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Old 10-22-2010, 07:11 PM   #1 
NEWBEE FISH
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Filter question

i bought a 5g mini desktop tank a month ago and i want to know do i need to change the filter already (its looking all brown and nasty) on the next water change... and also would i need to cycle my tank over again? cause of the new filter and all that good bacteria being thrown away?
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:49 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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This depends on if you plan to use carbon or not-if this is the type of filter media that has the carbon already in it

The filter media needs to look dirty but still have good water flow-giving it a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change 1-2 times a month and when the flow slows to get the big pieces of gunk off to maintain water flow is all that is needed.

You can cut a slit in the filter media and dump the carbon out or if you want to use carbon-it needs to be changed every 2-4 weeks and if you cut the old sponge part off the filter media and attach it to the new filter for a week or two to seed the new filter media you shouldn't have any cycle problems-I would change the filter media out on a non-water change day.

I don't use carbon and I only change out my media when it is falling apart and this is 1-2 times a year at most-I make my own filter media too-much cheaper when you have so many tanks.....
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:21 PM   #3 
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OK.. i just found out that the Aqueon Mini Bow( the tank that i have) does have a carbon inside the filter.. so if im reading and understanding this right i dont need to change my filter unless its falling apart and to clean it when the flow is slow or since my filter has carbon it has to b changed every 2-4 weeks... so i do/don't need to replace the filter then? is the filter i have alright? is there something better like a aquarium sponge? Thank you for the help OFL..
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:07 PM   #4 
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With the combo type filter media that have both the sponge and carbon in one-you can dump the carbon out of them and just use the sponge part-the carbon is only active and useful for about 2-4 weeks-carbon help keep the water clear, removes odors, tannins, medication...but so will a water change...its a personal choice to use carbon or not...nothing wrong with either way-I don't use it because of cost and not needed with my systems...

With the filter media that are separate-just change the carbon as directed and only swish/rinse the sponge in old tank water as needed.

If you have a link to your system filter and filter media I could give you a better idea...
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