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Old 03-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #1 
MadameDesu's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Filter Woes

Hello all!

I have a few concerns with my filter. I have a Whisper3i in my 3 gallon Kritter Keeper that's running without any issues on my part or my fish's.

I started this thread because I heard ... things about carbon filters. Some people say that they're useless and that I should get rid of it altogether. I haven't changed the filter and don't plan on doing it because I thinking I may be starting to grow some bacteria. I
Is this good enough for now? I've heard that sponge filters work best for bacteria, but I don't know if I could use sponge in my 3i.
What would you recommend?

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Old 03-28-2012, 12:57 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dartmouth, NS
I'm no expert but I thought I'd bump the thread..

I was told in tanks under 5g that a cycle will be insanely hard to maintain. Therefore I was advised against getting filters. For tanks under 5g you still need to up the cleanings as you would in one without a filter (1x 50% and 1x 100%) so the filter does not have time to grow sufficient bacteria.
I could be wrong!! but that was why I didn't bother with filters. Also, I cannot handle two 5 gallons bc of my Chronic LBP.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:31 AM   #3 
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Location: Hickory, NC (USA)
It's really hard to get a tank less than 5 gallons to hold a proper cycle. This is because there is not enough surface in the tank for the bacteria to grow. Now if you are getting a cycle going it won't matter if you use carbon or not. The carbon is most likely dead in your filter but it can hold the bacteria as well. I personally say just go with water changes and skip the filter on anything less than 5 gallons. You don't want to slip into the comfort of thinking you have a cycled tank to have it crash all of a sudden as they do in tanks less than 5 gallons.

If you want to tempt a cycle or have a cycle going... Have you tested your water nitrites and nitrates to see if you are getting a cycle? I have heard of people switching to a 30PPI sponge filter (forget the brand) in the smaller internal filters and getting them to hold a cycle. I forget the brand mentioned but the important thing is the PPI or Pores Per Inch and 30 will give you the best bet at getting it cycled. Just make sure you get enough to comfortably fit in your filter housing. If you have a cycle going I would just leave what you have and keep an eye on it closely and only switch if it ever crashes.

Last edited by freemike; 03-28-2012 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:13 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
I'm in the process of doing several water tests to see if my tank is cycled. I'm comparing a tank water test to about 3 separate tests on treated and untreated tank water. That's in a different thread if you want to take a look at it. My final test will be tonight, and then I think I'll have enough data to make the call. At this point, I think there may be Some bacteria, but not enough to hold a cycle. I don't think that it ever will cycle, and I'm fine by that.
To tell the truth, it was my mom that bought the filter. She thought the water looked cloudy, so she picked one up before I could ask for advice here, hahaha.
I think I'll keep it in, though. It does keep the water circulating nicely for the heater, and Rosie likes to play with the bubbles that come out of it.

Given my tank size and the fact that it is filtered (whatever good that does), what should my cleaning schedule look like? I know I should be doing a 100% change every 5 days, but how often should I do a 50% change?

One other thing: I'm considering a tank upgrade this summer to a 5gal. I know the whisper3i is for 1-3gal tanks, but would it work for a cycle in a 5gal?
I'm just being stingy here. If it works in a 5gal, I'm not going to go out and buy another filter, hahaha.
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