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Discussion Starter #1
Background: So my aunt was a marine biologist. She died a few years ago from MS, but her husband wasn't ready to give anything away until recently. So he gave me her 35 gallon hexagon tank and a bunch of supplies, including lots of old filters. I think she kept everything really neat, but after she died, he kind of let it go because she wasn't there to tell him to clean the filters (she was in a wheel chair, so she couldn't do it herself).
So now I have about 3 older filters that have such a thick crust of hard water mineral deposit I have no idea how to even begin to clean them, that and I don't know what kind they are, I've always just bought filter cartridges, but I have a feeling these filters won't work that way. I'm wondering how I should clean them, what I should use as media (completely confused, so I guess instructions on that? I heard of some people using sponges, but do you have to use carbon? ), and how to baffle these things where they pull water up, because they were made for things much less delicately finned fish than bettas?
I am not looking forward to cleaning these, but why buy new filters when I can clean these up?
 

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Sounds like you're talking about HOB (Hang On Back) filters. You can buy little round sponges which fit over the intake to keep Betta fins away -- Fluval, I think. Aquarium sponge can be cut to fit in those filters. Also strapped to the outflow if it's too strong for your fish. You don't need carbon for Betta tanks.
 

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I've dealt with the crusty stuff before. I got a lot off with vinegar. If you leave the filters to soak it'll eventually melt and wipe off with water.

As for buffering I attatched 2 photos that hopefully work. I wrapped a piece of plastic screen around the base of the filter around the intake and tied with with a zip tie. For the top I cut a piece of water bottle, It diffuses the water out put in two different directions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Hallyx and nympxzie. I'll soak them in vinegar water when I get home and after they are all nice and clean, I'll get some sponges. Thanks again.
 

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Let me know how it works. It takes some elbow grease to get all the crud off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I sure will. I'm on vacation and I can't stop thinking of my tanks, lol.
 
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