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Old 05-12-2016, 06:05 PM   #1
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When to change the filter

I'm seeing alternate advice on when to change filters. I have a 2.5 gallon tank with a small Aqueon filter. It's been three weeks, it's turned a light brown, and it's starting to smell a little. My upcoming water change/gravel vac'ing is this weekend.

Should I totally change to a new filter because the carbon needs to be updated?

Should I just rinse off the filter (in the old tank water) and wait?

Should I somehow open the filter and refresh the carbon? I've seen bigger filters that are openable, but this size filter just has a plastic outline and I'm not sure how I would close it back up.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:53 PM   #2
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Which Aqueon filter is it? Is the filter an Aqueon Mini? What are your Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ammonia levels? How long has the tank been set up? How often do you perform partial water changes? Are there any plants in the tank?

Always rinse filter media with old tank water. tap water will kill beneficial bacteria and you will have to cycle the tank over again.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
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The filter I have is the one that came with the tank, I'm not sure how else to name it.

I'm using the API test strips, so I realize my readings aren't the most accurate: Nitrite levels are 0, Nitrate levels are between 0 and 20 (they're a very pale pink), and Ammonia levels tend to be around 0.5mL when I do the tests weekly. I set up the tank on 4/21/16, so almost 4 weeks ago.

I do gravel vac'ing and partial water changes once a week. I have a marimo moss ball in the tank. I forgot to mention, the tank includes 1 betta fish.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:14 PM   #4
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It looks like my best plan of action would be to swish the current filter in old tank water each week until the levels in my tank change (meaning the carbon is no longer doing it's job), or until the filter no longer comes clean from the swishing.

So I should definitely have it longer than 3 weeks, but it probably won't last up to 2 months?
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:57 PM   #5
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You must have the Aqueon mini bow 2.5 gallon tank. I think you just change out your filter pads when they are dirty. You could wash them in old tank water, but sooner or later the filter pack will need to be changed. I wish I knew of a good way to keep BB in your filter when you change the filter packs...an option is to place a future filter pack in the tank, preferably out of sight and then use it in the filter when the old pack is dirty.

Some people just change them outright without issue. Bettas are pretty hardy fish.


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Old 05-24-2016, 06:47 PM   #6
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You don't need carbon unless you use meds. So I keep rinsing my old filters pads till they fall apart. I have live plants so there are always BB in my tanks.


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