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Old 02-23-2016, 09:54 AM   #1
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Hello fellow fish lovers!

Hi, I just purchased an aquarium after not having one for over 20 years! Before that time I had both fresh and saltwater aquariums in my home my entire life. My Dad collected tropicals since he was a boy and proceeded to open a Pet shop that specialized in fresh and saltwater fish. I worked in the store from 11 yrs. old until we sold it when I was in my 30's. I am thrilled to have a tank again, I never stopped missing my aquarium all those years!
I bought the biggest tank that I could fit. It is a 46 gallon bow front. I'm just starting to add fish and plan on a mixed tropical community tank. So far I have 4 Serpae tetras and 2 sailfin mollies and 2 platys and I am thrilled to have them.
I need help with the newer equipment, so I searched out this forum. Hoping to find a few answers here and perhaps I may be able to contribute something useful to assist others as well.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:28 AM   #2
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Welcome! You didn't specify any questions, how can we help you?

For the basics, I assume you have a heater, filter, thermometer? What kind of water conditioner do you use?
Are you planning on plants?
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:06 AM   #3
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Thank you!

Oh, thank you! I assumed that I should look for answers to my question in the appropriate thread versus asking in the welcome thread.
My biggest question is regarding my new filter. I wanted an internal filter for silence since the tank is in the bedroom. I went with the National Geographic IF 50. My immediate question is how often do I replace the filter media. Nobody at PetSmart knew the answer. The instructions say clean the filter once a month. To wash the foam parts and to rinse the filter media gently in lukewarm water to preserve the bacteria. I think it must need to be changed at some point, no? Back in the day, I used charcoal and filter floss in Supreme outside power filters an it was customary to replace contents each week, so I'm very happy that today the units can go up to a month between cleaning! Thanx for any help anyone can offer.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink214 View Post
Oh, thank you! I assumed that I should look for answers to my question in the appropriate thread versus asking in the welcome thread.

My biggest question is regarding my new filter. I wanted an internal filter for silence since the tank is in the bedroom. I went with the National Geographic IF 50. My immediate question is how often do I replace the filter media. Nobody at PetSmart knew the answer. The instructions say clean the filter once a month. To wash the foam parts and to rinse the filter media gently in lukewarm water to preserve the bacteria. I think it must need to be changed at some point, no? Back in the day, I used charcoal and filter floss in Supreme outside power filters an it was customary to replace contents each week, so I'm very happy that today the units can go up to a month between cleaning! Thanx for any help anyone can offer.

You're fine here

I never replace the media until it's falling apart, as it contains all the good bacteria. When doing a water change, once in a while I'll swish the floss in the old water, but then put it back in. After a few months, I'll add a new cartridge and throw out the old one, but never both at the same time

I'm not familiar with that particular filter, but it should also have ceramic media? That's the core of the filter where the majority of the bacteria reside.
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:43 PM   #5
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It has 5 chambers in the canister. The top one and bottom ones are foam that are washable. The 3 center chambers hold grayish white balls that feel porous and rough. They are about the size of a large pea. Each chamber holds about a 1/2 C of these. I am hoping that a photo attached here - not used to posting in forums. I saw replacement boxes of this at PetSmart. It was probably enough to fill the 3 chambers and I think the price was $10.99. Seems hard to believe that it would be that price if expected to change it each month. According to the filter's box, there are also optional filter components that I could buy. I would try to attach another photo - of the optional components but I'm not sure if this allows attaching 2 photos at once to one message? Anyway, they are called "Phosphate remover foam" "course foam" and "carbon foam". The box says that these are optional. Thanx for your help.
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:01 PM   #6
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Hello fellow fish lovers!

The pictures didn't attach, but you gave a good enough description!

So the foam on the sides is the stuff that may need to be replaced every 4-5 months if it starts falling apart. This basically polishes the water as all the gunk, fish poop, uneaten food gets caught in here. I swish it in the old water after a water change every 2-3 weeks.

The ceramic balls in the middle sections hold the majority of the bacteria and never need to be replaced (they're like a stone!). The carbon pads can be used to remove medications, but are otherwise not needed. The phosphate one is only if you have phosphates in your tap.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:09 AM   #7
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Thanx for your help!
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