Converting Salt Ehiem filter to Fresh Ehiem filter -- help please - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Converting Salt Ehiem filter to Fresh Ehiem filter -- help please

I recently got a used Ehiem professional filter that was previously used for a 100g saltwater tank. It has been sitting around in my garage for a couple weeks now and I have decided to use it for my 55g planted tank. (probably going to over filter the tank, but I am fine with that)

My main concern is not cleaning the filter well enough and salt residue melting my plants. All I have done so far is dump out all the old salt water that was in the canister and rinse everything with hot water in my sink.

My main question is: What else do I need to do besides buy new filter media and rinse the canister out? I really don't want my plants to suffer because I did not thoroughly clean the canister properly.

Thanks

100g planted tank

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 06:22 PM
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Ditch the filter media, clean the filter itself really well to make sure there's no visible salt residue.

To be sure it's clean, you could run it on a bucket of warm (not hot) water with bleach for a few minutes - without filter media. Then let it all dry out and you'll be good to go once you add new media.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flies View Post
I recently got a used Ehiem professional filter that was previously used for a 100g saltwater tank. It has been sitting around in my garage for a couple weeks now and I have decided to use it for my 55g planted tank. (probably going to over filter the tank, but I am fine with that)

My main concern is not cleaning the filter well enough and salt residue melting my plants. All I have done so far is dump out all the old salt water that was in the canister and rinse everything with hot water in my sink.

My main question is: What else do I need to do besides buy new filter media and rinse the canister out? I really don't want my plants to suffer because I did not thoroughly clean the canister properly.

Thanks
i'm in the same boat with a couple Rena XP's i was thinking about letting it run for an hour or so with vinegar water. and then rinsing again.

Will
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 06:31 PM
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I would avoid washing anything in hot water that has been used for saltwater.

Just rinse with cold water, I can't imagine how filthy the canister and plastics can be.

I would do as suggested and use all new media.

The minimal amount of salt after rinsing would be even less than you adding "aquarium" salt which is made from evaporated seawater.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Ditch the filter media, clean the filter itself really well to make sure there's no visible salt residue.

To be sure it's clean, you could run it on a bucket of warm (not hot) water with bleach for a few minutes - without filter media. Then let it all dry out and you'll be good to go once you add new media.
I was going to say the same. Replace the media and if you want to be extra careful, run it on a bucket with a bit of bleach. Or skip the bleach but replace the water so any salt that would get in the water in your tank will get in the water, just the water in the bucket instead.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 05:58 AM
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One of the nice things about going from salt>fresh is that salt is pretty soluble

Just give it a good rinsing. Fill up a bucket or sink or something, and just run some freshwater through it for a bit. Do that a time or two, and you would have removed pretty much any salt that might leach into your system.

May have to completely re-cycle to establish the bio-filtration. I think you'll be fine if you just give it a rinse and treat it as a new/unused (in terms of cycling) filter.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:10 PM
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My reef tank uses 1/2 cup salt for every gallon of water to get the proper salinity. After a good rinse there will not be enough salt in that filter to affect your 55 gallons.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:18 PM
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If you are worried about salt residue use vinegar not bleach.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:53 PM
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I suggested bleach not to nix the salt (the water itself will take care of any remaining deposits) but to get rid of any nasties that may have grown in the filter that could end up causing trouble in a new tank.

It's a simple way to disinfect used (or even new) tank equipment.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 03:48 PM
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We used CLR to remove hardwater deposits from a hand-me-down filter. Since salt is just minerals I'm sure CLR would work equally as well on it. And it rinses away cleanly.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, alot of good advice. What I ended up doing was mixing a big bucket with warm water and vinegar and let the filter do its thing for a couple of hours. Then after letting it sit for a little bit, I broke it down again and cleaned it out. Next, I filled up the bucket again with just warm water and let the filter run for a couple more hours. I took it apart once again and there seemed to be no salt residue anywhere in the filter.

One thing that I did use bleach on were the little ceramic bio filter rings. Those were pretty gross and I thought they could be reused with a good cleaning. I have rinsed them plenty of times so they should be ok to use now.

With the thorough cleaning that I did for the filter, I am really confident that there should not be any problems. Thanks guys!

100g planted tank

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flies View Post
Thanks guys, alot of good advice. What I ended up doing was mixing a big bucket with warm water and vinegar and let the filter do its thing for a couple of hours. Then after letting it sit for a little bit, I broke it down again and cleaned it out. Next, I filled up the bucket again with just warm water and let the filter run for a couple more hours. I took it apart once again and there seemed to be no salt residue anywhere in the filter.

One thing that I did use bleach on were the little ceramic bio filter rings. Those were pretty gross and I thought they could be reused with a good cleaning. I have rinsed them plenty of times so they should be ok to use now.

With the thorough cleaning that I did for the filter, I am really confident that there should not be any problems. Thanks guys!

let me know if you run into any issues down the please. it will be atleast two months before can i use the other filter.

Will
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 02:25 AM
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I have done this with a lot less effort.
Rinse in tap water.
Reuse.

Salt is indeed water soluble, and the trace that might remain is no big deal.

Any fish diseases or parasites that survive off the fish (so might be found in the filter) will not make the transition to fresh water.

The tank and the filter that I got had no major mineral build up, no crusty deposits, so I just cleaned the tank using salt as an abrasive to remove a little (salt water) algae. Cleaned up just fine. I even reused the substrate (coral sand) after rinsing. Works just great in hard water tanks.

I did not have a lot of use for the sea shells, though. They look out of place in fresh water tanks.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 02:17 PM
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The problem I often run into when reusing filters is that sometimes it takes something like bleach or vinegar to help loosen algae, growths and such. The few times I haven't gone the extra mile to clean out larger Eheim filters are the times I've later had deposits and such eventually get into my sensitive shrimp tanks and cause nitrate issues. Rare but happens.

So I now take the extra couple minutes to get things extra clean.

Quote:
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Any fish diseases or parasites that survive off the fish (so might be found in the filter) will not make the transition to fresh water.
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