OVER TIME. But, water changes will do the same for you if you perforem them regularly.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2017
  8. goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    The issue with that is most tap water even when treated with water conditioner has all those toxins. Even if you keep up on water changes (which everyone should) why take the risk.
  9. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    Been fish keeping for roughly 10 years , never used carbon , never had a problem, with regular water changes its fine. I have 16 Tanks using carbon in each filter and changing it every 3 to 4 weeks would cost wayyy to much.

    ALOT and MOST fish keepers don't use carbon.

    But in the end we all have our own way of fish keeping. Stick to what works for you.
  10. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    I don't have carbon in my tank...I used to have it in my HOB, had used it for years but not anymore since my tank got destroyed by whatever it was.

    Right now my view is that if the tank isn't broke don't fix it. That goes for whether I have carbon in there or not. If the fish are good than I'm good.
  11. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    I've had the same tub of carbon sitting under my tank unopened for 8 years as I've never had to use it. I use the nutrafin master test kit which tests way more than the API kits and my levels for everything stay perfect and my fish are beautiful and healthy.

    Carbon really isn't needed
  12. goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    I agree carbon isn't needed, but it helps. If the tank already has carbon in it then why change? If it isn't broke don't fix it.
  13. WeeBayNew MemberMember

    rinsed them out in old aquarium water after water change, water still kind of murky but ill give it a day or two to clear up and then repeat i guess haha. thanks for the help
  14. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    Yes but it's an added expense that isn't needed
  15. goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    The expense is so small though. You can get a 2 year supply on Amazon for 15 dollars. I wouldn't be worried about something like that. IME even though it isn't required it does help quite a bit even with regular water changes.
  16. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    I'd prefer the space for extra biomedia
  17. goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    Whatever you like. I'm not going to debate with you since I don't think either of us are wrong.
  18. MongooseALaModeWell Known MemberMember

    *Take out the carbon. You don't need it.
    *When you change water in the tank swish around the mesh bag and then squeeze out the sponge in the same water. Try to get any larger particles off it.
    *Replace sponge and bag
    *Do that once a month
  19. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    wait , you got confused at the end, Sponge doesn't ever need to be replaced unless falling apart which can years.

    also don't clean it inside the aquarium , get a bucket and fill that up with aquarium water when you do your water change and then clean the sponge , media ect..

    I clean all my filters every 2 weeks.
  20. MongooseALaModeWell Known MemberMember

    Oh sorry I meant replace as in put back into the filter

    Edit: wow sorry I need to sleep. I didnt mean in the tank. I intended to say when you take the tank water out since the things in the bucket


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