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Old 10-27-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
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HOB filter media question.

I'm such a , but I want to make sure I'm doing everything correctly.

I have a HOB filter, it has the pad with carbon in it, and the sponge. I've been changing the pad and carbon weekly with the PWC and rinsing the sponge in the removed water.

Is there anything I need to look for to change the pad quicker then weekly? I do have some water clarity issues and I think not changing the media out sooner is the issue.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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What type of HOB filter are you using? Is your water milky cloudy looking?
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:11 PM   #3
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Just a simple Tetra Whisper. No its not milky cloudy, its just got "stuff" all over the place that makes it cloudy.

I do have issues with the side of the tank. Its a recycled tank, and every other side is cystal clear. If you look through that one side, everything looks milky cloudy.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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I think you are changing your filter pad way to often. I use mine until they are falling apart, rinsing them in old tap water or dechlorinated tap water when they get dirty. The amount of carbon in them is so minute that it is "full in a couple days" and if you want to run carbon in your tank, putting a media bag with carbon in it so that you can change it without destroying your biofilter works.

As for the clarity problems, your filter may not be enough for your tank. What size whisper filter and what size tank do you have. Also, what are your water parameters?
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:31 AM   #5
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you are getting the most out of that filter. essentially, if you want better filtration, you will want a better filter.
you can cut back to every other week changing the cartridge. (i believe thats what it says in the operation manual, and on the replacement cartridge package, but i could be wrong.
i would also suggest removing the carbon from the filter cartridge. it is doing nothing for your tank unless you are dosing meds. also, after 5 days or so, the carbon is no good anyway, and becomes more harmful than it is good.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:35 AM   #6
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you can cut back to every other week changing the cartridge. (i believe thats what it says in the operation manual, and on the replacement cartridge package, but i could be wrong.
they say that to make money. thats where the bacteria is so when you take that out you throw away a lot fo your bacteria.

depending on whats causing the clarity issue you might want to try and throw some floss in the filter see if that helps. if you want to change the carbon out weekly or every 2 weeks thats fine but he rest leave in there. heck i dont even run carbon in my tanks. if you want a link about running carbon in the filter just ask.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:42 AM   #7
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those filters are not built with biological filtration in mind. because they are not designed for biological filtration, you will need to change the cartridge bi-weekly to remove the build up of detrius on the filter pad so as not to create an abundance of nitrates in the tank, and even raise the possibility of an ammonia spike. and just to keep the tank clean. as they are mechanical filters.

by replacing the cartridge bi-weekly as suggested, your bacteria colonies will be forced to grow elsewhere. (specifically in the substrate of the tank), and once the system balances itself out, you will not get a bloom by changing the filter pad.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:52 AM   #8
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if you had to do that who would even buy one. quick google search comes out to $140 on filter pads. i am sure you can clean and reuse them. if you cant i am sure htey could find something they could use instead of then wasting that much money on filter pads.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:01 AM   #9
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people around the world. thats who. why do you think people buy them?
theyre the cheap alternative to a proper filter.

the answer: dont buy crappy cartridge based HOB filters. theyre a waste of money. you can buy a HOB with rinseable mechanical media that you dont need to replace but once every 5 years, and though it may cost you an extra $20 upfront, it ends up saving you a ton of money in the end.

many people buy crappy tetra/ whisper/ marineland/ etc cartridge HOB's because that is all theyre exposed to. especially those who purchase ready built kits from chain LFS or walmart, where that is essentially all they carry.
youd be surprised how many people dont even know that eheim makes a HOB. (though it too, unfortunately, is a cartridge style filter)

when you go to a chain LFS, and buy your first tank, youre usually looking to spend only what you have to . if you look on the shelf and your options are a whisper HOB ($20) or a marineland c or eheim ecco canister ($$$$$), chances are youre going to go the HOB route.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:05 AM   #10
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just have to follow your sig motto and come up with your own cartridges. its just like the cheap printers with pricey ink.

i know why i stick to aquaclears.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:15 AM   #11
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even with your own cartridges, you are only attacking the problem of replacement cost. the design of the filter is still flawed, the flow pattern (back to front) of cartridge style filters is less than desirable for proper filtration.

the impeller housing fills the portion behind the filter cartridge, and then pressure forces the water through (as well as over and around) the cartridge. there is more water pressure closer to the top because of the shape of the filter and placement of the impeller. so youre not displacing the water evenly over the cartridge. (notice your cartridge gets dirty closer to the top first).

while HOB filters like the AquaClears force the water through the bottom of the media and up through the media basket, before exiting the slide. (much in the same way a canister works, just without a spraybar). so not only to you get the money saving rinseable filter, the option to customize (DIY) your own filter regimen, but you also get 100% contact with the media and even displacement throughout.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:13 AM   #12
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Exodon, can you explain why the filter pad needs to be thrown away and not rinsed out and reused? And what the difference in rinsing and reusing verses putting new in is.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:15 PM   #13
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these types of filters are not made to be reused. The Structural properties of most* cartrige filters is a lot closer to a poly fill than a filter pad. While you may be able to get away with carefully rinsing it a couple of times, it it just not what the product is built for. Every time you attempt to rinse and reuse these cartridges, you damage the structure of the filter itself and any reduce its function.
Water flow will always take the pth of least resistance. Of parts of the pad become thinner (even slightly) due to improper use (ie cleaning and reusing a filter that is meant to be replced) the water will flow through those thinner areas first. This will reduce the overall quality of the filtration over time.
Meanwhile filters like the Aquaclear HOB, use a strong mechanical media which was made to be cleaned without risk of damageing the media in the process. Same with canisters. Canister filters generally use a much stronger course filter pad that is pretty strong nd durable.

Basically, the filter cartridges are manufactured to be used then replaced (as clearly marked on the package). the idea being "ease of maintenance" over long term cost effectiveness.
Novice fish keepers don't know anything about water chemistry, nitrogen cycle, long term maintenance, etc. But they know how to throw out a dirty filter and replace it with a clean one. And that's exactly what this type of filter is made for.
You can go with a DIY solution with some king of coarse filter pad (I used to use green scotch brite scouring pads cut to size) which would give you more durability for cleaning the filter, but again, that only addresses one of the many flaws in the overall design of cartridge style HOB filters. It may save you a buck, but won't make the filter any better.

If that is no longer what you're looking for in a filter, if highly suggest getting rid of your cartridge style HOB filter, and replacing it with a quality HOB or a canister.
However, if its not in your budget or not readily avaolible for whatever reason, there is always a DIY solution out there to tie you over until you're ready to step up to a good filter.

I personally would rather spend the little extra upfront for a better quality filter, if for nothing else, peace of mind. The filter is the backbone of the aquarium, and knowing what I know now, I would not leave such a major function to a poor quality product if I had the option of getting a better one. It plays a far too important role for me to skimp out on it.
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