I think the filter in my aquarium is dying. I noticed the last couple of times I unplugged it to do a water change, it takes longer and longer to start up again. Today it took about 10 minutes--I had to keep hitting the back because the motor kept stopping or something. So this week I am going to go shopping for a new filter.
The new filter will probably not be the same brand as the Wal-Mart cheapie that's in there now. So how do I do this with the least amount of risk to the inhabitants? The filter I have now has a blue cartridge with charcoal inside and a white cartridge that I guess is the bio filter. Do I have to keep that so I don't lose the bacteria? There are gravel and decorations that I would assume have bacteria on them too. I finally got everything to the point where the betta and the snails and the plants are actually doing pretty well and I don't want to screw it up. Also, are all back-of the-tank filters for 10 gallon aquariums pretty much the same size, or do I have to measure the slot in the hood to make sure the new filter will fit?
One more question, I got some new plants a couple of weeks ago to replace the ones the snails munched on. Two of the ones I got are dracaena sanderia, which I googled and I guess they're not really aquarium plants at all. They look so pretty right now though. Can't I just leave them until they start turning brown?
Thanks for being so patient. This forum is really helpful.