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Old 10-24-2010, 02:58 PM   #1 
purplemuffin
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Filter question!

My filter says I need to change it every 2-3 weeks.. But for cycling you shouldn't change your filter? What is the rule here?
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:23 PM   #2 
CjRager89
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i just rinse mine about once a month, then once it gets really bad i just throw a new one in.
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:56 PM   #3 
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Alright! I've heard of some people replacing their filter media with some other material, but I can't remember what it was or find the posts about it! Any ideas?
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:14 PM   #4 
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This depends on if you want to use carbon or not-most of the carbon/activated charcoal is only active and useful for about 2-4 weeks

If you want to use carbon you have to change it at least monthly-

Depending on the type of filter media-if it is the type that is a combo sponge with carbon in it or if the sponge and carbon are separate
Combo-you can cut the old sponge away and attach it to the new sponge for a week or so to seed the new sponge
Separate-just replace the carbon

Rinse the sponge in old tank water with water changes 1-2 times a month and when the flow slows to get the big pieces of gunk off to maintain good water flow-you want the sponge to look dirty-this is the good stuff that is needed.

I don't use carbon/activated charcoal-not needed but nothing wrong with using it either-it is a personal choice more than a need IMO/E- what carbon does is help keep the water clear, removes tannins, medication, odors...but so will a water change-use of carbon does not change the fact/need of regular water changes

I make my own filter media with poly-fill I get in the craft department for less than 5 buck a bag and it will last a long time-I use rubber band with some of the filters and others I just cram it in my filter box-
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:18 PM   #5 
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Hmm I'm not sure what it is made of, it was a walmart 5 gallon rectangle tank that came with a filter--the square pad is blue?
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:38 PM   #6 
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Those are usually the combo type-when I used those (I make my own now) I would cut a slit in them and dump the charcoal out and save it for later just in case I needed some fresh active carbon for something and use just the blue sponge part giving it a rinse/swish in old tank water a couple of times a month-changing it after it was falling a part usually 1-2 times a year at most-
If you want to use the carbon it needs to be changed every month or as the package directs-but cut some of the old blue sponge off and rubber band or clip it to the new filter media for a week to seed the new media so not to cause a mini-cycle or spikes.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:55 PM   #7 
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Ok! Thanks so much for explaining it to me :)

Right now I think they set up the filter just using it normally.. Next time when we change the filter I'll try the new method!

What is the point of taking out the carbon? When it goes bad does it start to affect the water?
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:05 PM   #8 
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That is still being debated-some say the DOC's and metal will leach back into the tank once the carbon is used up...IMO/E-used up carbon is harmless and used for surface area for beneficial bacteria and I have left old carbon in old filters for years without any adverse affect.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #9 
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Okay so that's good to know. Either way there shouldn't be too many issues until I get home!
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