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Osage_Winter 12-11-2010 04:15 PM

Filter Media...
 
I recently added some Seachem Clarity to my tank to see if that would at least contribute to heading in the direction of the crystal clear water I seek...I followed the directions perfectly, adding three capfulls for my 60 gallons...the tank immediately turned brown and within hours, my Aqueon filter's cartridges were stuffed and nearly overflowing with the stuff, turning the floss pads completely bronze/brown. I removed the cartridges and rinsed them under the kitchen sink's faucet gun until the packs looked nearly white again, and then returned them to the Aqueon -- although now it looks as though I'm going through a mini cycle yet again because the water is yet again hazy.

It seems my AquaClear filter's sponge block has also sucked up a great amount of the Clarity -- which apparently did nothing for my water -- and it's time to really clean it; what do I do here? With the AquaClear, do I take the sponge out and rinse/dunk it in removed tank water in a bucket? What about the carbon pack and biomax pellets -- do I rinse the biomax pellets in the tank water as well, or leave these alone? What about the Aqueon filter cartridges -- do I dunk these in tank water as well, or just replace them with new ones?

mfdrookie516 12-11-2010 05:18 PM

Use a bucket of tank water from a water change and just clean them out in it. Squeeze the sponges repeatedly until they're a creme color (once they get brown, they never get back to white). The carbon, well, id say its time to toss it out... its been in there for a couple weeks now, right? The ceramic rings, just rinse them off in the bucket too... I'd suggest doing this before the sponge as the water can get pretty nasty after a sponge cleaning.

The aqueon cartridges will be a little harder... You're going to have to give them a thorough cleaning as well... just scrub them real good and swich them around in the bucket.

Osage_Winter 12-12-2010 03:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 (Post 1184507)
Use a bucket of tank water from a water change and just clean them out in it. Squeeze the sponges repeatedly until they're a creme color (once they get brown, they never get back to white). The carbon, well, id say its time to toss it out... its been in there for a couple weeks now, right? The ceramic rings, just rinse them off in the bucket too... I'd suggest doing this before the sponge as the water can get pretty nasty after a sponge cleaning.

The aqueon cartridges will be a little harder... You're going to have to give them a thorough cleaning as well... just scrub them real good and swich them around in the bucket.

Thanks mdf...I appreciate it...

I only have the one sponge from the factory setup in the AquaClear, so just dunk this in the tank water in the bucket, and squeeze until it's a light brown? And, are you sure I should just toss the carbon? Yeah, it's been a few weeks; I wanted to replace this sack with Purigen but didn't get around to it yet...

Are you sure dunking the ceramic rings (biomax pellets) is okay? Isn't this where most of the bacteria live?

Mark Hewitt 12-12-2010 05:28 AM

You rinsed filter cartridges under the water straight out of the tap?!

Osage_Winter 12-12-2010 05:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hewitt (Post 1184644)
You rinsed filter cartridges under the water straight out of the tap?!

Yeah...from a kitchen sink gun...:( :sorry::-|:shock::uhoh::uhoh:

I swear, I don't know what I'm doing anymore...

Mark Hewitt 12-12-2010 06:03 AM

Consider yourself admonished! I'm sure you know why that was a bad plan.

mfdrookie516 12-12-2010 08:37 AM

I wouldn't beat anybody up over it. I"ve even heard HN1 admit that he does this on his tanks (or at least has...) with no problems. And even if it does kill some of the bacteria, the substrate, other filter media, etc will have enough to keep from having problems. How do you think people who dont know any better throwing out their old filter cartridges and replacing them get away with it?

Mark Hewitt 12-12-2010 09:01 AM

IME they mostly end up on here asking why their fish have died!

reefdiver 12-12-2010 09:25 AM

Is this not a place to ask questions and get help? I do understand your point and I would have to say there is no reason for anyone to respond if they don't want to. There is no one getting paid to answer questions here. Just my two cants. No offense to anyone.

Osage_Winter 12-12-2010 03:56 PM

Guys,

So are you saying that I shouldn't even be buying new cartridges for the Aqueon filter when they get nasty looking? I'm being told now from another source that perhaps the new carbon/charcoal inside replacement cartridges for this filter may in fact suck up some ammonia and stuff from my water, which would be good...

mfdrookie516 12-12-2010 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Osage_Winter (Post 1184712)
Guys,

So are you saying that I shouldn't even be buying new cartridges for the Aqueon filter when they get nasty looking?

Exactly


Quote:

Originally Posted by Osage_Winter (Post 1184712)
I'm being told now from another source that perhaps the new carbon/charcoal inside replacement cartridges for this filter may in fact suck up some ammonia and stuff from my water, which would be good...

Not gonna happen... Carbon does not remove ammonia. Period.

Sharkbait_Ls1 12-12-2010 05:08 PM

I think I might of learned something from this thread..might need some more elaboration? So your saying we shouldn't replace our filters? I'm using a Marineland and I change my filters about every month and a half. Should I not be replacing them? And if so could I get an explanation as well.

DragonFish71 12-12-2010 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefdiver (Post 1184659)
Is this not a place to ask questions and get help? I do understand your point and I would have to say there is no reason for anyone to respond if they don't want to. There is no one getting paid to answer questions here. Just my two cants. No offense to anyone.


No offense taken here and yes. this is a Q & A site. However, there are times when you constantly give advice and it is ignored.


No offense to Osage, you seem to be a very nice person, but you've been given advice repeatedly that water changes are your friend. If you get your tank healthy by doing water changes and not using pointless products that don't do anything for the over all water quality, your tank would respond much better. All you need is to master the water change and get past your hatred/phobia whatever and set yourself a schedule. You don't need anything but a good dechlorinator and a python. Seriously. I use a python on all my tanks, even the little 5.5 g ones and I have none of the problems with water changes that you do. You will spend more time and money on the useless products than you will on doing water changes on a regular basis.


And as a response to something you said in your other post about not doing water changes. Think about this, all critters, even us, benefit from fresh water daily. Your fish are in an enclosed, unnatural environment, swimming in their own waste, filters only do so much. You truly do need to do the changes or find someone that will do the service for you.

glassbird 12-12-2010 06:08 PM

SharkBait...I am not familiar with Marineland filters, but to answer your question in general terms, you do not need to replace your filter cartidges until they are falling apart. Give them a good rinse and/or squeeze in water that you have removed from your tank during a water change, and pop them back in. Do NOT rinse with water from the sink...the chlorine in your tap water will kill off a proportion of the beneficial bacteria in the filter material...never a good idea. Rinsing in old tank water will remove the built up crud, but not kill much of the bacteria.

It is the general consensus that manufacturers of filter material tell you (us) to replace the material on a regular basis only because they want to sell you more filter material!

Sharkbait_Ls1 12-12-2010 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glassbird (Post 1184748)
SharkBait...I am not familiar with Marineland filters, but to answer your question in general terms, you do not need to replace your filter cartidges until they are falling apart. Give them a good rinse and/or squeeze in water that you have removed from your tank during a water change, and pop them back in. Do NOT rinse with water from the sink...the chlorine in your tap water will kill off a proportion of the beneficial bacteria in the filter material...never a good idea. Rinsing in old tank water will remove the built up crud, but not kill much of the bacteria.

It is the general consensus that manufacturers of filter material tell you (us) to replace the material on a regular basis only because they want to sell you more filter material!

Sounds good to me. 6 filters for my marineland run me 20 bucks. I will do as you say. Makes plenty of sense to me.

Osage_Winter 12-13-2010 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DragonFish71 (Post 1184731)
No offense taken here and yes. this is a Q & A site. However, there are times when you constantly give advice and it is ignored.

If you are referring to me with this above statement, I can tell you that you absolutely need to stand corrected, sir -- I DO NOT ignore the advice I have been given here. I have attempted multiple times to operate the Top Fin gravel vac I own based on the plethora of tips and suggestions here, and I just COULD NOT get it to work. My wife eventually got it pumping (okay -- no naughty remarks!) but to this day -- I don't know how...and quite frankly, neither does she.

Now, it may be because I am some kind of colossal dimwit, retard or otherwise moronic ball of confusion, but I like to think I have some semblance of an intelligence being that I am the managing editor of a well respected magazine and construct well-received feature articles for each issue with plenty of positive feedback from our reader demographic -- still, I will state again, I cannot, for some reason, get the gravel vac to work as intended. This leads me to responding to this:

Quote:

No offense to Osage, you seem to be a very nice person, but you've been given advice repeatedly that water changes are your friend.
I understand that I have been given that repeated advice but I am telling you that I have not ignored it -- we end up just going back to the method of scooping the water out of the tank with jars and vases, pouring it into a big bucket, carrying that across the house to the tub where it would be dumped (and subsequently soaking our expensive carpets en route)...and this would occur several times until we reached the desired water change level...now, given this method, wouldn't you be ready to ***** and complain and nearly give up if you had to do this several times a week, which has been suggested to me with my bioload/species I am keeping?

I understand water changes are my friend -- but I am intrigued when I hear of another member who doesn't do changes and yet maintains life in his or her tank; it's just natural to find fascination in that after what I've been through with this process.

Quote:

If you get your tank healthy by doing water changes and not using pointless products that don't do anything for the over all water quality, your tank would respond much better.
But I haven't BEEN able to get my tank healthy just via the changes...

Quote:

All you need is to master the water change and get past your hatred/phobia whatever and set yourself a schedule. You don't need anything but a good dechlorinator and a python. Seriously. I use a python on all my tanks, even the little 5.5 g ones and I have none of the problems with water changes that you do. You will spend more time and money on the useless products than you will on doing water changes on a regular basis.
Let me start with your insistence on accusing me of being "hate filled" and "phobic" about these changes -- as I outlined above, my history in this area would drive any normal human being to madness, and I do not doubt that for one second nor do I believe I am exaggerating here; if you would see what we go through when we do a water change, you would understand more clearly...also, I am extremely happy for you that you "don't have any of the problems" I do when you do your water changes, but that's NOT ME or MY particular problem...we do have the issues with the changes.

Furthermore, I do not spend nearly the amount of time (maybe money) shopping for the products I have dumped in the tank than what I spend attempting to do these stupid changes -- honestly.

Quote:

And as a response to something you said in your other post about not doing water changes. Think about this, all critters, even us, benefit from fresh water daily. Your fish are in an enclosed, unnatural environment, swimming in their own waste, filters only do so much. You truly do need to do the changes or find someone that will do the service for you.
But I don't understand why the filters aren't doing enough for me -- I am running two fairly powerful HOBs that are supposed to be turning over 800 something gallons per hour, so why isn't this by itself maintaining clear water? I just don't understand this...the AquaClear in it of itself should be a powerful enough filter to keep the water rather clear, no?

Osage_Winter 12-13-2010 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 (Post 1184725)
Exactly



Not gonna happen... Carbon does not remove ammonia. Period.

But my cartridges are really filthy from the Aqueon filter...are you sure I shouldn't just replace them at this point? Rinsing out in tank water is sufficient?

Osage_Winter 12-13-2010 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glassbird (Post 1184748)
SharkBait...I am not familiar with Marineland filters, but to answer your question in general terms, you do not need to replace your filter cartidges until they are falling apart. Give them a good rinse and/or squeeze in water that you have removed from your tank during a water change, and pop them back in. Do NOT rinse with water from the sink...the chlorine in your tap water will kill off a proportion of the beneficial bacteria in the filter material...never a good idea. Rinsing in old tank water will remove the built up crud, but not kill much of the bacteria.

Glassbird,

Does this apply to the sponge blocks in the AquaClear filters as well? These should be dunked/squeezed into the old tank water? And even if cartridge packs are really dirty, it's okay to just "rinse" them and not replace them?

Quote:

It is the general consensus that manufacturers of filter material tell you (us) to replace the material on a regular basis only because they want to sell you more filter material!
I have always believed there's something more than this going on...it seems to me that replacing cartridges would allow the filter to kind of "start over" with fresh dirt-trapping media (taking the BB issue out of the equation for a moment)...I mean, is it only for profit that they recommend replacing these every so often?

Mark Hewitt 12-13-2010 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Osage_Winter (Post 1184712)
Guys,

So are you saying that I shouldn't even be buying new cartridges for the Aqueon filter when they get nasty looking?

Quite, just give them a couple of squeezes in a bucket of tank water and put them back in. The only time you need to replace them is if they are physically falling apart (which doesn't happen often, sponges last for years! Or if water cannot get through it any more, which again shouldn't happen for years!

Quote:

I'm being told now from another source that perhaps the new carbon/charcoal inside replacement cartridges for this filter may in fact suck up some ammonia and stuff from my water, which would be good...
No, it won't! And whoever told you that needs to be put onto the "never listen to them again" list :D

Mark Hewitt 12-13-2010 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharkbait_Ls1 (Post 1184729)
I think I might of learned something from this thread..might need some more elaboration? So your saying we shouldn't replace our filters? I'm using a Marineland and I change my filters about every month and a half. Should I not be replacing them? And if so could I get an explanation as well.

The reason you have a filter is to push water across nitrifying bacteria, which live on surfaces, the sponges have a large surface area where the bacteria lives. By replacing the sponges you're removing a large portion of the bacteria which will then take some time to grow back.

Just take the sponge out, rinse it off in tank water and inspect it, if it looks sound then put it back in. With proper maintenance the main components of a filter should easily last a couple of years without replacement. This excludes things like carbon and floss which are not essential in a filter by any means, but their effects only last for a limited period so do need replacing if you want to benefit from them.


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