I just purchased this today. It comes with a Tetra Whisper 3i filter. I know, normally, in a 1.5 gallon a 100% water change is needed every two days, but with a filter how often is a water change needed, and how much water should be changed? How often should I change the filter cartridge?
In a 1.5gal filtered tank-water changes of 50% twice a week...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method should maintain water quality....provide that you don't overfeed or leave uneaten food in the tank too long....
Filter media need a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month
If you plan to use carbon (not needed) change this per the package direction.
In a 1gal-4.5gal unfiltered tank-water changes of twice weekly....1-50% water only and 1-100% should maintain water quality.......
Live active growing plants can change water change needs-depending on number and species of plants as well as growth state.....
In the smaller filtered tanks-you can established the nitrogen cycle, however, due to limited surface area for the nitrifying bacteria to colonize the cycle is not as stable and the tank still needs twice weekly water changes.....
As OFL said, you can actually establish a fully cycled little tank but it can be difficult; the smaller the water volume the faster the things you, your fish and any plants can cause things to change. Keep a little log book of when you change water, when you clean and check it every day just in case.
The whisper 3i filter really needs a small chunk of sponge put over the bottom of the white plastic intake/lift pipe. You can get some untreated foam sponge and make a little 1.5 inch cube then put a slit down inside to the middle and stick it over the intake. This works as a pre-filter sponge (or you can pick up an actual pre-filter sponge for a Fluval Edge instead, like $3.00) and bacteria will begin to grow in it, it also works as the primary filter material.
To clean a pre-filter sponge you can use either the water removed in a water change or you can use water treatments like Prime (if you don't know about it, get some, 2 drops per gallon) to treat some water in a bowl then goosh out all the stuff stuck in the sponge.
With the 3i you can get away with a flat sponge inside for biology that you don't change and an intake covering chunk that you do wash. Its all about your preference.
Please use this site's search function and read up on "baffling" "3i" and other terms that may occur to you! Learning lets you accomplish and enjoy more time with your little friend.
Last edited by Thunderloon; 07-05-2011 at 02:34 AM.
I don't know if anyone is experienced with the 3i, but it keeps bubbling up and the water passes over the filter cartridge rather than going through it. Is that because I don't have the sponge, or is that characteristic of the filter?
I use a 3i. it's likely because you may have the air pump set too high and the water level may be too high as well in the position of it.
I think the pump it comes with does not have adjust, I had another adjustable one that I use. And I set the water level below the lip of the out-spout. You may need to raise it up and then use some sort of baffling to prevent the turbulence of the fall.
For a small tank like a 1 to 1.5 gallon, I'd say this carbon filter is amazing at keeping the water nice and clear. Do watch the intake though - a sponge there will also help prevent curious fish fins from getting sucked up there. I've learned that lesson :(
Berry doesn't care for the filter much. He "inspects" it, I suppose you would say, by swimming around it and looking it up and down from time to time, but he has no interest in it. I don't remember ever seeing him swim below it, but I'm going to get a sponge piece in there soon. Tomorrow, after his water change, I'm going to shut the filter down for a couple of days. He's starting to bite his tail and I want to see if that will keep him from doing it, although I hate to sacrifice the filter.
I had to water over the lip originally and the flow that was created was far too strong. The water sits right below the lip now.