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Old 07-17-2013, 08:38 AM   #1 
LittleDeer
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Switching Filter from Cartridges to Different Media

So guys, I've been thinking about switching my filters to use cut filter sponge media instead of cartridges, since its more practical, less expensive, and I don't like the carbon in cartridges.

However, I'm not sure about the best way to do this without ruining my cycle.

Just to be clear, my filters are Topfin Whispers for 10 gallons. They also have some kind of small black sponge in front of the filter cartridges, and I'm not sure what it is. I've just assumed it was a home for BB.

If anyone could give me step by step instructions on this and/or reccommend a good brand of filter media to use (preferably sponge) I would really appreciate it :)

Keep in mind I am partially doing this to save money, so nothing particularly expensive.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:01 AM   #2 
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basically, without carbon you are losing what they call chemical filtration, the floss part of it is what is called mechanical it traps big particles and does not let them back into the tank, the floss and sponge are also the biological part of the filter that is where the BB's grow to clean out the water, that being said you can use just a normal sponge that does not have any anti-bacteria stuff in it, kitchen sponges you have to read the package real well to make sure it does not have that, you can usually get sponges for like washing a car that won't have any of that stuff, jsut cut it down to fit in the filter houseng and squezze out the old filter cartridge onto it or leave it just floating in the tank or inside the filter housing if possible for a week or so to let BB's establish on the new sponge, you will only have to rinse out the new sponged about once a month and can use it till it literally falls apart, if you want to go the extra mile you can fill some pantyhose with some purigen to replace the carbon, it is reusible as well look it up on the process to use and restore it it keeps the water crystal clear

and by rinse out the sponge I mean do it in a bucket of tank water give it a good few squeezes and swish it around do not do it in tap water that has not be treated, you will kill the BB's

Last edited by Stone; 07-17-2013 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:15 AM   #3 
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Thank you, Stone :)
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:21 AM   #4 
Nicci Lu
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Just wanted to throw this out there...

When I had a Whisper, I just opened the clip at the top of the cartridge and dumped all the carbon out (actually, I saved it in a tupperware in case I needed it, like after a medication treatment). I used the empty cartridge as a sponge and never replaced it with a new one. It never fell apart. So, you don't necessarily have to buy new filter floss... just get rid of the carbon. And FYI, the pocket in the cartridge makes a great place to put Purigen if you wanted to go that route.

If you do get new floss or sponge (they sell a big sheet of filter sponge at Petsmart for about 8$), use one half of the cartridge sponge as the old media that you will add to the new. Don't use the black sponge- it's for mechanical filtration and it's holes are too big to hold a decent amount of BB.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:47 PM   #5 
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Okay, thank you.

Thigh my cartridges fall apart after about 2 months. And I did remove the carbon in my current ones.

I'll pick up the sheet of sponge at Petsmart, though. Seems like the best route to go.
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