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Old 04-01-2006, 07:04 PM   #1
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cleanign a canister filter/sand muck

how often do you clean your canister filter and when you do, you clean it with tank water correct. the filter is an xp2

also i just filled my 55 gallon with pool filter sand and it got a lot cloudier but i have no fish in there yet so its still good but the cloud will soon fall down and then get sucked up in the filter, this is the instance where im glad i bought the xp2 instead of a hob filter.
thanks
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Old 04-01-2006, 09:27 PM   #2
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I clean my canister every 4-6 weeks. Keep a log so you don't forget to do it. Clean your bio-filtration with tank water, replace the charcoal (if you even use it), and you can rinse out the foam pads with tap water or tank water.

Your cloudiness will clear up rather quickly......give it 48 hours or so. What are you cycling your tank with? Don't start your canister maintenance count-down until you have something in there.....you may even be able to push it out 6-8 weeks before your first cleaning and then you can get on a more regular schedule (every 4 weeks).
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Old 04-01-2006, 09:46 PM   #3
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im going to cycle with the fish i have in my 15 gallon now becuase they are all going in the 55 with more of each other and some new additions
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Old 04-01-2006, 11:14 PM   #4
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I do canister maintenance about every 4 weeks on the ARLC tank and every 6 weeks on the community tank. If your tank has a pretty hefty bio-load with messy fish, it is required more often. Since we have two filters on the 150 gal tank, I rinse the sponge in tap water, replace the filter floss, and leave the ceramic rings alone. The filters get cleaned on intervals. One is cleaned every two weeks.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:32 AM   #5
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ya its not going to have chiclids but i dont know if im going to overstock or under stock though heres my projected stock list
3 loaches
5 tetras
5 cories
2 caes
4/5 rainbowfish
pleco
shrimp
snails
2 rainbow sharks
1 bala shark since i already own him
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:43 AM   #6
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See if you cant put a sponge for the small Mag pump (they make pre-filter sponges for them for pond use) on your intake to your canister..
It should keep sand out and keep maintance needs down so long as you keep it rinced periodicly (I would suggest adding the rinsing to your weekly scedule), rincing out a sponge once a week sounds alot better then having to break down a canister more often.
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:32 PM   #7
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i have some sponges for thge aqua clear filters, i can cut then down a bit and stick one of them in the intake
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:53 PM   #8
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I also use plastic pot scrubbers as media in addition to sponges and bioballs. I do the cannisters on my 125 every 4 weeks alternating, so it works out to every 2 weeks as there are 2 cannisters. And I do the community tanks every 4 weeks as well. High bioloads require it on my tanks.
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous
i have some sponges for thge aqua clear filters, i can cut then down a bit and stick one of them in the intake
I like the way you think

I'd cut a slit in it and slide it over the intake tube.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:51 PM   #10
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Here's the link to where I buy my sponge prefilters on line. I have one on every filter be it cannister or HOB. With multiple tanks and filters it certainly pays with reduction in maintenance. They are very inexpensive and come with adapters to fit most all manufacturers.

http://www.jehmco.com/PRODUCTS_/FILT...e_filters.html
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:25 AM   #11
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I try to clean my sponges every 7-14 days, but I have cichlids.

Also, I rinse the bio rings in the tank water, but the sponges I clean in the kitchen sink with the sprayer.

Yes, its blasphemy!

Actually I do this because I have two baskets of bio rings so my cycling bacteria lives in that, allowing me to scour the sponges clean. Sometimes I only do the coarse sponges like this.
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Old 04-12-2006, 03:03 PM   #12
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Because of my bio-load and plant debris, I clean my canister about once ever 2-3 weeks. It usually doesn't really need it as its still running, however the flow rate does slow down. I rinse the foam sleeve in tap water, replace the charcoal and put it all back together.. i never touch my bio-wheel. I don't really depend on bacteria inside the filter and I see no spike in NH3 or NO2
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:30 PM   #13
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OK, at the risk of losing any respect I might have earned in the past, I am going to be totally honest and, no pun intended, "come clean" on this one.

I go months and months without cracking my canister filters. My tank is overfiltered, having two fluval 404's on a 55, and I water change a lot, say 40% once or twice a week. Y'all have seen my water change system, so you can understand why big frequent water changes are no big deal for me, but why gravel vacs and filter maintenance are more work. So, just a few weeks ago I realized that I had one fluval that had not been opened for 5 months, and one that had not been open for 4 months. Flow from these filters was still robust. I opened and cleaned Both of them. What I found was that the fluval pre-filter sponge was just a bit browner near the top edge that the water passes through first, and that the browness had traveled a few inches further from the top than when I had done this maintenance every other month. Other than that, mechanical filter ceramic rings (2nd layer of mechanical), my filter floss (3rd layer of mechanical) were still rather clean. The mechanical filtration rings were rinsed in tap water anyway, and the floss was replaced anyway. Yes, the mechanical filter rings were rinsed in tap water because they are for mechanical filtration, the biomedia above it will be left alone. Above those two baskets, I have two baskets of porous bio-media, which were really clean. These were taken out and inspected, but then put back in with no rinsing. The pre-filter sponge was rinsed and cleaned in tap water, then put back in. The fluval lower canister was left with most of the tank water in it, so that I could reinsert the sponges and baskets back into the tank water left in the canister. The impeller was removed and cleaned, but there wasn't much of anything in the impeller chamber.

Wait! above I stated that I would be honest, so I have to admit that it had actually been 6 and 7 months since I had last cleaned the fluvals. Now, I am rather embarrassed that I had gone over half a year since maintaining my filter, and I have made a vow never to let so much time elapse again. Of course, when I first set up the tank I did do it monthy or close to it, but, well, you know, sometimes things can get away from you. But having done this, I was amazed at how un-dirty the filters seemed to me. I am not particularly overstocked, I don't over feed (not much, anyway), and I do a lot of water changes. Perhaps these good qualities have enabled me to neglect my filters. I am not recomending that you go 6 months yourself, but I would not feel guilty if you haven't done it monthly, providing that when you do open it up, things aren't really bad.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:19 PM   #14
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I'm not sure if your tank has finished cycling yet, you mentioned there were no fish. With a new tank and new canister filter (I have the xp3) I wouldn't do any cleaning of the filter for at least 3 months to allow bacteria to grow. Every time you rinse the sponges (even with tank water) you rinse away good bacteria. I assume you have some type of bio filtration in the filter (rings, noodles, balls, etc) and that/those should never be rinsed. They are meant to collect bacteria to keep toxins down and out. Once the tank is established, (which some would say takes 6-12 months) you can start a filter maintenance schedule. I clean mine every 2 months with rototing what I do with the filter. One time I'll just replace floss, and the next will be rinsing sponges and a slight rinse of the canister itself, but never so I touch my section with ceramic rings...
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:43 PM   #15
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so just clean the bag of charcoal stuff in tank water and sponges in tap water?
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:45 PM   #16
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When starting out and establishing a bio-filter, don't do any filter cleaning until you tank has completely cycled for several weeks. Every piece of your filter is surface area for your bacteria, including all sponges, charcoal, and the biomedia. Thus, leave them all alone until your cycle is done for, let's say, at least a month. Don't disturb the gravel in the tank too much either, and if you are doing fishless cycle, there is no need for a light gravel vac anyway. If cycling with fish, I might consider cleaning the filters pre-filter sponge only if it got clogged up.

AFter the cycle is over, do regular maintenance on the filter. You should not go 6 months like I just fessed up to in the above post. More than once a month is probably more work than its worth. Every 6 to 12 weeks should be reasonable. Never replace all the biomedia at once! In fact, if you have enough pre-filter, the biomedia could stay clean enough to never be replaced.
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:47 AM   #17
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wouldn't you want the bacteria to grow longer than the cycle? As you are slowly adding small groups of fish the tank will need to continue to grow more and more bacteria as the bio load grows in the tank. If you were to clean the filter after the first six weeks you could see some spikes in ammonia and nitrite...
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Old 04-13-2006, 02:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous
2 rainbow sharks
Might want to make that just 1, they can be very aggressive with each other when older.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:37 PM   #19
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so in the xp2 i only have the charcoal bag now and the sponges it came with, ive heard people using filter floss and bio balls. what is best to add into the canister filters for extra filtration and bacteria growth? i have bio balls already so they are good but what else and where do i put it in the xp2? anywhere i dont know if there is an emtpy basket but ill have to wait, need to wait for all the good bacteria growth.
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:10 PM   #20
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This stuff is pretty cheap, and works well for me. Look for it online. I think I got mine for about $12 a jug? Can't really remember. It was cheaper than the fluval and ehiem stuff. I have four baskets in my fluval behind a sponge pre-filter. Basket one has fluval ceramic coarse mechanical filtration noodles, basket two has filter floss for fine mechanical filtration, and the final two baskets have the original fluval porouse ceramic media and the seachem stuff pictured above. The biomedia is placed after or down-flow from the mechanical filtration to keep it clean.
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