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Old 07-25-2010, 10:58 AM   #1
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Problems with Penguin Filters?

I've got a 30 gallon aquarium that I'm running a Marineland Penguin 200B Power Filter on which is suited for 50 gallons. I've had it for roughly 2 years now and it takes the C size cartridges. My father has an older version of this pump (roughly 10 years old), which takes the same size cartridges.

For both of us, these cartridges could last up to a month before you noticed any significant dirt on them, or any disruption to the water flow. Around the same time 6 months ago, we both noticed that our filter cartridges were not lasting as long, and they are now only lasting 4 to 5 days before the cartridges are so clogged that they need to be changed. I stir up my substrate weekly, my tank isn't over populated, and all my readings are coming back fine.

I use Tahitian Moon black sand as a substrate and he uses gravel. I've discussed this with several people who work at the pet stores near by and they have noticed the same thing. I also have a Marineland Eclipse 6 system, and 3 Marineland Eclipse 3 systems (which take K and Z sized filters) and there has not been a change in the effectiveness of these filters.

So my question is, does anyone know if there has been a change to where these filters are being manufactured? Or something else that could be causing this? I would assume it was something wrong in my tank if it wasn't that several other people are having the same problem, all starting around the same time. I love the way my pump works, but i'm spending around $20 a month on filter cartridges, and at the price, I might as well buy a different kind of pump.

thanks in advance.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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I too have Penguin Filters ( 350b on my 30 gal) and only have this problem when they are mucked up by waste , which is about once a month . I use the filters from wal-mart which is cheaper than buying Marineland name brand filters . I never change mine until they are falling apart ,as it is a waste of money changing them and I would be throwing away a filter colonized with bacteria when it is not needed . I just rinse them out in my fish bucket when doing PWCs . I sometimes even leave the carbon in them as it has never affected my water quality . The used up carbon is just another place for bacteria to cling too (I already know there is different schools of thought on this but I know from my own experience that the old , used up carbon has never affected my water quality). The filters in there now are 6 months old and still going strong . I also have clam shell filters for my penguin in which I can place my own media in it .

They look the same as they have always been .
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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i used to always change mine once a month regardless of whether they were completely clogged or not, but even at the end of a month they were never fully clogged. Now, within 4 days when i take them out they are completely caked in crap. No water gets through at all.

I didn't realize there were "no name" filters that were sold at Wal-Mart that were compatible with these filters?
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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Yes , Wal-Mart sells Regent brand filters which are made (or was made) by Marineland that has compatible filters and parts . They are much cheaper than the Marineland brand .

I wouldn't know why there is a sudden change in the time your filters get clogged , if there has been no changes to the aquarium , unless you are overfeeding (I am not saying you are mind you) . I do have some new Marineland filters that were given to me by a friend and they are exactly the same as the old ones that I have had since 6 or 7 years ago .

But to be honest , All I would do is just rinse them out in the water when you make a PWC and reuse them . Like I stated earlier , I have been using my filters for months and will not change them for months to come . It is not really needed unless they are falling apart or so mucked up you can not get them clean (but I have never encountered that) . They want you to change them because it is a money maker for them .

If you are worried about the used up carbon leeching back into the water , do like I used to do when I did worry about that , just slice the top of the filter open and dump the crabon in the trash . Carbon is really not needed unless you are removing medications out of the water .
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Yes I agree thats why they want you to change them. I'll try washing them out, but I'm not sure if that's possible with how filthy they are. I will definitely take a picture of what they look like after the 4 days though even if I can't get them clean. And i'll check wal-mart to see if they have these other filters.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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I have had my cartridges in my Penguins for almost a year, and they are fine. I rinse/swish them in old tank water twice a month.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:30 PM   #7
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When I was using the 200B, I ordered two of the media baskets and some filter foam and made my own filter cartridges. I was having problems with the Penguin cartridges plugging up every week and they didn't clean out very well. On my Eclipse 5g hex, I tore up an old cartridge and put filter foam in the plastic frame. This also works better than the stock cartridges.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:45 PM   #8
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yup.

I found that they would get clogged with algae. OK, so I just pulled it out and swished it every time I did a PWC, problem solved.

Now I have canister filters and I clean them every other week, alternating, and I use polyfill from Walmart at $2 a bag that lasts me many months.
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