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Old 08-05-2006, 02:31 PM   #1
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Changing the media in a canister filter

Hi,
I have a Fluval 350 (?) and I just rinsed it last night after a month. My new tank was cycling. HOw often do i replace everything in the filter?

I do have a lot of brown algae on my sand that my cleaner crew isn't picking up...
Should I 'stir' up up the algae in my tank, replace the media and expect the filter to pick up everything?
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:45 PM   #2
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If your tank is cycling, you shouldn't mess with the filter. It is building up good bacteria so you shouldn't clean or replace anything. Once the tank is cycled, I'd clean the filter once a month. I'm not sure about Fluval media, but in my Rena XP3, some of the media needs to be replaced and some left alone. The filter pads can be replaced every couple months (with a rinse in old tank water monthly). Sorry, I don't know about Fluvals though.
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:46 PM   #3
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No you should not stir it up and expect the filter to clean it. Do a pwc and wave the gravel vac over the sand to remove the gunk. Don't clean your cannister filter at all while cycling. Have you tested your parameters? I only rinse my filter media, I have no carbon so I don't need to replace any media. I rinse in old tank water once a month,
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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I agree with all the above. How are you cycling, with fish or fishless?

If fishless, then I wouldn't do anything about the gunk. It's just diatoms, and will go away on their own. If you disturb it and spread it around, it will just get more on the bottom. Let it run it's coarse. You also don't want to do PWC's in a fishless cycle unless your levels are just too high and need to bring them down. And if you have fish, well, then you need to keep ammonia and nitrite down below 1ppm, preferably .5ppm or lower.

Once the cycle is complete, then do a 75% PWC to bring your nitrate levels back in check and add fish. Then, during that PWC, you can remove as much of the gunk as you can. Generally diatoms will last a few weeks to a couple months, then will completely disappear. So it's nothing that will be permanent. It's common in all new tanks.

As for the filter, most of the media should only be rinsed in a bucket of old tank water. If you replace, then you lose the bacteria. Sponges can just be rinsed in old tank water as well, and any other filter pads. The only time I ever replace anything is if it begins to fall apart. I haven't replaced anything yet, other than filter floss, as it takes years before anything gets so bad that it needs to be replaced. And if you use ceramic rings or cylinders, or lava rock, you'll never have to replace them.
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:43 PM   #5
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Oh S%$&....I did rinse the sponges with salt water. I hope that all of my bacteria didn't go away. I checked the water today, a few days later..and everything is good. I do have some live rock and some brown algae on the bottom..hopefully I didnt wash away all of the good bacteria. BUT!!! Less algae with my cleaning crew and I just got a sand sifting goby!
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:36 AM   #6
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As long as you rinsed the sponges in dechlorinated water (i.e. not toxic to the bacteria), then you should be fine. Since it sounds like you are running the filter in a saltwater tank, rinsing the filters in saltwater is OK.
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:15 PM   #7
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It is the fluvial 305, the newer model. I have the 304. I changed the carbon once a month. But haven't in about two months now. The white media, ceramic, you shouldn't have to change. I had cyano blow up in my face, so I removed the sponges, 2 at a time, with a week in between. Now, no cyano, the hair algea population is giving way to another type of beneficial algae. I actually washed out the sponges in tap (well) water, as an experiment. I wanted to see if that helped stunt my huge algae growth. It stopped the spreading for about a week, then I decided to start removing sponges. I asked a lot of advice and a ton of PMs were sent! LOL! Now, I have no sponges, and very little algae....so far, so good!
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