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Old 06-09-2005, 07:52 PM   #1
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Cycle and Filter question

I'm currently working on trying to cycle my first aquarium its a 55gal. My question is that I have a TopFin 60 HOB filter system (a copy of the Whisper 60). Once my tank cycles should I change both filters (2) at the same time or should I just change one then wait a few days and change the other. Also the new filters for the system are "bio" filters that have a sponge that the directions say to put the sponge in the tank a few days before you change the filters. I just dont want to have to recycle the tank again. What should I do about this? As always thanks for the help.

Britt
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Old 06-09-2005, 08:52 PM   #2
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I don't know much about the type of filter you have, i have a Aquaclear HOB filter and i just rinse the sponge out in some old tank water about once a month, and you only replace the sponges if they are falling apart. You don't really want to change your filters right after you finish cycling because that's where all your good bacteria are growing. Also, when you do change them, alternate them, change the first one and then a month later change the other one. If it has activated carbon, your supposed to change that monthly, but since the AC is only really active for about 72 hours, its better to use a sponge anyway. I only use AC if i need to remove meds or if my water is starting to look not so clear.
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Old 06-09-2005, 10:07 PM   #3
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I would start the tank with the actual filter you want to end up with. Changing the filter will cause a mini-cycle.
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Old 06-10-2005, 10:24 AM   #4
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I'm refering to after my cycle has finished. How do I need to go about changing my filter media then. One at a time or both of them at the same time when I do the media change.

Thanks,
Birtt
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Old 06-10-2005, 11:20 AM   #5
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You don't need to change your filter after cycling unless it is very dirty and even at that.

If you are doing a fishless cycle, the only thing you will need to do is a 50%water change to remove the high levels of Nitrate and a rinsing of your filter cartridges in old tank water.

By replacing them, you are removing the beneficial bacteria that has established on your filter bed.
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Old 06-10-2005, 11:48 AM   #6
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I'm not doing a fishless cycle. So after my cycle is complete. What should I do about the filter change. Sorry for all the questions but I really dont want to re-cycle the tank again. I have a filter that holds 2 media cartridges.

I'm trying to figure out how is the best way to do a filter change when the time comes and keep my beneficial bacteria.
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Old 06-10-2005, 11:56 AM   #7
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You should not have to replace your filter cartridges unless it has been cleaned many times and you still can't get all the gunk off and is clogging your filter.

Until your tank is established(IMO, at least 6 months) before you need to replace your cartridge if necessary. All you need to do is swish your cartridges in a bucket of tank water during your weekly water changes.

The only time it is absolutely necessary to change your carbon filter cartridges is when you have medicated your tank and you are trying to remove the remaining meds.

Save your money and replace your ccartridges with sponges. It is cheaper and easier to clean.
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:35 PM   #8
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I'm confused, but then again I'm brand new to this hobby and don't actually claim to know anything

Isn't the activated carbon inside the filter cartridge designed to remove dangerous things from the water, ie metals? After a month or so isn't the carbon saturated and needing replacement?

As far as the bacteria colonies are concerned, isn't there enough in the gravel and everywhere else to not cause a problem if you change the filter cartridge?

Other than making more money why do the filter companies say to change the activated carbon filter every month.

Not trying to argue, just trying to understand so I don't potentially hurt my fish.
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Isn't the activated carbon inside the filter cartridge designed to remove dangerous things from the water, ie metals?
Yes, but so does your water conditioner. Dechlorinator is designed to remove chlorine, chloramines and most heavy metals.

Quote:
After a month or so isn't the carbon saturated and needing replacement?
Actually, the activated carbon becomes inactive after a week. Established tanks, with proper water conditions should never have an ammonia and or nitrIte reading. So, like I stated before, unless you are trying to remove meds from your tank, you should really never need to change your cartridge. Save your money.

Quote:
As far as the bacteria colonies are concerned, isn't there enough in the gravel and everywhere else to not cause a problem if you change the filter cartridge?
I personally don't think there is a significant amount of benefical bacteria in your gravel and on your decor. If you have a filter cartridge with a bio wheel, you should have no problem replacing your cartridge because the bio wheel has a large amout of your beneficial bacteria too.

I hope this helps.
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Old 06-10-2005, 07:56 PM   #10
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What are the contents of your filter cartridge? There's a chance that an assumption has been made that the two filters that you have contain bio-media (ceramic rings/balls) a sponge along with charcoal. Is this correct?

Why do you want to change the media after the tank is cycled? There is no reason to change media (especially the bio portion) unless you absolutely have to. A newly cycled tank does not contain a sufficient amount of bacteria in the substrate or decor...this process takes months. A newly cycled tank only means that your biological filter has been established. A mini-cycle will ensue whenever the life cycle of the beneficial bacteria you have is interupted.
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