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Old 09-18-2011, 11:19 PM   #1 
jman828
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Media Change Schedule

When changing filter media I know not to change it all at once, but how long do you have to wait in between changing the seperate filtration types. I was thinking change/rinse one part every day. But is that too soon? Do I have to wait longer?
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:33 AM   #2 
SnowySurface
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What size tank do you have and is it cycled? If your filter isn't gunked up and your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are still good, I would just leave the filter alone. The main reason you don't want to change all the media at once, too quickly, or too often is because a lot of beneficial bacteria is in the filter. If you took out all the media at once, your cycle would crash and the tank would have to be re-cycled all over again. If you do it too quickly or too often, your bacteria can become stressed and die off. That's why my filter isn't going anywhere until it's on its deathbed. XD

If your tank isn't cycled, then it doesn't matter as much if you change each piece during the same day. If the filter media keeps the ammonia levels at 0ppm, your fish should be happy. If your tank is cycled, then you want to make sure you give the good bacteria time to colonize on each new part of the filter media. I think one day isn't enough time for bacteria to move to the new filter media section, reproduce, and spread throughout that section. You may want to wait as long as 4 days between each section to make sure the colonies are settled before you remove an older part (but every 3 days should be good too, I'm just paranoid).

So if I did have a triple layer filter instead of a bag full of carbon, I would change the sponge layer first since that layer chatches all the physical waste. Then I would wait 3-4 days before changing the ammonia absorping layer since it can only absorb so much ammonia over time. Final, I would wait about 4-8 days before changing out the carbon media section. Nitrates are slow growers, so I wouldn't rush changing out that middle piece if all the fish are happy and healthy.

I hope this helps. :)
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:29 AM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowySurface View Post
What size tank do you have and is it cycled? If your filter isn't gunked up and your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are still good, I would just leave the filter alone. The main reason you don't want to change all the media at once, too quickly, or too often is because a lot of beneficial bacteria is in the filter. If you took out all the media at once, your cycle would crash and the tank would have to be re-cycled all over again. If you do it too quickly or too often, your bacteria can become stressed and die off. That's why my filter isn't going anywhere until it's on its deathbed. XD

If your tank isn't cycled, then it doesn't matter as much if you change each piece during the same day. If the filter media keeps the ammonia levels at 0ppm, your fish should be happy. If your tank is cycled, then you want to make sure you give the good bacteria time to colonize on each new part of the filter media. I think one day isn't enough time for bacteria to move to the new filter media section, reproduce, and spread throughout that section. You may want to wait as long as 4 days between each section to make sure the colonies are settled before you remove an older part (but every 3 days should be good too, I'm just paranoid).

So if I did have a triple layer filter instead of a bag full of carbon, I would change the sponge layer first since that layer chatches all the physical waste. Then I would wait 3-4 days before changing the ammonia absorping layer since it can only absorb so much ammonia over time. Final, I would wait about 4-8 days before changing out the carbon media section. Nitrates are slow growers, so I wouldn't rush changing out that middle piece if all the fish are happy and healthy.

I hope this helps. :)
It's a 10 gal cycled. I have to chnage the carbon today, but not the biomax and sponge yet. So i'll change to carbon wait 3 days and rinse sponge, wait 3 days and rinse biomax.
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