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Old 09-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
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Filter options

Hi everyone. I am currently cycling a new 10 gallon tank and had a question about filter media. I have read several accounts where people state that activated charcoal is not needed as part of a filter unless medication is present in the water or it has an odor. My new tank came with an aqueon quiet flow 10 filter which has a flow rate of 100 GPH. My question is this... Should I use the cartridge that came with the filter or is there a better option? I'd like to build up a good bacterial presence in my tank and have been reading that filter cartridges such as this will collect them only to be tossed out. I have a cycled tank in another room which took 2 months to fully cycle and would like the progress on this tank to be faster. Replacing the whole filter is not an option. Any advice?

Aquarium info:

Standard 10 gallon
Aqueon quiet flow 10 filter
Gravel substrate
Dwarf hairgrass and Anubis nana (baby plants)
Fishless cycle day 2 using 10% ammonia at 5ppm
Heater set at 85
Faux drift wood
Aquarium safe rock from LFS
2 25 watt bulbs on standard hood

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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Hey. I would use a sponge in the filter rather than the charcoal media. Have a look on ebay/amazon for some universal sponges. They can be cut to size and tend to be much cheaper than branded media. You could use some of the media from the cycled filter. This will make the cycle a lot quicker. Try getting some filter floss in there too. It's great for polishing the water......

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Old 09-09-2013, 06:42 PM   #3
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Universal sponge

Thanks for the reply. Do you mean something like this:
Prefilter Foam Square, Large - AquaCave.com
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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Yes, that would work, though you could get away with something smaller. Filter floss is not too costly and works very well to polish water. The cartridges can be rinsed and reused, something they don't tell you, but they will clog up to the point that cleaning becomes a bit futile, much sooner than sponge or floss will.

Sponge and floss both last a long time and can be reused many times over. Sponge until it literally begins to disintegrate, years and years; floss until it's falling to ragged bits and shreds.. months at least. Squeeze out, wring and rinse in old tank water, never tap water, or you will harm those BB you are trying to grow.

Carbon is not necessary, but most cartridges have some in there. It is useful to remove some meds, odour or colour from water, so handy to have some around in case.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:34 PM   #5
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Yeah and just mix and match your own media instead of using the cartridge, it isn't really efficient and you can get better filtration with your own. Also I agree with the sponge filter.
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