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Old 12-03-2012, 11:17 PM   #21 
sainthogan
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so if you have a carbon filter and your tank is not cycled yet, do you just change it as needed? The directions that came with my Tetra Whisper Filter said to change the filter when water actively flowed over the top of the cartridge or about once a month. Well, it's been longer than a month and water as yet to flow over the top of the cartridge, although it is getting close, but my tank is not cycled (I've been testing it weekly for 2 months now, and still not cycled). So.... what do I do? Do I just swish it out, or do I change it completely?
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:41 PM   #22 
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Originally Posted by sainthogan View Post
so if you have a carbon filter and your tank is not cycled yet, do you just change it as needed? The directions that came with my Tetra Whisper Filter said to change the filter when water actively flowed over the top of the cartridge or about once a month. Well, it's been longer than a month and water as yet to flow over the top of the cartridge, although it is getting close, but my tank is not cycled (I've been testing it weekly for 2 months now, and still not cycled). So.... what do I do? Do I just swish it out, or do I change it completely?
You may need a bigger surface area for the BB. I would leave it in because the floss is not clogged yet and that would slow the cycle down. Don't worry too much about it. The scenario that is mostly discussed here is a rare occurrence. Any filter media can become a seeping toxic fish killer if you don't clean your tank with water changes and rinse media at least once a month in old tank water. Carbon is just not needed as much as filter companies would like you to believe though.

You are using a water conditioner with tap water or reverse osmosis water from a local fish store?
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:00 AM   #23 
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You may need a bigger surface area for the BB. I would leave it in because the floss is not clogged yet and that would slow the cycle down. Don't worry too much about it. The scenario that is mostly discussed here is a rare occurrence. Any filter media can become a seeping toxic fish killer if you don't clean your tank with water changes and rinse media at least once a month in old tank water. Carbon is just not needed as much as filter companies would like you to believe though.

You are using a water conditioner with tap water or reverse osmosis water from a local fish store?
I'm using conditioned tap. I do 50% water changes once a week. It's a 5 gallon, so I'm not sure why it's not cycled. Should I do less than 50% at my weekly changing?
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:13 AM   #24 
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Yeah drop it down to 25% till it's cycled but be ready to make a 50% if needed. If you can seed your tank from another cycled it will speed things up.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:12 PM   #25 
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I have two of these filters, one for about 3 years now and apparently I do not know how they work. I have always changed the carbon cartridge whenever the water starts to spill over the top, i.e. the cartridge is clogged from plant matter (I have a planted tank) and the water is unable to go through it. The filter also has a black sponge which I thought contained most of the BB? Now I am very confused.

As for the cost...I just bought a 12 pack of the carbon cartridges for $10 so they're fairly inexpensive if you're changing just one per month.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:29 PM   #26 
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I have two of these filters, one for about 3 years now and apparently I do not know how they work. I have always changed the carbon cartridge whenever the water starts to spill over the top, i.e. the cartridge is clogged from plant matter (I have a planted tank) and the water is unable to go through it. The filter also has a black sponge which I thought contained most of the BB? Now I am very confused.

As for the cost...I just bought a 12 pack of the carbon cartridges for $10 so they're fairly inexpensive if you're changing just one per month.

You are right about where the BB but it sounds like you have a filter with a separate carbon cartridge. Smaller tank filters tend to have floss and carbon in one cartridge. So if you change the cartridge you lose the floss with the BB as well.

Last edited by Phaydra; 12-04-2012 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:34 PM   #27 
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So, I just looked up the specs and it says it includes a biofoam and grid. I never realized it before because my filters came pre-assembled. I'm assuming this is where the BB grow. Do I need to remove that and swish it? I wouldn't even know how to go about removing it without taking the entire filter out.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:06 PM   #28 
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Yeah in old tank water. I squeeze my sponges once a month much to the dismay of some of my fish. My Neons use my prefilter sponge as a sleeping spot. My big in tank corner filter is like that. You pretty much have to disassemble the thing to clean the sponges. I have retired it as soon as I move to a bigger tank. You could also get a syringe without a needle or a turkey baster. Then squirt water through the sponge to get the larger matter out. Could save you the trouble of disassembling.
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