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Old 03-03-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
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When to change HOB filter media for first time

Day one of my 20-long was Feb. 5th. Added water, sand/gravel. 2 days later added plants & .5 ml of Turbo Start. Between 2/10 & 2/27, I slowly added 6 Cardinal Tetras, 10 Amano shrimp, and lastly 6 Endlers. I have done 2 partial water changes (10% ea). I have a Fluval 30 hang on back filter with porous ceramic balls, and sponge. I didn't include the carbon, because a salesperson said you would only use that if added medicinal supplements to tank. So, it's now been almost a month - do I remove some tank water and clean the sponge and ceramic in that water? I would think that regular water changes would be more beneficial than messing around with the biological thing going on in the filter. Any general guideline or rules or suggestions? My daily testing show everything nearly perfect, including ammonia. P.S. - I'm a Newbie
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GinnyFinny View Post
Day one of my 20-long was Feb. 5th. Added water, sand/gravel. 2 days later added plants & .5 ml of Turbo Start. Between 2/10 & 2/27, I slowly added 6 Cardinal Tetras, 10 Amano shrimp, and lastly 6 Endlers. I have done 2 partial water changes (10% ea). I have a Fluval 30 hang on back filter with porous ceramic balls, and sponge. I didn't include the carbon, because a salesperson said you would only use that if added medicinal supplements to tank. So, it's now been almost a month - do I remove some tank water and clean the sponge and ceramic in that water? I would think that regular water changes would be more beneficial than messing around with the biological thing going on in the filter. Any general guideline or rules or suggestions? My daily testing show everything nearly perfect, including ammonia. P.S. - I'm a Newbie
Thats a pretty quick timeline to add all those fish in. Keep an eye on your levels as I suspect your tank is not fully cycled yet. What water test kit are you using? As far as your filter media goes. All I would do is put a bit of TANK water in a bucket and squeeze the sponge a few times. The ceramic media could be sort of rinsed off in the same bucket but you dont really have to. I only replace my sponges if they are starting to fall apart.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:48 PM   #3
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Changing HOB filter media...

Yes, I agree that I added fish in small numbers quickly (3 at a time, a few days apart). But only did so when I had my tank water tested at my local fish store and chemistry was perfect. I use Tetra EasyStrips (both the 6-in-1 and ammonia test strips), plus I use API Master Test Kit. Neither one is exact, but it gives you a pretty good idea. And if I'm not sure, I take a sample to the Aquarium Co-Op in Edmonds WA and they double check everything. I think initially adding the Turbo-Start 700 (recommended to add 1/2 the bottle in the beginning, then 2 weeks later, the balance). No fish have died, everybody is happy, and I'm NOT overfeeding. What do you think about leaving the carbon pak out of the filter? Is the fish store expert correct?

Thank you! I will take your advice and do a tiny cleaning of the sponge.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:59 PM   #4
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Yes, I don't use Carbon unless needed. I rinse my filter media anytime my flow slows down. Rinsing in tank or conditioned tap of course.

I have planted tanks.


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Old 03-03-2015, 02:31 PM   #5
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leave the carbon out esp if you have a planted tank. I run Purigen instead a little pricey but worth it.
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:14 PM   #6
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When to change HOB filter media for first time

I haven't changed the media in my hob since I got the filter 5 years ago.... It pretty tatty and I need to replace it soon but yeah just saying. Wash it in used tank water from your water change. That's probably the longest part of my water change is taking out all filters and rinsing and getting muck out of the hob pipes.

Edit- old toothbrush and pipe cleaner are good tools.
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