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Old 12-08-2006, 07:45 PM   #1
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How often to wash/clean out my canister filter

My FOWLR tank has been set up for almost 3 months now. It is a 132g currently have 17 fishes in it. Until today I have cleaned both 2 of my canister filters only ONCE. That was after my tank finish cycled after 1.5 week.

Another 10.5 weeks old now is it time to clean them again? I have been doing 15% waterchange EVERY week. Water parameters are as follow:

SG: 1.021
pH: 8.1
Temp: 27 degree celcius
Ammo: 0
Nitrite: 0
Phosphate: 0.5
Nitrate: 40

I am not overly worry about the nitrate as this is strictly a FOWLR tank. No coral and invert of any kind. I have been doing feeding EVERY day. I would prefer to do waterchange EVERY week still just need to know when should I clean out the filters and how to go about doing it. Other than the 2 canister filters I also have lots of liverocks and a Tunze skimmer rated for 264g tank. It has been doing a great job pulling lots of gunks and junks out of the water. No sump or refugium of any kind.

They are both the same canister filter which have a few stage baskets and those ceramic rings, carbon, foam and sponge thingy inside. Do I only clean them one at a time? I mean clean one this week and the other one 2 weeks later so not to kill the beneficial bacterias?

But when you clean them how do you not kill the bacterias on the ceramic rings? Does that mean don't wash that and soak it in aquarium water? For others just rinse out the sponges, foams, carbon in aquarium water? No idea how to go about doing it.

Any helps will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekf
I am not overly worry about the nitrate as this is strictly a FOWLR tank.
Remember, nitrAtes are still toxic and will kill your fish, over time! Many inverts are very sensitive, if not more sensitive than I would try to keep them down below 10ppm.
You can probably just rinse out the canisters in your old SW (this will not kill your bacteria), once a month.
I still think you may be pushing it with 17 fish in your tank and your nitrAtes could easily get out of control.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:06 PM   #3
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that is a good water hange schedule. Ideally, you should your canisters monthly. A lot of detritus can collect in them and cause NO3 to climb. Replace any filter media or chemical media and rinseall biomedia in SW to clean it while preseving the benefical bacteria. Turning off your canisters at feeding time will help reduce the amount of wasted food they suck up. This will allow for less maintanance on the filters. Feeding every day is just fine for the fish and will help to maintain higher quality water parameters.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:17 PM   #4
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Thanks Lando. Yes I have been turning off the powerhead and all filters while I feed. It does sound logic that food might go straight into the filter without being consumed that's what I did from the very first time.

But when you say rince the media how exactly do you do that? Do I use a brush to scrub it up or just run the water through it will do?
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:48 PM   #5
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I dunk mine in my old SW, from my PWC, before I throw it out.
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:54 AM   #6
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Yup...PWC time is perfect for rinsing our the media pads. Make sure you use the old SW and not tap.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:30 PM   #7
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I have a cannister filter currently as well, and I clean it reguarly once a month. That is just replacing the media, but will be adding in LR rubble as the media.
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:19 PM   #8
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I cleaned my wet/dry (w/LR only) for the first time in six months. It really wasn't all that bad but I'm glad I got it done. I cleaned out the pumps and power heads at the same time. I do, however, change the filter mat every week or so and clean the sponge in the overflow every few days.

I also use a large AC HOB for chemical filtration. The sponge under the media was NASTY full of crap. It was not changed for about 3 months. I think the sponge needs much more frequent attention. It took quite a bit of fast running water and agitation to get it clean again. I am not worried about killing the bacteria on the sponge because it is not there as a bio filter. Occasionally I just replace it with a new one.
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