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Emperor 400 Filter Questions

Guest midwesternlull

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Guest midwesternlull

Greetings! I have a 29 gallon tank with a small fantail and ryukin (2 fish only). It is filtered by an Emperor 400 HOB. A couple of general quick questions for you Emperor users:

1) How often should i change the cartridges, and

2) What do you recommend that I fill the Refillable Media Containers with (I'm currently not using them)

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  • Regular Member

Congratulations on getting one of the real workhorses of the tank world. The 400 should serve you very well.

The blue filter cartridge's carbon will "fill up" and "wear out" within twoweeks. BUT...... carbon in a tank has a very limited use, in most fish keeper's opinions. Carbon is mostly used to bind and remove used medications and such. If you are not medicating, (or through medicating) you really do not need the carbon. So, you do not need to change the cartridge for that reason.

The blue floss and to a degree, the carbon, in that cartridge will also act as a platform for the beneficial bacteria that make up the biological filter ofyour tank. So keep them. I only change out my blue filter cartridges when the blue floss is literally falling off the frame, or sagging and ripping all over - about once every 6-10 months. If you have used them to clear out used medications, slit the bottom of the blue (if you slit the top, it will sag) and bang out the used carbon into the garbage. The blue floss is still good.

As far as media, I stuff my clamshells full of hard media - I have many kinds. I am fondest of the sintered glass that Ehiem sells - and now their little exploded ceramic balls - for they really have the greatest surface area for BB to populate of anything I have found. Hard media (ceramic rings, sintered glass, hard bioballs, etc.) is the best - you can boil it to totally clean it and start again. It may be a bit more expensive in the beginning but you never have to replace it. EVER.


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  • 3 months later...
Guest booksandflowers

Hi, I have some questions about the Emperor 400s, too. I have a 55 gallon tank with two Emperor 400s on it. Right now I have three tiny fish, one ryunkin and two fantails.

Do you only take out the carbon after using medications, or do you take it out before using the blue cartidges?

How many of the blue cartridges do you use verses the media containers?

Would you recommend using something other than the blue cartridges? I've seen some recommendations for using other sorts of things, from scrubbing sponges to other types of cartridges and am not sure what is best.

I am starting over with my tank. I've had it and been keeping goldfish for years, but after reading things here, I see that I've been doing lots of things wrong. I'm determined to do things right this time and am so happy to have found this site. I'll be posting more questions because I have lots!

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usually the carbon is taken out when medicating.

and actually in my tanks, i don't use the carbon really at all.

i don't use the store bought blue cartridges either because those are what hold's the carbon inside.

i've filled the back of my emperors and penguins with bioballs, ceramic media, and filter floss.

i personally think putting together stuff in the back is much more efficient than the filter cartridges designed for the filter. :)

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