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Old 03-30-2013, 06:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bmckee727 View Post
Wow, this is an interesting thread. As earlier stated meds could possibly be reintroduced but other than that I don't know why you would go the lengths of water backing up to change it. I have a 110 hob on one of my tanks and change carbon every 2-3mo but I do rinse it 2-3 times in that period. My levels have never spiked and water has consistent clarity and safe levels. I started off with xp-2 canister, then went to 110 and whisper with the bio bar to just using the 110. The aquaclear hob is def my fav filter.
So, if I don't wait to change the cartridges, as you suggest, when they look like they're "full" or can't hold any more debris, what should I do? Continue rinsing and dunking them in removed tank water as I do with the AquaClear sponges?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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I've had the same cartridges in the two HOB filters that I do run cartridges in for as long as I have had the filters themselves. All of the HOBs I am running save one are around a year old. One is older than that, but I tossed the cartridges and packed it with filter floss for better particle filtration and I did the same with another one that I got along with my 56 gallon because I didn't have any cartridges. I have a marine land penguin 350 on my 56 and my 30, plus each tank has a second, less powerful HOB with filter floss. My other tanks run sponge filters. I rinse one set of cartridges with every other water change (the 350s each have four cartridges plus two bio wheels). Never had any problems, although I t looks like it won't be long before I need to pick up new ones to start replacing some, as they are falling apart.
Alyxx,

Are you saying you actually are still using media cartridges on some of your filters for as long as they've been running? Are you serious? So, that's how many years now? You NEVER changed out the media? All you do is rinse them?

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Also, I don't think those plastic grids can hold much bacteria. My oldest running HOB has one of those things, but I don't trust it to hold nearly as much bacteria as the floss behind it does. Although it is good for holding the floss in place!
I have heard the pros and cons regarding Aqueon's so-called "bio grids" and "bio holsters," some saying they get populated with bacteria quickly while others say their tanks never cycled because of the "hype" surrounding the filters...I am putting my trust in the fact that the bacteria may be growing on these pieces and as such, I won't rinse or clean them (unlike the filter PADS themselves). I also have the second HOB -- an AquaClear 110 -- running with the BioMax pellets, so hopefully that can pick up the slack from the Aqueon if it's not populating with bacteria efficiently...
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ArtesiaWells View Post

So, if I don't wait to change the cartridges, as you suggest, when they look like they're "full" or can't hold any more debris, what should I do? Continue rinsing and dunking them in removed tank water as I do with the AquaClear sponges?
Yep. Just rinse them in the tank water. I swish them around and rub any collected gunk off of them. Been doing this with my current cartridges for about a year now, and they are still holding up ok.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:23 PM   #14
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Also, Everyone...

I should have mentioned in the original post that my intention isn't to discover ways to "mod" my HOB that takes cartridges so that they accept a different form of media, or to "rediscover" the ways in which the media can be "added upon" for better filtration (i.e. batting/stuffing behind the cartridges, Bio pellets, etc.)...I am aware that the Aqueon can be added to in terms of its media abilities, but my main concern was figuring out, if I am going to continue just using the cartridges for this HOB, whether I can continue rinsing and dunking the carts with sporatic water changes or if I need to actually replace them with new carts once they get too gunked up because of a fear of leeching toxins back into the water from exhausted carbon...
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:25 PM   #15
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Yep. Just rinse them in the tank water. I swish them around and rub any collected gunk off of them. Been doing this with my current cartridges for about a year now, and they are still holding up ok.
Thanks, Al; guess that answered my question I had for you regarding what you do with YOUR carts!

Don't your pads look really nasty and dark brown though at that point? Is this okay; I mean, the pads don't HAVE to be bright white in order to be effective?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:27 PM   #16
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I have 2 aqueon 55/75 running my 55 Fowler and all I did was remove cartridge added pillow poly fiber from Walmart that came in a roll for 6 dollars wich I replace one of the cut out polyfiber every month and I'm using a media bag with carbon behind the polifiber and change it every 2 months and my water is clear I'm planning thou to replace the carbon for chemi pure elite
Hi Reyma!

Thanks for the input and pics; finally, I get to see someone's Aqueon in action on their tank!

I have the model that came out before your 55/75s, which is just the QuietFlow 55; it seems that you have your water level set so that the 55/75s create a kind of "surface rippling" effect, which I do with my tank as well...is that so?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:29 PM   #17
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You mean if I left the carbon in for extended periods of time?
Yup, I think you'd be perfectly fine doing it, although it probably isn't the best choice just because carbon isn't effective after a few weeks. But, I'd honestly just cut the carbon out and use the cartridge without it if you want to keep the cartridge
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:29 PM   #18
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I have 2 aqueon 55/75 running my 55 Fowler and all I did was remove cartridge added pillow poly fiber from Walmart that came in a roll for 6 dollars wich I replace one of the cut out polyfiber every month and I'm using a media bag with carbon behind the polifiber and change it every 2 months and my water is clear I'm planning thou to replace the carbon for chemi pure elite
Exactly what I do! Cheap, effective and easy. Nice tank btw
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:31 PM   #19
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Yup, I think you'd be perfectly fine doing it, although it probably isn't the best choice just because carbon isn't effective after a few weeks. But, I'd honestly just cut the carbon out and use the cartridge without it if you want to keep the cartridge
Gotcha; thanks, George!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ArtesiaWells View Post

Thanks, Al; guess that answered my question I had for you regarding what you do with YOUR carts!

Don't your pads look really nasty and dark brown though at that point? Is this okay; I mean, the pads don't HAVE to be bright white in order to be effective?
Ohhhhh yeah they look nasty. Although after a rinsing they don't really look all that bad. But no, they don't have to be bright and shiny new to be effective - once they get "dirty" I feel they are more effective since they are doing two jobs at once, mechanical and biological filtration. As long as all the solid gunk is rinsed out, there is still plenty of room for new particles to get caught in the cartridge. I do stuff some new poly fill in my second filter to help with mechanical filtration (and biological), but in all the years before I discovered I could do that and just ran cartridges I never had much of a problem with particulates in the water. Always crystal clear (well, not at the moment - I've discovered I really like my water tannin stained, so it's more of a nice clear light tea color now in most of my freshwater tanks thanks to lots of driftwood and some Indian almond leaves).
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