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Old 12-21-2003, 09:07 PM   #1
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When to change filter media

I set up a 54 gallon tank 6 months ago. The Fluval 404 was filled by LFS with lots of great stuff (though I don't know what!).

At that time, I was told that the filter needs changing or cleaning or new media maybe twice a year.

The tank is doing superbly. It is a fish and reef tank, soft corals only, live rock, live sand, UV light, two powerheads, skimmer, shrimp and algae critters. I have done regular water changes.

Should I open the filter and change all or some of the media? Should I do it at the same time as a water change?

Thanks....your advice and suggestions are appreciated!

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Old 12-21-2003, 09:27 PM   #2
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Should I open the filter and change all or some of the media? Should I do it at the same time as a water change?
Can't really answer that without knowing what the media is. Some media should not be replaced, simply rinsed in tank water. Some can be replaced all at once (and should be changed often) and some should only be replaced a little at a time.

I tend to change any media alternate to a waterchange (somewhere in the middle between them) so as not to depress the biological filter too far.

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Old 12-22-2003, 09:03 AM   #3
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I echo what Kevin has to say. If I remember from my FW days, the 404 has about three separate chamber for mechanical/biological/chemical treatment. In the top chamber is a sponge which acts to trap all large particles. This should be cleaned about once a month minimum. In the middle is usually the filter floss and GAC. The GAC should be cycled about every 3-4 months and the filter floss rinsed clean about every two weeks. The bottom chamber usually has the media that allows the denitrifying bacteria to grow in it. This should not be touched unless there is a build up of detrius in the chamber. Absoultely cycle when you clean the elements and don't do it all together. Use some tank water to rinse the stuff in and replace. Check your manual as I am going from memory from an older fluval model. But I would definitely ask the LFS to explain what they put in your canister so you understand what is there and what it does. HTH 8)
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