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Old 01-09-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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changing media in filter

My Fluval 305 filter (which has been running for 6wks) recommends changing the charcoal every month and the biological filter every 3 months but to not do it all at once. While I understand the need for this, how do I "stagger" the changes - I did a major water change 2 weeks ago & changed 2 out of the 3 bags of charcoal. Is rinsing the media in dechlorinated water sufficient when I clean out the cannister?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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if you want to run carbon it needs to be replaced every few weeks. It's only active for a while then yields no more benefit. Most of us don't even use it on a consistent basis.

For cleaning the filters (both the sponges and the bio-media) they tell you to change it every 6 weeks because they make money that way. When you do your PWCs, collect some of that water in a bucket and use that to rinse all the debris from the media that you can, then reuse it. You shouldn't need to replace any of that stuff for at least 6 months, maybe longer.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
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Never change your bio media out. Rinse in used tank water (or dechlorinated) every month or so.

Carbon is a matter of choice. Not necessary, but can be useful.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
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What do you use instead of carbon then? I just replaced my UGF with a aquaclear 50 and I am interested in what other people are running in them???
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:40 PM   #5
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the sponges and biomedia are all you need.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:06 AM   #6
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So it sounds like all those media baskets are there in the event you really need them for special reasons - like to remove ammonia, remove medicine, etc.? If you're not using carbon and only really need the mechanical and bio filters then that's a real waste of space in an expensive cannister!
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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Look at it from the manufacturer's point of view. More space = more media for folks to buy.... from them.

There are benefits to using other media, for sure. In most's opinions though, they're specific use only when needed.

One thing I recommend is to keep some extra bio-media in there (ceramic rings, bio-balls, whatever your preference). Then, when someone is starting up a new fish tank you have ample supply of seed material for them to kick-start their cycle.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:31 AM   #8
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i have to agree with neilanh on this one.... i almost never run carbon.

my canister contains (in order of operation)

1. pre-filter media similar to


2. coarse sponge

3. bio-media

4. 2x floss pads


thats it! and i have not changed anything since i set it up... i rinse all the media in old tank water about every 2-3 weeks.
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