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Old 05-10-2011, 10:52 PM   #1
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HoB: go AquaClear or go home?

I've recently changed the filters on my two tanks from Aqueon Quietflows to AquaClears (late last week), and decided to do a mid-week check of the nitrogen cycle readings just to be certain there was no mini-cycle. I change the water and check readings on the weekend, so this is sort of a mid-week check.

20g high
old filter: Aqueon Quietflow 30, 200gph
current filter: AquaClear 50, 200gph
changed: Saturday May 7
also has: Marineland Duetto 100, 92gph
10 black neons, 5 five banded barbs, 3 ottos, 2 female bettas, ghost shrimp
amazon swords, unknown swords, corkscrew val, anubias, another unknown plant

10g
old filter: Aqueon Quietflow 10, 100gph
current filter: AquaClear 20, 100gph
changed: Thursday May 5
also has: Toms Aquarium mini filter, 45gph
6 harlequin rasboras, 3 sparkling gourami (added 2 Sunday), 4 amano shrimp, 16+ RCS
java fern, java moss, crypts

Fortunately, I don't have a mini-cycle in either tank. I seeded both with some filter media from the Queitflows, plus I have another filter running on each tank, so I was hoping that I wouldn't have one.

The odd readings came from the nitrAtes.

My readings on my 20g tank are around 30-35ppm prior to a water change on the weekend. Today it was where I would have expected it to be: around 25ppm (orange with slight reddish hue).

My 10g tank, however, was dramatically different. Typically, I'd get 20ppm when I check the numbers before my PWC. I do a 25% water change on this tank, so I'd expect the number to be slightly higher than 10ppm afterward. I added 2 more sparkling gourami on Sunday (bringing the current total to 3), so I expected that I'd see nitrAtes around 15+ppm or so. When I checked it today, it was... 5ppm!

Now, I expected that my biological filtration would have been improved switching from Aqueon Quietflows to AquaClears, but not this dramatic a difference over this short a period of time. I wasn't overly trusting of the bio-holster of the Quietflow, but I didn't think it could be this bad.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:02 PM   #2
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I too recently just added an Aquaclear 50 to my 36 to use in conjuction with my Aqueon 30. I have heard nothing but great things from the Aquaclear filters. They recommend replacing the carbon inserts and bio filter stage every few months or so. Should we actually adhere to their advice and hope it won't damage the BB colony or ignore it and treat the media as if it were typical HOB carbon inserts?
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:23 PM   #3
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Interesting about the nitrAtes.
I'm using the Aqueon quiet flow 30 and a AquaClear 50 on a 36 gallon, no carbon in either. I got the aquaclear as a backup or for small QT as the Aqueon flow reate is not easily adjustable.

Alexa1s0nfire, Replace the carbon as it does get used up once it absorbs all it can but don't replace the bio filter. Just rinse it lightly in aquarium water during a water change when it looks gunky.

Most would also recommend not even running the carbon unless you need to absorb left over medication. It does help with bad odor, but no one seems to use it otherwise.

If you want, replace the carbon with more sponge\bio-max or poly-wool fibre.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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You don't need carbon, and you should never have to replace bio-filtration. Carbon is good for when you're done dosing meds, and in some cases it can remove bad odors. They just want your money.

Also, yes, "Go AC or go home." They are the best HOB filters in my opinion, and many agree. Quiet, sturdy, durable, efficient.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:53 PM   #5
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...and so easy to clean.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:06 AM   #7
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Can't believe I'm not the only one running an AQUEON QuietFlow and AQUACLEAR together!

Both filters have been relatively good for me; the Aqueon seems easier to maintain, to me, in that they just need the cartridges to be changed every so often. No big deal. The AquaClear, on the other hand, I have always been confused about -- do we keep that sponge block in there without changing it? Or the bio rings?

Instead of the carbon pouch, I replaced mine (in an AC 110) with Seachem's Purigen (two 100ml packs)...
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Osage_Winter View Post
Can't believe I'm not the only one running an AQUEON QuietFlow and AQUACLEAR together!

Both filters have been relatively good for me; the Aqueon seems easier to maintain, to me, in that they just need the cartridges to be changed every so often. No big deal. The AquaClear, on the other hand, I have always been confused about -- do we keep that sponge block in there without changing it? Or the bio rings?

Instead of the carbon pouch, I replaced mine (in an AC 110) with Seachem's Purigen (two 100ml packs)...
Just rinse the sponge and bio rings using water from a pwc, when they become dirty.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:17 AM   #9
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Just rinse the sponge and bio rings using water from a pwc, when they become dirty.
Thanks!

I have the hardest time, though, figuring out when these pieces of media are "dirty;" the sponge doesn't look much "browner" than it did before the time I rinse it, and the ceramic noodles don't look like there's much "mulch" or whatever it's called stuck to them...

Should they just be rinsed anyway during a PWC if I'm not sure?

You know what always bothered me about the whole "if you rinse media in tap water it's gonna kill ALL your BB" theory? With cartridges, like in the Aqueons, the instructions claim you should actually throw these out every four to six weeks and replace them with brand new inserts -- but if we go according to mass theory, wouldn't this simply be throwing out all the BB colonies on these carts? Aqueon claims the BB lives on the wet/dry bio grid and other places, but if they're also recommending throwing out the cartridges every so often and replacing them, why wouldn't this be the same thing as rinsing the sponge and bio rings of the AquaClear with tap water? There still must be BB somewhere other than the filters, right?
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osage_Winter

Thanks!

I have the hardest time, though, figuring out when these pieces of media are "dirty;" the sponge doesn't look much "browner" than it did before the time I rinse it, and the ceramic noodles don't look like there's much "mulch" or whatever it's called stuck to them...

Should they just be rinsed anyway during a PWC if I'm not sure?

You know what always bothered me about the whole "if you rinse media in tap water it's gonna kill ALL your BB" theory? With cartridges, like in the Aqueons, the instructions claim you should actually throw these out every four to six weeks and replace them with brand new inserts -- but if we go according to mass theory, wouldn't this simply be throwing out all the BB colonies on these carts? Aqueon claims the BB lives on the wet/dry bio grid and other places, but if they're also recommending throwing out the cartridges every so often and replacing them, why wouldn't this be the same thing as rinsing the sponge and bio rings of the AquaClear with tap water? There still must be BB somewhere other than the filters, right?
Well here's a general rule of thumb for cleaning ur media. Once the flow rate reduces, u clean it! However if u are getting random reading of ammonia from a cycle tank and can't determine where it's come from, check and clean ur filter. There's no need to rinse it every pwc.

Yes BB are found through out ur tank! Eg any surface area in ur tank in contact with water should have BB! But majority of ur bb is found in ur filter media so washing them in untreated water or replacing it when it's not necessary will result in a mini cycle! The reason y the instruction manual says change ur biological and mechanical media every few months is so they can earn money! So unless it's carbon don't replace it until they are falling apart!
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