How often to clean cannister filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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How often to clean cannister filter?

I've had my Eheim 2215 up and running for just over a year now and haven't cleaned it out once. I'm thinking maybe it's getting to be time even though I don't really have any indicators that it's getting dirty. If the flow is reduced at all I wouldn't really notice, it's on an ADA 60p (18gallon) so it's probably more than enough flow for the tank.

What do you think, any advice on how frequently I should be cleaning the media? I'm assuming I'd just do a partial water change and save the water in a bucket to rinse the media bags out in, then refill w/ tank water and get it started up again? Sorry if this is a dumb question, this is my first cannister filter and I've never had to clean it yet.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by U2Kent View Post
What do you think, any advice on how frequently I should be cleaning the media? I'm assuming I'd just do a partial water change and save the water in a bucket to rinse the media bags out in, then refill w/ tank water and get it started up again? Sorry if this is a dumb question, this is my first cannister filter and I've never had to clean it yet.
I clean my external canister filter like you do once every two to three months. When I don't clean my filters that often, algae tend to show up.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 12:56 AM
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i only replace the white floss, i think it depends on bioload. i run 2217's 2215 and a 2211 on my tanks.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crispino Labayen Ramos View Post
I clean my external canister filter like you do once every two to three months. When I don't clean my filters that often, algae tend to show up.
oh seriously? maybe this would explain all of the BBA and hair algae I've been dealing with...
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 01:02 AM
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I replace mine once every 2-3 months
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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I replace mine once every 2-3 months
which media do you replace? I assumed you just rinsed it, should I be replacing one of the types of media? currently I only have the media that it came with in there.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
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I clean my external canister filter like you do once every two to three months. When I don't clean my filters that often, algae tend to show up.
Why does this happen?

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Originally Posted by U2Kent View Post
which media do you replace? I assumed you just rinsed it, should I be replacing one of the types of media? currently I only have the media that it came with in there.
You don't need to replace the bio media. Only the fine filter pad (white). You can simply rinse out the blue one and replace the carbon one (if you're using it)
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Why does this happen?



You don't need to replace the bio media. Only the fine filter pad (white). You can simply rinse out the blue one and replace the carbon one (if you're using it)
I don't have a carbon filter in there currently, what are the notable benefits of using a carbon pad?

I'm going to follow this for cleaning:
http://www.rexgrigg.com/Eheim%20Clas...structions.htm

I'm thinking I'm overdue as it's been a year. going to tear it down soon and clean it out but I think I've gotta order some replacement media first. Rex is recommending replacing half of the ehfi Substrat bio media. Is this standard practice?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 11:50 PM
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I have a Fluval 405. I have biorings in 3 baskets and pillow stuffing in the last one. That's all you need
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 12:05 AM
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No need to replace any bio media, only fine floss, as a matter of fact a lot of people back flush their classics to lengthen the time before a thorough cleaning.
Take the can to the sink and turn the input at the bottom downwards to the sink, pull the floss, pour a few gallons of tank water over the bio, replace floss, should get you a few more months of service before a thorough cleaning.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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No need to replace any bio media, only fine floss, as a matter of fact a lot of people back flush their classics to lengthen the time before a thorough cleaning.
Take the can to the sink and turn the input at the bottom downwards to the sink, pull the floss, pour a few gallons of tank water over the bio, replace floss, should get you a few more months of service before a thorough cleaning.
This sounds good, but how often should I be performing a thorough cleaning then? If I haven't done any cleaning whatsoever in a year of using this filter I'm guessing I'm overdue for a thorough cleaning and replacement of the white pad (is that the floss?)
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 12:46 AM
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I personally go in every 6 months and change out the sponge pads depending on how nasty it looks after it's cleaned out in tank water, Bio-media just gets rinsed in tank water to get off any large deposits, the Filter floss is usually at the top of the filter and that gets replaced at least once a month (or more depending on bio-load).

Filter floss is similar to quilt batting, Pillow stuffing. It kinda looks like a polyester cotton ball, it can be found at most LFS and just about every craft store I've ever been in.

I don't use carbon in my canister at all I use Chemi-Pure since it lasts for 6 months before needing to be replaced. If I need to use carbon for any reason I have a powerhead filter that I use for that purpose.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 01:00 AM
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This sounds good, but how often should I be performing a thorough cleaning then? If I haven't done any cleaning whatsoever in a year of using this filter I'm guessing I'm overdue for a thorough cleaning and replacement of the white pad (is that the floss?)
I do a thorough cleaning of my filters once every 6 months or so. Then again, I have a very light bioload, so I can manage.

I would say after a year, you would require a thorough cleaning.

As mentioned already, you just really need to rinse off your biomedia and coarse filter pads. Again as mentioned, only the filter floss (the white pad) needs to be thrown out and replaced.

It is also cheaper to just buy cotton batting (make sure it does not have any flame retardants) and cut to size rather than buying the brand name filter floss.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 01:07 AM
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Since all tanks are different, there is a wide range of when the filter will need cleaning. For a start on deciding, you can take a quick look on the Eheims without disconnecting anything. When it is dark, shine a bright light(LED?) on the canister side and you can often see how much grunge is building up. If it looks full, I clean it but I never get a full year on any of my tanks. 3-6 months is normal for me.
I would see no connection between filter cleaning and algae buildup. I might guess that would be due to phosphate or other nutrient or lighting problems.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 04:25 PM
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3 months for me. I have 2 canister filters (Fluval 306 and SunSun 302) and they are cleaned first and last week of the month.

I only rinse the bio media with tank water as well as the foam pads on my fluval. The SunSun has the blue filter pad (Marineland blue bonded pad) that I toss and replace with a new one. I have Purigen bags that I regenerate and replace into whichever canister is up for maintenance.

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