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Old 08-11-2011, 05:16 PM   #1 
BettaNewb
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Ok to use a used filter?

I've been lurking on this forum for a while now after having decided to get a betta, and have been amazed (overwhelmed actually) by the amount of useful information here. Finally bit the bullet yesterday and got a used tank/pump/heater set up off of Craigslist for what I think was a decent price. However, as it was a used tank, I'm now faced with the question of whether or not to use the used filter and bio-wheel it came with. The previous owner informed that the whole set up had been unplugged and dry for the past 3 weeks. So, is it ok/safe/beneficial to start the tank with the used filter and bio-wheel, or would it be detrimental? Should I just install a new filter and bio-wheel? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:18 PM   #2 
dragonflie
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If you're willing to spend the money you may as well just get a new one. Because it's been dry for that long there is no benefit to using it used; any bacteria would have died awhile ago.

Anyway, that's up to you, this is what I would do in that situation.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:22 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the quick reply, dragonflie. Would there be any harm in using the old one?
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:25 PM   #4 
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Depends, I guess, I'm no expert when it comes to fish illnesses; I'm not sure any parasite/bacteria/virus could survive on something that was dry that long, so I'd like to say it would be fine, but I'm not positive.

If you want to give it a go give it a real good clean. Depending on how hard the previous owner's water was it might need it anyway. And be sure to pick up a new cartridge, of course.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #5 
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You can clean it well with a 10% bleach solution, use a spray bottle to sprits it all over, i would do the tank too. Set a timer for 10 minutes and then rinse well. Let dry and then you can wipe up water spots and that with paper towl. That's what I did when my first guy passed to clean to tank of any possible nastiness.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:53 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....

Since the tank and filter have been dry for 3 weeks...nearly all bad pathogens have long since dried and died....
Depending on the tank size and especially with glass tanks-you may want to fill it up with water and do a 24h leak test and run the filter-I always add a cap or two of bleach so it can run through the filter to just clean it and if it has any mineral deposits-I rinse it after the 24h and use vinegar to scrub everything....

Once you get it all cleaned up and it passed the leak test-you can either let it sit in the sun for a day or rinse really good and use a little extra dechlorinator with the finial fill when you set it up.....

I buy and use-used tanks and filters all the time and have never had any problems....you treat it just like a new tank and filter as far as the nitrogen cycle goes......

Look forward to pics......
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:05 PM   #7 
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Thanks for all the advice. It's actually an acrylic tank, but I think I'll do the leak test anyways. Love this forum, I never would've guessed to use bleach! Is it ok to have gravel in the tank while doing the 24h?
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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I wouldn't.....and if the tank came with the gravel...this is one thing I toss...but only because I don't use gravel in my tanks....I use dirt....lol....anyway....rinse the gravel really good and spread it out on a board or something and let it dry out in the sun for several hours...rinse again and use......Enjoy.....

Usually acrylic tanks don't have seams to crack....but nothing wrong with letting it sit and run for 24h either......

What size tank is it.....

I have been pretty lucky and have found some good deals on used tanks at thrift stores....love a good deal...lol.....I don't think I have bought a brand new tank in a really long time.....at least 20-30 years maybe....lol......
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:28 PM   #9 
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Thanks for the gravel advice. It's a 5 gallon Marineland Eclipse Corner. Came with a 25 watt heater, hideous neon colored gravel (not going to keep it), a plastic plant (not going to keep it), a net, a tacky piece of decor (probably not going to keep it), a bottle of water conditioner, gravel siphon, and a container of fish food (unfortunately, not betta food). At $10, I couldn't pass it up :)
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:48 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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Great deal.....the heater alone paid for it....lol.....actually, its good that it didn't come with the Betta food.....you should toss that food.....once the seal is broke on the food...its good for 6mo-1yr....its not that it is bad-it can lack nutritional value....nutrients, mineral, vitamins are not stable....the more varied the diet the better and the food doesn't have to be Betta specific...you want the first couple of ingredient to be fish/seafood either whole or meal......several different types of the smallest containers you can find and store in a cool, dry, dark place tightly capped/sealed...this is when if you have friends in the hobby to split the foods is nice......
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