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Old 09-02-2014, 07:54 PM   #1
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Cleaning Filter... eventually replacing filter?

Hi there,

I have an Aqueon 15 gallon column tank (about 2 weeks old now) and it came with an Aqueon QuietFlow 10 in it, which is for 10-20 gallons. I just noticed today that a lot of the water was spilling over, bypassing the filter altogether, which Aqueon says means it needs to be clean. I rinsed it in tank water as maybe that is why my cycling seems stuck, although I was concerned that I was removing beneficial bacteria... wow, was it dirty though.

At any rate, at some point in the future, I'd like to upgrade and I've read AquaClear or Fluval C Series (both made by hagen) are good products. Any suggestions?

Also, if the beneficial bacteria is in the filter, how does one go about upgrading without destroying the biological filter?? I only have room for one filter at the back.

Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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What got the tank so dirty? Are you doing fish-in or fishless cycle? If you don't have fish to feed, you shouldn't be putting any food which is usually what clogs my filter up. Well, that and fish poop...

You should just be able to scrub the filter out in tank water when you do a water change. You aren't going to remove that much bacteria. Shouldn't stall your cycle. You need to make sure you are giving the bacteria enough food, i.e. ammonia.

Both the AquaClear and the Fluval C are fantastic choices. AquaClear is the old stand by (and what I have on both my tanks). Fluval C is the latest, greatest filter.

In order to "seed" the new filter, I would recommend putting some of the bio material that comes with the Hagen products into your QuietFlow. Wait a couple weeks so you get a good enough bio base. Then you can replace the old with the new!
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:28 PM   #3
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I was surprised how dirty it was. I am doing a fish-in cycle. (I actually didn't know anything about how to cycle when I got set up, but the LFS told me because I was using prepared substrate and Stability) that fish could go in right away. I have a 5 harlequins and a platy.

I have ammonia at around .5 for a few days now, no nitrites, no nitrates. I was doing water changes everyday for about a week and then someone told me to chill out as long as my pH was under 7 as then the Ammonia is Ammonium. Wish I'd see some progress!!

At any rate, I think the water in the filter was bypassing for awhile - I didn't know it wasn't supposed to do that until I googled it today - thus, the cleaning. Could that be why the parameters aren't changing?

Anyways, that's a great idea to put the biomaterial from the new filter (that I get after the tank has cycled) into the QuietFlow first. Do you mean kind of push it in in front or behind the QuietFlow filter?

Will spend some more time debating AquaClear vs. Fluval C before I choose ... I read the AquaClear is more flexible in terms of the type of material you add in, but maybe the Fluval C would do it all...

The good news is that tonight my husband actually agreed that we could upgrade to a bigger tank someday if I can get it all up and running properly.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:43 PM   #4
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Have you read this article yet? http://www.aquariumadvice.com/fishin...tep-dark-side/ It should help you learn about fish-in cycling. It might take longer for everything to cycle since you aren't getting much ammonia in the tank. When I was cycling a 10 gal (fishless), I dosed up to 5 ppm ammonia! If you're at 0.5, that's 1/10th what I had.

Back to the initial problem: You are probably feeding your fish too much. If it's getting that dirty that quick, there is too much excess being sucked up. Just a pinch once a day (and it's not even a bad idea to "fast" the fish every now and then) will do.

Also, as far as seeding the bio material, you've got the right idea!

Good luck!
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:50 PM   #5
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I feed my fish daily and fast on Sundays. Amen to the Aquaclear and Fluval hang on the back filters. Yay to hubby saying yes to a bigger tank. Welcome to the world of fish keeping and good luck!
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:59 PM   #6
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So is there any evidence of BB in your filter? If so, you could run the new filter alongside the old one and it should have a good colony of BB when your cycle is complete.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:23 AM   #7
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Unfortunately there isn't room for two filters. Because I must be having some trouble building up BB, would there be any benefit to switching to an aquaclear 30 sooner rather than later? Ie. Does the design with the biomax feature help? Or should I wait until the quietflow finally works? I'm using Stability with prepared substrate.

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Old 09-03-2014, 12:25 AM   #8
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I didn't think I was feeding them a lot, but I will cut back. I must be if my filter was that dirty in 2 weeks.

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Old 09-03-2014, 12:40 AM   #9
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Most filters come with a piece of charcoal media. Instead of inserting that into your new filter, insert a large piece of your old filter media into that spot. That will bring BB over into the new filter. (You don't really need charcoal in your filter. It's helpful in some cases, but not absolutely necessary.)

The porous ceramic BioMax pieces in the AQ filters are very helpful in establishing BB.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:45 AM   #10
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Great idea! Maybe I will see if I can find an AquaClear 30 in the next couple days.

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Old 09-03-2014, 12:51 AM   #11
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If you are visiting the US or the shipping is affordable Petco has them on sale and Amazon has them for the same price.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:12 PM   #12
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Canister filters help when HOB filters would be a problem. Also canister filters seem to do a better job.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virbius View Post
Canister filters help when HOB filters would be a problem. Also canister filters seem to do a better job.
In a 15 gallon tank, a canister filter won't do all that much better of a job than a HOB filter. Even in my 26 gallon, switching from a fluval to a HOB made no real difference.

Above 30 gallons is when I'd say a canister filter is your best option.
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Old 10-25-2014, 03:29 PM   #14
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I have a growing interest in canisters, since I upgraded to a 45 g. I currently have a C4 and an Aquaclear 30, but am wondering if there would be advantage to eventually replace with a canister. Any recommendations?
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Old 10-25-2014, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenelle View Post
I have a growing interest in canisters, since I upgraded to a 45 g. I currently have a C4 and an Aquaclear 30, but am wondering if there would be advantage to eventually replace with a canister. Any recommendations?
I love eheim classics! I run a 2217 on my 150 gallon at home and a 2215 on my 55 gallon for my discus research project.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:43 PM   #16
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I will research the 2215. What are its main advantages?


Building 45 g community planted
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:19 PM   #17
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In a 15 gallon tank, a canister filter won't do all that much better of a job than a HOB filter. Even in my 26 gallon, switching from a fluval to a HOB made no real difference.

Above 30 gallons is when I'd say a canister filter is your best option.

This is consistent with what I kept finding in my research too. Haven't tried it myself but am very pleased with the Aqaclear (now labeled Fluval) HOB.

I had a surprise filter breakdown and moved to the Aquaclear/Fluval 50 on my 29 gallon. To preserve my bacteria I pulled everything I could out of the previous filter, including pulling the floss and charcoal out of the Marineland cartridge and dumping it into a filter media sock, and stuck it in the Fluval. Surprisingly I never saw ammonia, it transitioned perfectly.


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Old 10-25-2014, 07:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenelle View Post
I will research the 2215. What are its main advantages?


Building 45 g community planted
Versatility in placement/efficient water flow- in particular you can put the intake and outflow on opposite ends of the tank to maximize water flow and avoid dead spots. In a small tank, this isn't a big issue, but in large tanks an HOB just wont get all the water in the tank.

Versatility in media: as opposed to the very static cartridges, canister filters allow you to use all kinds of different media. In particular you can put in lots of biomedia so you never have to worry about ammonia spikes and stuff.

Minimum visibility: Most of the parts of a canister filter go under the stand, so all you see are the intake and outflow.

There are the ones I can think of off the top of my head
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:54 PM   #19
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Fabulous set of reasons. I'm going to think about whether I can fit it a canister in my stand which is actually a dining hutch!


Building 45 g community planted
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