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Old 10-22-2011, 01:18 PM   #1 
etanico
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Ditching the Filter?

My Betta fish is very sick (don't worry, that's a separate post on the correct forum), so I lowered my 5 gallon tank water level to about 5.25 inches. The filter has been off for about two weeks so that the current wouldn't hurt my Betta. I'm beginning to see signs of mold and stuff in the filter (which, although it's been unplugged, is still in the tank). Should I just remove it and soak it in water or something? I know that may degrade it from being cycled, but I feel like I can go through the cycling process again, as long as I don't have to throw out this filter because of mold. What can/should I do??
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:22 PM   #2 
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After about 6 hours the good bacteria will start to die due to lack of oxygen...the filter needs to be removed and cleaned really good as well as the filter media...give it all a good cleaning....all the good bacteria are dead anyway....let it sit dry until you are ready to start the tank up again or if you have another tank you could put it on and run- until the 5gal is ready again...this will help jump start the cycle on the 5gal....

Filter media doesn't need to be changed until it is falling apart-unless it is the type of filter media that has the carbon in it and you want to use carbon (not needed)....use of activated charcoal/carbon is a personal choice and this should be changed out per package direction...its a short lived product.....
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:41 PM   #3 
etanico
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How would you suggest I clean it?
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:45 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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I clean mine in the sink under running water-I will sometimes use one of my algae scrubber if the filter is pretty dirty...depending on what kind of filter you have....I would also tear it apart and clean the impeller area too since it has been off for so long...post a link to the type of filter you have-unless you already know how to properly tear it apart and clean it

If it has a lot of mineral deposits on it too...I like to use vinegar and the algae scrubber-rinse well and air dry....

Filter media-depends on what kind it is....
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:49 PM   #5 
etanico
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Unfortunately this is the most informative website I can find...eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hawkeye-Aqua...3#ht_500wt_665
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:19 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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I couldn't find any good pic of how it is put together or how the motor is attached....generally the HOB (hang on back) type filters will have a motor that can be removed to clean.....along with filter media inserts....but not sure about yours....hopefully someone that has one will be along to help...until then...remove it from the tank and give it a good scrubbing and let it air dry before use....as long as it still runs/works...no need to replace it just because it dirty.....I have some filters that are over 20 years old that still work.....but they don't make them like they used to...lol.....
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:07 PM   #7 
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Looks to be a Rena clone of some kind, don't be afraid of HOT hot water, if you've got kitchen gloves and a hand sprayer just wrap the plug end of the cord around a cabinet handle to keep that dry and go over it with the scrubby and the hottest water you can stand. UL requires the magnetic and electrical components to be lifetime sealed all the way to the plug.

Do NOT put it down in the sink, use a cookie sheet, plate or paper plate that hasn't been cleaned counter or dish hand washing cleansers leaving residue. (dishwasher detergent uses chemicals that most the water treatments now negate)

You'll have a plastic rod through the impeller/magnet assembly, this needs cleaned the best. Often you can't get anything through the magnet center, I keep the plastic/rubbery twist ties used on computer hardware around, give it a few twists and run it through the little hole.

A small child's toothbrush or narrow pipe brush will do a good job inside the magneto well. If you can't get the well looking really clean try warming it up with hot water then dumping the water out and putting vinegar straight from the bottle in that little hole.

Outside of those two areas the rest is "clean as much as you feel you need to" then reassemble the whole thing and run lots of tap water through it to rinse it out, you can plug it in after filling it up and get a good rinse of the impeller housing that way.

Its better to re-cycle the filter than re-infect the fish.

Your home water heater isn't capable of reaching a temperature that will harm the filter itself, but be careful of your hands, anything over 110 can harm your cuticles, knuckles and cause lasting pain. At about 114 some of the fats that are exuded onto our skin from sweat glands start to break down both on the surface and inside the glands and past 120 you're getting into capillary spasms and a risk of local or systemic shock from the heat input. Most home water heaters are hard capped at 155F and left set at 135F, so if you're running the water really hot pay more attention to the heat than the work, a flushed toilet isn't fun.
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