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Old 01-10-2012, 04:42 AM   #1 
goldentryst
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A silly yet important question (regarding cycling & filter cartridges)

I am currently undergoing [betta]fish-in cycling, with my beloved Fishy and his 10 gallon tank. I did what research I could find and as such am doing two water changes per week until the cycle meets its end.

One 50% wc + gravel vac
& one 50% wc; water only

I'm assuming this is fine, so please tell me, someone, if this is the incorrect way. I could only find information on a fish-in 5gall cycling, and am basically using the same method for my 10gall.

As for the question...
Well, I use a bio-wheel filtration system (Whisper 10i) and I know that the carbon cartridge thingy is to be changed once per month or so. But I was just thinking... if I were to take out the used cartridge and slip in a brand new one -- wouldn't that kill off a bunch of the beneficial bacteria? O_o Or would that be OK because all the bacteria is colonized on the bio-wheel, or something...?

Just trying to be sure!
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:44 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Your on the right track with the water changes while establishing the nitrogen cycle in a filtered 10gal without testing products on hand....

As for changing the carbon-if you plan to use carbon, yes, you need to change it out per package direction since it is limited and if you have the combo type media with the sponge and carbon all in one....you can cut a small piece of the sponge off and add to the new media for a week or so....and with the bio-wheel as long as it is functioning properly it should have enough BB on it to help prevent spikes....always monitor the water/fish after changes as a general rule and make that extra water only change as needed.....
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:40 PM   #3 
goldentryst
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Your on the right track with the water changes while establishing the nitrogen cycle in a filtered 10gal without testing products on hand....

As for changing the carbon-if you plan to use carbon, yes, you need to change it out per package direction since it is limited and if you have the combo type media with the sponge and carbon all in one....you can cut a small piece of the sponge off and add to the new media for a week or so....and with the bio-wheel as long as it is functioning properly it should have enough BB on it to help prevent spikes....always monitor the water/fish after changes as a general rule and make that extra water only change as needed.....
Yes, yes, that makes sense. :D
Hmm, but I have no sponge in my filter. It's just the bio-wheel and the filter cartridge. So... does that mean I should cut off a piece of the filter cartridge and add it to the inside of the filter? o.O I don't exactly get that image in my head on what you mean about the sponge.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:51 PM   #4 
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I have a similar situation. I have a Bio-Wheel on my 55 gal goldfish tank. I didn't want to use the carbon cartridges anymore so I cut up a sponge (this one Rena FilStar Foam Pads - Filter Media - Fish - PetSmart ) and slipped it in place of the carbon cartridge. It will save you lots of money in the long run.

If you don't have a petsmart, look in the filter media section of your pet store. You should see some thin sponges. You can cut up any of those, too.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:13 PM   #5 
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I have a similar situation. I have a Bio-Wheel on my 55 gal goldfish tank. I didn't want to use the carbon cartridges anymore so I cut up a sponge (this one Rena FilStar Foam Pads - Filter Media - Fish - PetSmart ) and slipped it in place of the carbon cartridge. It will save you lots of money in the long run.

If you don't have a petsmart, look in the filter media section of your pet store. You should see some thin sponges. You can cut up any of those, too.
Oh wow, I didn't know you could just do that. :o
I do have a Petsmart, and I purchased about 3 months worth of the carbon filter cartridge replacements not too long ago. xD

For me at this point, though, as I am planning on using those replacements, I am unsure of how to 'transfer' the live bacteria from the old cartridge to the new cartridge. o_o I mean, I don't think it's as easy as just taking out the filter cartridge and replacing it, is it? Though then again it did say on the instruction manual that the live bacteria is given a place to live on the actual bio-wheel itself... so maybe it is that simple?

By the way thekoimaiden, if you don't mind explaining could you please tell me why you decided to stop using the carbon cartridges? What makes the sponge replacements more convenient for you? Thank you~
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:36 PM   #6 
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Supposedly the bacteria also grow on the bio-wheel. But it seems like there is still debate about that. But in theory the bacteria that are growing on the bio-wheel and in the substrate would repopulate the cartridge when you remove it. There is no way to physically transfer the bacteria, tho.

I stopped using the cartridges mostly due to money. They're expensive, whereas I only have to buy one sponge. I also stopped using them because live carbon really only removed "impurities" for about 2 days. The rest of the time the blue fuzzy is just removing particles from the water. I can get a sponge that does the same thing and doesn't need to be replaced every week for sooo much less. I've also heard that carbon is not good to use with live plants as it removes some of the nutrients plants need.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:31 AM   #7 
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Supposedly the bacteria also grow on the bio-wheel. But it seems like there is still debate about that. But in theory the bacteria that are growing on the bio-wheel and in the substrate would repopulate the cartridge when you remove it. There is no way to physically transfer the bacteria, tho.

I stopped using the cartridges mostly due to money. They're expensive, whereas I only have to buy one sponge. I also stopped using them because live carbon really only removed "impurities" for about 2 days. The rest of the time the blue fuzzy is just removing particles from the water. I can get a sponge that does the same thing and doesn't need to be replaced every week for sooo much less. I've also heard that carbon is not good to use with live plants as it removes some of the nutrients plants need.
Eeek, uncertainty scares me. I'd rather go by the words of fish-keepers who have actually tried these products than rely wholeheartedly on the description on the back of the box.

And aah, hmm, that does sound so much more efficient. I will keep that information in mind, thank you. :]
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