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Old 03-09-2010, 03:19 PM   #1 
Kittles
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Whisper 10i Filter Cleaning

I did a brief search around the forums to find some filter cleaning threads, but unless I'm doing it wrong I haven't found anything helpful.

I caught a glimpse of the Bio-Bag filter cartridge currently in my filter today and it was brown so I figured it was time for a change. There seems to be a slow manifestation of brown algae in certain areas in my tank and I was wondering if it's because of the filter's present state? Also, if I'm only replacing the cartridge, would I need to remove the filter for any additional cleaning, or can I simply swap cartridges while the filter is still running?

And finally, the black sponge or mesh pad that holds all the necessary bacteria - what do I do with that? Does that need to be cleaned if it looks funky, and if so, how? I'm clueless, and I don't want to lose the bacteria that keeps my tank cycled.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:13 PM   #2 
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IMO/E, the filter media only needs a swish in old/removed tank water when you make a water change and only when the water flow has slowed, to get some of the big gunk off, you want the filter media to look dirty this is the good bacteria needed to help keep the water stable in between water changes.
I change out my filter media 1-2 times a year and only when it is falling apart, I now only use poly fill I get at the craft dept and no longer even buy the filter media- but when I did use/buy filter media I would remove all the charcoal and save it for later due to the low quality of most charcoal it is only active for a couple of weeks anyway. When it was time to change out the filter media I would tear it away from the frame and keep it behind the new filter media for at least 2 weeks to seed it to prevent mini-cycles.
The company wants you to change these things out every month or so and this is to put money in their pocket and out of yours.
If you have the media rings or bio-ball these needs to be rinsed the same way as the filter media to keep well oxygenated water running through them otherwise the NB can die from a lack of oxygen

Over cleaning can destroy the good bacteria we work so hard to get colonized in our little ecosystems, and being a closed system making regular water changes, vacuuming, rinsing of filter media can help keep our little ecosystem healthy and thriving.

The diatoms or brown algae can be a normal occurance in a newly set up tank and will usually go away on there own- but until then they can be wiped away with your fingers and removed with a water change, also old bulb can be another reason for diatoms
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:05 PM   #3 
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Thank you very much. I will leave the filter media alone then, until I really notice it coming apart - it appears to be fine, now, minus the dirty appearance which seems to be normal.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:12 PM   #4 
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It doesn't have carbon in it, does it?
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:18 PM   #5 
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The Bio-Bags are filled with carbon, yes.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:00 PM   #6 
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I believe you can't have carbon in a tank for that amount of time. You should cut it open and remove every single piece of carbon. Rumour goes around that if carbon is left in too long, it will leech? I could be very much wrong, but the general idea is to never leave carbon in an aquarium tank for an extended amount of time... and on most boxes and through experience, that means 1 month, or even a few weeks.

Prove me wrong anytime though! Not that sure :)
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:15 PM   #7 
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Old carbon leaching has been under debate for a while, and the research I have found to date has disproved this with statement that the carbon be it no longer active but not harmful and it provide more surface area for good bacteria to grow, this has been an ongoing debate on a different forum as well.
I am of the mind set that it does no harm but not active and useless and when I used carbon in my aquariums I had some in my tanks up to 1 year if not longer without adverse affects.
Still looking for more information scientific based, however, I no longer use carbon as I feel it is a waste of money for what you get.......
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:01 AM   #8 
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All you need to worry about is swishing it in old tank water at a water change every now and again, ( I do so about once a month) Being careful not to remove to much, Mostly just the Slimy stuff that seems to build up.,

Quote:
I am of the mind set that it does no harm but not active and useless and when I used carbon in my aquariums I had some in my tanks up to 1 year if not longer without adverse affects.
I also agree with this and have done the same.

The only time I purposely use carbon/charcoal is if a tank seems to be hazy all of a sudden or something just isn't right with it or to remove medicine.
I've had tanks that all the test registered good yet something was clearly wrong,
Adding a carbon filter seemed to clear things up.

Other then that I'm inclined to think their a waste of money.
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