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Old 08-05-2004, 03:33 PM   #1
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i have accouple questions

how often do you change your filter? how often do you vaccum your gravel with everything out of the tank?
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Old 08-05-2004, 03:57 PM   #2
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Change your filter cartrage once a month. What kind of filter do you have? What size is your tank? How many fish do you have?
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:22 PM   #3
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I try to avoid changing the filter media, but rather rinse it out weekly, and only replace it when it is hopelessly clogged or coming apart.

I also try to avoid removing everything from the tank and cleaning the gravel, since both of these actions can kill off quite a bit of beneficial bacteria. I do gravel vac's with every water change, and in some tanks that is weekly and others twice-weekly. My planted tanks do not get a gravel vac because the plants use the mulm in the gravel for nutrients, and I might damage the roots.
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:25 PM   #4
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That really depends on the type of filter you have, size of tank, number of fish, among other things.

Cannister filters require very little maintenance. For the first time after 8 months of continuous operation, I gently rinsed out my cannister filter pad and media baskets with dechlorinated water.

My HOB power filters have cartridges and biowheels. When I notice water flow bypassing the biowheel, I gently scrub the cartridge in dechlorinated water. I only replace the cartridge when it starts falling apart.

My sponge filters get swished around and squeezed out in dechlorinated water about once a month.

Gravel vacs are essential to prevent uneaten food and fish poop from sprouting fungus. However, people who have heavily planted tanks don't gravel vac much because live plants appreciate the extra fertilizer and because gravel vacs can damage the roots.

I scrub the inside tank walls and gravel vac as best I can (without moving things around) once a week. I'd guess that once a month, I yank out the plastic plants and give them a good scrubbing with hot water. Once in a while, I remove a few big rocks and scrub them under hot water too. I do this to remove algae and brown diatoms that make the tank look unsightly.
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:51 PM   #5
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But filters with carbon have to be changed once a month because the carbon loses its effectiveness.
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Old 08-05-2004, 05:10 PM   #6
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I don't use carbon, so that is not a factor for me. I empty the carbon out of my filters that use cartridges, so they can be reused. I should have specified!
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Old 08-05-2004, 05:12 PM   #7
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Oh, I keep carbon in mine, so I change it once a month.
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Old 08-05-2004, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezysquirrelz
But filters with carbon have to be changed once a month because the carbon loses its effectiveness.
Good point, but carbon filters are generally used to pull out things like odors. In most cases, frequent water changes and gravel vacs will prevent odors from ever becoming a problem. In fact, I haven't been running carbon in my cannister filter for eight months because alot of people here told me it was not necessary unless I was removing meds.

Using the carbon filter to remove meds is another story. I toss the cartridge (or remove the carbon from it) after I have used it to remove medications.
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Old 08-05-2004, 06:58 PM   #9
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i have a 20 gallon its tall not long with a whisper power filter 20 and 100w heater.. as for fish i have
11 Baby mollies (1 black, 10 grey with black spots)
2 neons
4 zebras
1 grey molly
2 pregnant guppies
1 green swordtail
1 blue and green female betta
2 platies (1 yellow, 1 orange)
1 bronze catfish
1 algea eater
1 frog
and yes im going to give away the baby mollies and guppies when they get big enough to go into main tank life. i have a carbon filter it seems to be working well. i change it when it gets gross looking.
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:16 PM   #10
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First of all you NEED more neons, you know they are schooling fish right? You should have at least 6. Second, what kind of algae eater do you have? Third, what kind of frog do you have? And fourth, are your babies in a breeder net or are they with the others?
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