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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a ten gallon tank with only one betta in it, nothing else living. The package the filter cartridges come in says to change the cartridge every three to four weeks. I've had this cartridge in for about a week now and it doesn't look dirty at all, (new filter) and the old filter's cartridge with my old bettas (both died in an algae outbreak when the tank was divided) was looking like it needed changed at least once every week, though it was the same model and instructions. Do I really need to change this thing that often (every 3-4 weeks), will this filter work its way to being like the old one after a few months, or because it's only one little fish in such a big tank will I be able to stretch the cartridges a little longer?

It may also be useful to note that I do a ten percent water change weekly and a 100% change once every two months, with a 50% change in between at least once. And the filter is a Tetra Whisper 10i and the tank is heated.

If anyone could tell me what their experience has been that would be awesome!
 

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I have a ten gallon tank with only one betta in it, nothing else living. The package the filter cartridges come in says to change the cartridge every three to four weeks. I've had this cartridge in for about a week now and it doesn't look dirty at all, (new filter) and the old filter's cartridge with my old bettas (both died in an algae outbreak when the tank was divided) was looking like it needed changed at least once every week, though it was the same model and instructions. Do I really need to change this thing that often (every 3-4 weeks), will this filter work its way to being like the old one after a few months, or because it's only one little fish in such a big tank will I be able to stretch the cartridges a little longer?

It may also be useful to note that I do a ten percent water change weekly and a 100% change once every two months, with a 50% change in between at least once. And the filter is a Tetra Whisper 10i and the tank is heated.

If anyone could tell me what their experience has been that would be awesome!
Actually the directions say that because the carbon loses potency after that long. But, if your water is clear and the filter media isn't all cloudy and messed up, I wouldn't change it that soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, that will be really helpful, I'm a student and filter cartridges are expensive, if I can stretch them for as long as possible it will save some money in case anything happens to the fish or other tank equipment. I'm on a limited budget for my fish along with everything else.
 

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Ignore those cartridge directions, this is largely just a way to get you to purchase more cartridges. ;)

Here's the deal with cartridges. You really don't need them.
Carbon is only needed in your filter when you need to filter out something like medication, it's not really good for daily use. It can filter away nutrients that your fish may need (this is a debate), but even if it doesn't, it's not doing anything to your water that proper tank maintenance isn't going to accomplish. (And regular water changes and gravel cleaning are things you should be doing *anyway*.)

So, save yourself some money and ditch the cartridge. :)

All you need to do is stuff some aquarium sponge or some filter floss in there with the cartridge for a month or so to preserve your cycle, and then you can toss that cartridge.
If you choose to keep the cartridge in there, you only need to change it out when it is, literally, disintegrating. Only once the filter floss has worn through and you're in danger of the carbon falling out into the filter does it need to come out of the tank. :) Also, when you do a cartridge change, make sure that the new cartridge goes in behind the old one for a couple of weeks or a month to preserve your cycle by transferring bacteria from old to new.

I use the filter floss/sponging method because that stuff lasts just about forever, and it provides SO much more surface area for the BB's which can equal a stronger cycle in some instances. :)

Oh, and with the sponging, just swish it around in old tank water during cleanings if it starts to look gunky. Never run it under tap water (or any other chlorinated water), and don't let it dry out. :)

Ultimately, it's up to you, but hopefully now you have some more information so you can make a choice. :)
 

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Nice post blue fish - nothing to add to that except that aquaclear sponges are great for custom media - they never need replacing.
 

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It may also be useful to note that I do a ten percent water change weekly and a 100% change once every two months, with a 50% change in between at least once. And the filter is a Tetra Whisper 10i and the tank is heated.
That 100% change will wipe out any cycle and cause you to start over every time. You'll have much less maintenance to do if you allow your tank to cycle.
 

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That 100% change will wipe out any cycle and cause you to start over every time. You'll have much less maintenance to do if you allow your tank to cycle.
I've only ever seen "100%" change used in conjunction with unfiltered tanks. If the filter media is not included in the cleaning, then the cycle will not be wiped out. One can do a 100% water change every week if they want to - as long as the filter media is not cleaned no harm will come. The frequent 100% changes will inhibit the bacteria from getting established in the tank, which means all the bacteria will be in the filter. HOWEVER, if one doesn't do 100% changes and decided to do one one day, that could very well have a negative impact resulting in a mini cycle - A significantly shorter version of the cycle in which the bacteria play catch up over in a couple days or so. The bacteria colony in the substrate can be pretty substantial, so you really wouldn't want to mess that up - simple vacs are all you need to do to maintain the gravel, and really that and scraping the glass are the only regular maintenance thats needed. I agree that 100% changes are unnecessary.
 
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