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Cleaning Filter Pad


chico

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HI - I have a new tank - 14 days old today. 10 gallon; 2 orandas. Seems to be going thru the regular cycling like a textbook. Ammo just went down to .25 and nitrites are up; recently added salt to help minimize the stress.

I have the top fin filter system - came w/the tank (purchased a start-up kit for my 3yo son). Typical filter pad. I have been reading around here that it's best to CLEAN out the pad in tank water rather than REPLACING the pad outright. Is this the consensus? And how often should I be cleaning this filter pad? Do I just get some tank water in a big bowl, take out the existing filter, swish it around the big bowl, then put it back in the filter box? vvvv guy told me to REPLACE the filter once a month...so I am not sure now what exactly to do.

Thanks in advance for all your advice!

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I don't replace them unless I absolutely need to, but I keep spares around. To clean them you're absolutely right. Just put them in TANK water (very important to use the tanks water in a seperate bucket) and swish them around. Cleaning them regularly will also keep cloudiness away.

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I used topfin stuff for awhile. theyre simple to clean. once a month, you want to open it up and replace the carbon that is inside the filter cartrage (the black crumbles inside the fuzzy stuff) just dump it all out, and replace it with some new (about 2 tablespoons) they sell loose carbon in milk carton looking things at all petstores. as for cleaning the fuzz, i would clean it weekly, since it is a topfin filter (which arent the best) and you're overstocked. do exactly as you had planned, swish it around it some tank water.

another idea that may be even more beneficial to you then using carbon is to buy some bio-media(bio balls, etc) and fill up your filter cartrage with that. therefore, your biofilter could possibly handle your fish load, and they rarely, if ever, need changed. just the same swish in tank water that the fuzz needs. :)

hope that helped :)

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I just wanted to add that because your tank has been only running for 14 days,do NOT clean your filter out at all. Filter's really don't need cleaned out until there's an actual "flow" problem with the water. :)

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Right. I'm just trying to gather all information...I am keeping a notebook of notes for future reference.

Thanks for the input!

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Here's what I do.....I run two filters so when I do my weekly quarter water change & swish one of the filters out in the stream of water coming out of the siphon hose & quickly stick it back in. The next week I "swish" the other filter.

I have been reading info on this site about re-making your filters and I am thinking about trying that. I think that sounds like a very smart way to save $$$. Does anyone do that?

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest JavaGoldfish

My fantail tank has been running for two years now and I'm still using the original filter cartridge packaged with my hanging box filter. Unless the filter cartridge is completely degraded or inhibits waterflow, there is no compelling reason to replace the filter cartridge. In fact, replacing a used filter cartridge can have a detrimental impact on tank water chemistry and fish health.

One of the purposes of a filter is to create an environment optimal for the growth of aerobic (beneficial) bacterial. These bacteria consume the compounds in the water that are ultimately toxic to fish. As such, the colony of beneficial bacterial responsible for consuming the nasties in the tank water primarily reside in the filter cartridge. Replacing a filter cartridge is essentially equivalent to removing a large part of this bacterial colony. Removing these bacteria on a regular basis will cause the chemical balance of a tank to fluctuate with each cartridge change. Each time a cartridge is replaced, the bacterial colony must replenish itself in the new cartridge, which takes time. Anything that destabilizes the water chemistry of a tank is not the best thing for the tank inhabitants.

Rather than replacing the filter cartridge, simply rinse the cartridge off under running tap water. Make sure the cartridge is NOT exposed to hot water, as this will kill the bacteria. It's okay to push down on or squeeze the cartridge to wash out all the "gunk" that may be clogging the water flow.

Bear in mind that the chemical filtering performed by these bacteria are more important to fish health than the mechanical filtration (capturing particles in the tank) performed by activated charcoal or the fabric filter material. Chemical filtration is geared toward fish health, while mechanical filtration, for the most part, improves tank aesthetics.

The carbon (or activated charcoal) in filters is a form of mechanical filter, capturing small particles in the microscopic pores of the carbon itself. Once these pores become saturated, the charcoal's mechanical filtration is pretty much shot. However, since the carbon is located in the filter cartridge (and has lots of surface area), the carbon is one of the best breeding grounds for the beneficial bacteria. So replacing the carbon will also kill-off much of these bacteria.

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Guest cshepard

Good reply JavaGoldfish, the only dissagreement I have is with rinsing in tap water. If you're on a well, fine but if you have chlorinated city water the chlorine can kill the bacteria on the cartridge, that's why it's recommended to rinse in tank water (use the water you've taken out during a partial water change)

Also when your media is totally worn out and you do want to replace it, simple run your new cartridge in with the old one (most filters you can squeeze in two) for about two weeks. new bacteria will grow onto the new one and you can toss out the old.

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Guest JavaGoldfish

cshepard,

From my experience, briefly rinsing the filter cartridge in chlorinated tap water isn't substantially detrimental to the aerobic bacteria for several different reasons. Rinsing only takes a minute or two and once the cartridge is placed back in the filter, the cartridge is constantly flushed with running oxygenated and nutrient laden tank water. Within a minute or two of replacing the cartridge, any residual chlorine is flushed. Additionally, if the cartridge is rinsed in concert with a tank water change, dechlorination solution in the new tank water will also remove any residual chlorine.

Another way of replacing a cartridge, while minimizing impact to water quality, is to add some of the contents of the old cartridge pouch to the new cartridge.

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Good reply JavaGoldfish, the only dissagreement I have is with rinsing in tap water. If you're on a well, fine but if you have chlorinated city water the chlorine can kill the bacteria on the cartridge, that's why it's recommended to rinse in tank water (use the water you've taken out during a partial water change)

Also when your media is totally worn out and you do want to replace it, simple run your new cartridge in with the old one (most filters you can squeeze in two) for about two weeks. new bacteria will grow onto the new one and you can toss out the old.

376973[/snapback]

:exactly;)

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Well, I've had my fish for about 1 1/2 - 2 years, and I've always used tap water to clean out my filter media, I've never had any problems. I don't like to clean it in tank water because the tank water I'm taking out is dirty and the filter is dirty, so I find when you clean a dirty filter cartrige with dirty tank water, the result is not a clean filter cartrige, but the same old dirty one. Also if I clean the filter cartrige out completely from all debris, you don't have to clean it again for 3 weeks - a month. That's better than having to clean a partially dirty cartrige every 1-2 weeks, because I rinsed it with tank water. But I also use the chlorine water conditioner stuff every water change along with stress coat, and sometimes aquarium salt. I do this and my water is always clear, and the fish are happy and healthy. This is just my opinion :)

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I don't replace them unless I absolutely need to, but I keep spares around. .

362659[/snapback]

I don't replace mine until they get super gross and I can't clean them off.

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