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Old 11-22-2011, 11:37 PM   #1
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Filter Cartridge Replacement

So what does an aquarium keeper do when their filter cartridge gets so dirty that rinsing it with tank water and vigorously shaking it to get the gunk off does nothing?

My Penguin has been bypassing the filter for a few days now (i.e. the water is flowing over the TOP of the cartridge and over both overflow routes by the pickup tube). I decided to take it out, rinse & shake it with tank water. Reinstalled it. Still in major overflow mode.

What I did - I gutted the cartridge and built my own out of filter media & a little premium charcoal. I know the general consensus is to use the filter cartridge until they fall apart, but what about when they arent actually catching detritus anymore and its getting recirculated into the tank constantly?
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:42 PM   #2
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I had the same problem. Wouldn't become clean enough to let the water flow through so I cut the middle out and replaced it with sponge.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumma.of.two View Post
I had the same problem. Wouldn't become clean enough to let the water flow through so I cut the middle out and replaced it with sponge.
Cheaper that way And I like that!

I have 2 power filters on my tank so as long as I never change both at once, Ill be fine. But I dont know if Im convinced yet to keep a cartridge until it starts to fall apart. When the filter starts to bypass, it really becomes inefficient. And that cant be a good thing.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriznat20

Cheaper that way And I like that!

I have 2 power filters on my tank so as long as I never change both at once, Ill be fine. But I dont know if Im convinced yet to keep a cartridge until it starts to fall apart. When the filter starts to bypass, it really becomes inefficient. And that cant be a good thing.
Those cartridges are made to fail IMO so you have to keep buying them! I think I've only ever bought one and thought stuff this and made my own.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumma.of.two View Post
Those cartridges are made to fail IMO so you have to keep buying them! I think I've only ever bought one and thought stuff this and made my own.
Yeah Ive been doing my own for a year or so now. I was clogging up the filter cartridges every 2-3 weeks!! When I make my own, they last about 2 months. Plus the filter foam and charcoal is pretty cheap (~$5.50 for foam, and same for charcoal). I can probably make 6-7 filter cartridges with the foam and have enough charcoal for at least 15-20!
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:59 PM   #6
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DIY is definitely the way to go.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:01 AM   #7
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Im curious to see responses from other power filter users... do you really let your filter cartridge completely clog, to where you cannot rinse it anymore, and keep on using it? Are Mumma & Me the only ones that make their own cartridges? Ive been doing this for a while (Every month or 2) and never had a mini-cycle.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriznat20
Im curious to see responses from other power filter users... do you really let your filter cartridge completely clog, to where you cannot rinse it anymore, and keep on using it? Are Mumma & Me the only ones that make their own cartridges? Ive been doing this for a while (Every month or 2) and never had a mini-cycle.
Just have to add I only rinse my DIY ones because I only have one filter.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:15 AM   #9
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Wait, to make them, do you guys use the frame of an actual cartridge? Also, shouldnt you not use carbon if you dose ferts or meds?
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #10
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Is there any specific tutorial to make these filter cartridges? I am very curious and would love to save some money as well!
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