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Old 01-28-2011, 02:19 PM   #11 
ChicagoPete
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hmm what smell are you refurrin to?
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:23 PM   #12 
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Well the decaying shrimp smells kinda unpleasant. It is in panty hose in the water but has started floating so the smell is more apparent now. I believe it is floating though because of the decay is has made a "bubble" around itself and filled with the decaying gases has caused it to float. I head from several people that the smell is normal.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:25 PM   #13 
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Eww ahaha.... But yah now I see what your sayin about it as a good thing.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:26 PM   #14 
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Yeah, luckily for my roommate she can't smell it at all. Not to lucky for me lol
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:41 PM   #15 
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Just rinse your filter medium in tank water. Only change it if the medium is falling apart.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:06 PM   #16 
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As posted by others-a lot of the beneficial bacteria colonize in the filter media and it is best to give it a good swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month and when the water flow slows to maintain good water flow

If you ever need to change the filter media-in young setups it is best to cut a piece of the old sponge off and add to the new sponge for a week or so to seed the new sponge

With mature setup (6mo and older) with a mature stable nitrogen cycle that is not over stocked.....you can usually replace the sponge without any problems

If you want to use carbon and your filter media is the combo type that is the sponge and carbon in one....you can cut a slit in the filter media and dump the carbon out and just use the sponge part or even add fresh carbon to this if you cut the slit in the right place

Carbon is usually not active and/or used up in about 3-6 weeks and needs to be replaced....however...you really don't need carbon IMO...especially when a water change will do the same thing....remove-odors, tannins, any discoloration in the water, medication....with that said...it is still a good idea to have fresh carbon on hand......just in case...example...some type of toxin got in the tank or you just want to clean the water a bit more to make it clearer, heavy metals or overdose of medications and you want to make sure it is all out......IMO-you don't need carbon on a regular basis....

Filter media-you shouldn't have to change this out unless it is falling apart.....it still needs a swish/rinse on occasion to maintain that water flow or otherwise the good bacteria will not get enough oxygenated water and start to die and their byproduct is ammonia.....

Same with the ceramic beads that never need replaced-sometimes they will need a rinse-if they become clogged with lots of organic matter it can hinder oxygenated water flow and your colony of beneficial bacteria can die or not thrive as well

I look at cost because I have lots of aquariums...I have filters on some of them but it is more for water circulation..... the live plants are the true filters in my tanks...so I make my own filter media with poly-fill to trap the large debris and the HOB boxes sometimes end up being a shrimp nursery...lol.....

But if you only have one or a few tanks and/or you have the funds to buy and replace filter media and/or carbon....nothing wrong with that either.....new filter media and carbon use is a personal choice as much as anything else....IMO....
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