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Old 09-18-2004, 03:51 AM   #1
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Changing the Filter

Hello everyone. I'm new at this whole site and at fish things so please bear with me.

I have a new 29gal freshwater tank. I have some fish in it now, and it's still going through the cycle process. I don't plan on doing anything with my filter until the cycle is long overwith but I do have a question for the future.

I've heard some people say that you hardly ever have to actually change the filter because I understand I want to keep my bacteria to prevent the whole cycle process from restarting. I also have a friend who says you can change the whole filter but just keep a small piece of the old filter in there. I used to have a 15gal tank a couple years ago and I changed the filter every 3 to 4 weeks and it never really gave me a problem. Should I just clean my filter with tank water or should I just replace it like I used to.

I want to make sure I do the right thing, obviously, and I can't find a straight answer to this question yet. Thanks for the help!

Oh, by the way I'm using a Regent power filter with 1 filter. (Man that thing is quiet!)
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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 09-18-2004, 04:19 AM   #2
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It's only used to trap stuff ( poop, food, rotting plants etc ) so I would only change it when rinsing it doesn't work anymore and you see the water going over it instead of threw it 8)
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Old 09-18-2004, 09:33 AM   #3
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Just rinse it out in water you've pulled from the tank during water changes and you'll be able to recycle it many times before it needs replacing.

I'm not familiar with your filter type, but check and see if any of the foam inserts Aqua Clear makes will fit inside the filter box: these can literally be rinsed and reused for years and years. Saves lots of money, plus you never throw your bio-bugs away!
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Old 09-18-2004, 12:10 PM   #4
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I have a Regent filter on my 10 gallon, so I know exactly what kind of filter you are talking about. You got it at Wal-Mart, right? The 29 gallon combo?

My beef with these filters is that there really isn't any good place for bacterial growth inside the filter. It took me almost 6 weeks to get my tank to cycle, and in the end I finished it off by floating a biowheel from my Penguin 330 filter on my other tank.

As far as changing the filter pad, you don't need to change it as often as it says on the box. I know that it is shocking that the company that sells and profits from the sale of a filter pad would tell you to change it more often than necessary, but that's how it is. hehe! When I do water changes, I take the pad out, and rinse it off in the water I just siphoned from the tank. Never rinse it in tap water, as the chlorine will hurt any bacteria that are growing in there. I only change the pad when after I have rinsed it, I put it in, and it is still overflowing. When no matter how well you rinse the pad, the water is still overflowing back down the chute where the intake pipe is coming up, it's time for a new pad. I hope that made sense...

Also, after your tank becomes established, changing the filter pad won't throw all your bacteria away. Bacteria will begin to grow in your gravel and on your decorations, in fact with your filter, I'm guessing that is where the vast majority of the bacterial growth will be. And if you were ever so inclined, a Penguin 170 or 330 would be a fine choice for that aquarium, and would have a biowheel to store good bacteria on. You could try Voodoo's idea of putting media in the filter, although I don't know if that will work. I couldn't get anything to stay in the space where there is room in my filter, and there certainly isn't any room behind the filter pad for media.

I hope that helps. By the way, if your tank is still going through the cycling process, it seems to me that you started with quite a few fish! I would keep a close eye on your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite) to make sure that the levels stay non-toxic, and be prepared to do water changes if those levels do come up.

Paul
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46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

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Old 09-18-2004, 01:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys! :)

Thanks a lot for the help there. Now that I have that issue all cleared up, I'm happier now. My cycle process is getting a lot better now though. The white cloudy appearance is a whole lot better. Most of the tank is clear enough to see everything in good detail. I hope it balances out as good as the tank I used to have.

My old 15gal tank became really nice. I actually got it to work so that I never changed the water and it stayed crystal clear all the time. I think I didn't have to do anything with it for a couple months. All the levels were good and the water stayed clear. I know that was just luck, cause I did a LOT of screwing around with it to get it clear. haha.

Thanks again guys.
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"We can't learn unless we make mistakes"
-Old algebra teacher, Mr. Jones

"You gotta lose to know how to win."
-Steven Tyler, Aerosmith

29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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