Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: LawnGuyLand, NY
Canister filters are pretty easy to care for you only need to open them a few times a year depending on the bio load in your tank.
I normally give the initial setup at least a month running before i open it to inspect it for the first time, at that point I'll see how much debris has been caught up in the filter pads and assess it from there if it really gunk'd up I'll rinse the first pad in some old tank water and replace it. again rinse out the canister body with old tank water don't need to scrub it or anything just rinse out the mulm at the bottom of the canister. Replace everything into the canister close it up and refill and prime (this is easier if you refill the canister body about 3/4 full with old tank water) at this point I place a post it note on the outside of the canister with the date and an estimate of when I think I'll need to inspect it again.