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Old 09-16-2020, 10:47 PM   #1
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Dirty filters? Help..

hey guys, new to the forum, gonna give a detailed run down of the aquarium in question and my background, sorry if its a bit lengthy. Im just a bit stumped! I'm 37 and have been keeping fish since I was 11. Seriously keeping since I was 20. For many many years i had 15 10 gallons dedicated to breeding various snails, shrimps and other inverts. Was very successful. Had a 30 nano reef, and 280 reef, and 10 100g fresh water a 55 fresh and so on. Kept many various fish, mostly wild or F1 cichlids. Bred them and sold. I did this for about 15 years and had a lot of fun doing it. I had a few kids, starting my family and sold it almost all off. I kept an 80g tall and a 30 tall. Im very aware of all the ins and outs of keeping fish, and doing so responsibly and with healthy aquariums, but I've never ran across this problem. My 30 gallon is a deep sand bed planted tank, glass top with 3 dome plant lights (appropriate to the plants in the tank) it has a cluster of drift wood and a few aquarium safe rocks. Its a low tech planted tank. Its been running for about 7 years with no problem. I do appropriate water changes and the lights run about 7 hours a day. It is very over filtered with an aquaclear 70 and an aquaclear 50. Neither filter disrupts the sand tho. Temp is 78f. It has ran this way with out change for ever. It has 2 marbled crays, a bunch of mts snails, 2 bristle nose plecos and about 8 guppies (and come and go babies obviously) here is the problem. Over the last couple months the filters get so dirty its unreal. With in days they both have thick clogged sponges and same with the other media. I mean thick sludge that causes the inserts to rise and lift the top of the filter lids. When I clean them its as if I havent for a year. And man they stink like I havent for a year. Its gross. Water has under 5 nitrates, and is Crystal clear. I dont have an algae problem. Plants are great as always. Fish are healthy. I dont over feed. I probably slightly under feed. I use prime water conditioner with my regular water changes. The filter inserts are cleaned and replaced as they should be. Literally have never had this problem with any tank ever, and nothing has changed with this tank. So I'm baffled. Why do my filters (inserts) look, clog, stink, and act like the are from a neglected aquarium that has not had a water change or filter cleaning or filter insert replacement in several months when i clean the inserts, replace them when needed, and do regular water changes and have excellent water quality / consistent water changes in an aquarium that hasn't changed anything in ages? Thanks for your insight!
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jbjack View Post
hey guys, new to the forum, gonna give a detailed run down of the aquarium in question and my background, sorry if its a bit lengthy. Im just a bit stumped! I'm 37 and have been keeping fish since I was 11. Seriously keeping since I was 20. For many many years i had 15 10 gallons dedicated to breeding various snails, shrimps and other inverts. Was very successful. Had a 30 nano reef, and 280 reef, and 10 100g fresh water a 55 fresh and so on. Kept many various fish, mostly wild or F1 cichlids. Bred them and sold. I did this for about 15 years and had a lot of fun doing it. I had a few kids, starting my family and sold it almost all off. I kept an 80g tall and a 30 tall. Im very aware of all the ins and outs of keeping fish, and doing so responsibly and with healthy aquariums, but I've never ran across this problem. My 30 gallon is a deep sand bed planted tank, glass top with 3 dome plant lights (appropriate to the plants in the tank) it has a cluster of drift wood and a few aquarium safe rocks. Its a low tech planted tank. Its been running for about 7 years with no problem. I do appropriate water changes and the lights run about 7 hours a day. It is very over filtered with an aquaclear 70 and an aquaclear 50. Neither filter disrupts the sand tho. Temp is 78f. It has ran this way with out change for ever. It has 2 marbled crays, a bunch of mts snails, 2 bristle nose plecos and about 8 guppies (and come and go babies obviously) here is the problem. Over the last couple months the filters get so dirty its unreal. With in days they both have thick clogged sponges and same with the other media. I mean thick sludge that causes the inserts to rise and lift the top of the filter lids. When I clean them its as if I havent for a year. And man they stink like I havent for a year. Its gross. Water has under 5 nitrates, and is Crystal clear. I dont have an algae problem. Plants are great as always. Fish are healthy. I dont over feed. I probably slightly under feed. I use prime water conditioner with my regular water changes. The filter inserts are cleaned and replaced as they should be. Literally have never had this problem with any tank ever, and nothing has changed with this tank. So I'm baffled. Why do my filters (inserts) look, clog, stink, and act like the are from a neglected aquarium that has not had a water change or filter cleaning or filter insert replacement in several months when i clean the inserts, replace them when needed, and do regular water changes and have excellent water quality / consistent water changes in an aquarium that hasn't changed anything in ages? Thanks for your insight!
I personally had that issue with one of my aquariums so now every water change I rinse the sponge out in the water that is removed from the aquarium during water changes.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:33 AM   #3
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I personally had that issue with one of my aquariums so now every water change I rinse the sponge out in the water that is removed from the aquarium during water changes.
I do bi weekly water changes on that aquarium.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:38 PM   #4
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A prefilter sponge attached to the intake tubes should help things.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:11 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, but I'm looking as to why? I don't understand why this is happening.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:46 PM   #6
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You have a million mts in that deep sand bed and they all come out at night and poo like they get paid for it.
Get some assassin snails and see if the shells start piling up.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:53 PM   #7
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Ahaha legit true. HOWEVER, that hasn't changed over the years.... when population rises i scoop out a lot. And lower the population, give em away, move to othe tanks etc. And when i lower the population I really lower it. I put a bunch of favorable food in the sand , they come out in hoards and I scoop em all out. So although thats a really good hypothesis, its not a change from over the years... also i make sure the food i put in is taken out if its not eaten, but it usually is as i dont over do it
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:59 PM   #8
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I had a similar problem several years ago.
The AC filter sponge would quickly clog & was slimy & stinky.
The problem was the Shrimp pellets that I had recently mixed into the menu. Lol.
Once discontinued, things returned to normal.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:06 PM   #9
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So weird! Okay thats a change, I've bought some different algae wafers that I add 1 or 2 here and there , they get eaten up really quick but maybe that could be it? But how would 2 small wafers that get eaten fast cause such a nasty clogged filter so fast... i will not use and see if that helps. If it works thats great but seems crazy to me lol
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:14 PM   #10
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Hope things clear up soon.
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:07 PM   #11
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Dirty filters? Help..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbjack View Post
So weird! Okay thats a change, I've bought some different algae wafers that I add 1 or 2 here and there , they get eaten up really quick but maybe that could be it? But how would 2 small wafers that get eaten fast cause such a nasty clogged filter so fast... i will not use and see if that helps. If it works thats great but seems crazy to me lol

Could you imagine how much crumbled and wetted fish flakes you would need to make up one algae wafer. You would probably have to feed half a dozen regular fish flake feeds or more to equal the same amount of food two wafers add.

That said lets think about what youíve written for s moment

Plants grow
Water is crystal clear
Fish are happy
No algae
Less than 5 nitrates

This tank is super stable. Ultra mature. Many fish keepers never get this far. So you have to clean filters a bit more regularly? Big deal. If youíre feeding more the fish are eating more. You have extra waste. In an immature, under planted tank this would cause ammonia and nitrate spikes, algae and foul water and possibly disease. You biofilter and plants are so efficient you just have more mulm/humus to get rid of.

Sounds like nothing to worry about to me.
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