Should I remove the filter pads from my wet/dry?

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Aquarium Advice Regular
Sep 21, 2004
Sacramento CA
I've had a 30 gallon fish only tank up for about 5 years and I am in the process of making some changes to it. In the past few weeks I've added 25lbs of LR and I will be adding 25 more pounds in another month or so. I've also been changing my hawaiian puca shell substrate with live sand. Finally, I've been removing the bioballs from my wet/dry and have been gradually adding LR rubble. My wet/dry is called a Mighty Max and was made by TRUVU. It came with some filter media called DLS material which is a combination of some type of padding with a plastic mesh layer on top. Other than my protein skimmer, my Mighty Max is the only form of filtration on my tank.Over the years I have replaced the old DLS pads with new ones as needed, but I've had a bit of a nitrate problem and I was wondering if these pads are the problem. It's hard to tell, because it could be the bio balls that have been the problem. Can I get away with removing the DLS filter media? From looking at other people's galleries I've noticed that no one seems to have filter pads in their wet/drys or sumps. Is there any type of filter media or anything else that I would have to add to the wet/dry if I removed the DLS media? What do you use in your wet/dry or sump?
i am new at this, however, i have a wet/dry and through researching this site, most of the members say that the bio-balls are nitrate traps. they all recommend taking out the bio-balls and use the natural biological filtration of the LR.
Its Ok to have the filter media there, IMO its actually a good thing. Where people go wrong is through lack of proper cleaning/replacing. You may want to clean it a couple times a week. Trapped wastes on a filter pad will definitely feed nitrates.
removing the bioballs will help too, it sure did for me. When removing the bioballs, do it slowly like 1/5 of them a week. This will allow you biofilter to catch up. Another way to battle nitrate is a good water change schedule. Try changing 10-15% a week and see if that doesn't help.
How would you suggest cleaning the filter media? Should I rinse them off in fresh saltwater or do I need to scrub them with something to remove the trapped wastes? I'm already in the process of removing the bio balls and replacing them with LR rubble, but I've been taking the advice that I received from others and removing them gradually. Any advice is appreciated...
Just rinse the pads out real well in your sink. Don't worry about losing bacteria growing in the pads as it will me a minute percentage of your overall filter. It's more important to get all the crap out of the pads. You can run without them with no problem if the maintenance gets old, but they are nice to have to catch particulate and keep the water cleaner looking.
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