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Old 07-17-2018, 05:15 AM   #11
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If your tank isn't cycled I wouldn't worry about the media at this point. Just use what it came with. You will be running it for a month or better before it's cycled anyways. The old filter you had may have contained a bit of beneficial bacteria but no more than what your gravel or decorations are holding right now. Just roll with what you bought and focus on completing your cycle.

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Old 07-17-2018, 06:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by baldegale View Post
alright, ill do that tomorrow. how long until i can take the old cartridge out and replace it with the carbon bag it came with? also whats the maintenance like on these, like how often do you have to replace the media and/or clean it etc

Assuming the tank is cycled already, I would keep the old cartridge in there at least a month. I would not worry about using the carbon unless you are trying to adsorb medications or toxins out of the water; water changes do a better job at diluting and removing dissolved waste.
As for maintenance, every few weeks you can remove the foam and bagged ceramic media and swish it around in a bucket of old tank water that was removed during a water change. This should remove most of the trapped debris. The sponges last a very LONG time so you wont need to replace it for quite a while. I cant say I have ever replaced the ceramic media.
Personally, I use bulk floss instead of the foam because it does a better job at trapping debris. Once a month I either rinse the floss and reuse it or I chuck it and replace it.

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