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Old 03-19-2013, 06:50 PM   #16
benjaminleebates
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What, wait. I have a HOB filter, there is a disposable sponge with charcoal inside. I've always been told to change that monthly. It had been almost a month when the water started to look murky. I went ahead and changed this... I am unclear as to whether and or when one should clean off the basket that this sets it.
Just to note... The sponge gets dark brown after just a couple weeks of use. PPL were tell me that I should perhaps change that filter more frequently...
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:36 PM   #17
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The sponge houses a large majority of the beneficial bacteria that process ammonia. You should just rinse that with tank water. There's a small chance that the murk was your filter finally starting to set in.

You can probably just replace the charcoal inside the media, if you so desire. However, charcoal is not necessary either and will adsorb (not absorb) some of your ferts.

The brown is normal. It's the biofilm and breakdown of the fish/plant wastes. That means things are working.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:58 AM   #18
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Okay. So this part is all new to me. I've been changing the filter once a month. So, instead of actually changing the filter, what specifically is the alternative. I've read on several boards, that you can use something else for you media, cut it down and put it in the plastic basket. What would this be, and where would I get it locally? I get the rinsing out with used tank water, but the disposable filter is so wimpy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:27 PM   #19
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Which filter do you have? The media shouldn't wear out too fast.

If you're looking to add additional media, you can use quilt batting or polyfil from walmart.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:11 PM   #20
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The filter is aqueon, its a hob and it uses large filters. It has a blue plastic "basket" that the filter resides in... The filter itself is twot ultra thin pieces of batting with a few crumbs of charcoal inside. I read several places that charcoal isn't neccessary in a heavily planted tank because the plants do that job of filtering. Plus that charcoal can actually pull the frets from the water column, making dosing less effective.
So could I just get batting from a crafts store and cut it down and use it as the filter? What is filter floss and where would I find it?
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:10 PM   #21
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Okay, starting to get this via the vast and powerful internets...
So, fiber floss, is basically polyfill for stuffing crafts. I don't like the idea of that. Batting sounds easier to layer and cut to size. My biggest question is, do I put anything in with the batting? Like sandwich some bio-max in there?
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:14 PM   #22
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I just wrote this entire post, then hit the back button on the mouse by accident, and lost it lol, so i'm just going to point you to this thread i took part in, and if you choose to follow suit welcome to a cheaper healthier tank lol...

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/v...p?f=6&t=253941
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:56 PM   #23
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I read thru that post, lotsa good stuff. My HOB has very limited space and I don't wish to restrict water movement, but I want good mechanical and biological filtration. So batting is sounding good to me, or something along those lines, I don't like the idea of poly fill. The clamshell pictured is for a specific filter, right? I believe that I should be able to cut batting to size and slide it into the basket, it's sorta like the clamshell, it's pocket shaped. I read something about using the Green scrubbing pads as filter, but no one ansered that option... I want something like batting, but stiffer, like the blue stuff. Do they carry to blue batting stuff in craft stores? Or is that more industrial/LFS specific?
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:10 PM   #24
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Well what kind of filter are you using. I take care a lot of other peoples tanks, all various sized filters, and modded them all. Yeah the clamshell is for a emp 400, but also fits 350's as well, maybe the 280 series. Pretty sure it'll fit the old 170's too it's all the same cartridge size.

Scrubbies yeah they can be used as a sponge/bio filtration. I know the chain stores carry marineland small roll cut to size of the blue filter pad. I just clean, and reuse that as well. A lot of those pics are my older pics from my last house, but they still give a idea what you can do. Skys the limits really. Flow will depend on how thick your mechanical filtration is. If you dont have a lot of debris of sorts then it dosnt have to be thick.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:02 PM   #25
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http://www.google.com/shopping/produ...ed=0CFwQ8wIwAQ

The link above is to the filters that I use. The filter came with the tank, the tank is a 36 gallon bowfront.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:53 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjaminleebates View Post
The filter is aqueon, its a hob and it uses large filters. It has a blue plastic "basket" that the filter resides in... The filter itself is twot ultra thin pieces of batting with a few crumbs of charcoal inside.
I have something called a ShowerPik:



You can, if you want, turn this up high enough to remove your gums from your teeth. That setting is no good for oral hygiene, but it IS good for cleaning your style of filter cartridge when it becomes so clogged that a rinse in tank water will no longer suffice.

Works so well that I buy replacement cartridges, or have to mess about with filter floss, with extreme rarity. Only when things actually start falling apart, which may be years. And the charcoal typically stops working within a month or less, after that it's only mediocre biomedia, which is fine and better than nothing.

Of course, deep cleaning will generally remove/kill most of the beneficial bacteria. Replacement will guarantee loss of all bacteria, and includes fresh carbon. That's why I'm not fond of this style of HOB. Unless they have two cartridges, it's all or nothing, and very little room for any additions. If I use them, I tend to use two of this style HOB, allowing me to clean one, then the other, on an alternating basis. Or I'll put a sponge prefilter on the intake, and alternate between cleaning the prefilter and the cartridge.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:24 PM   #27
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INteresting. Would you say I should rinse my filter cartridge weekly (in used tank water of course) when I do my water change? It gets nasty looking fast. My tank is fully stocked.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjaminleebates View Post
INteresting. Would you say I should rinse my filter cartridge weekly (in used tank water of course) when I do my water change? It gets nasty looking fast. My tank is fully stocked.
Try it and see how it works for you. Every tank is different - even if considered fully stocked, there's still significant differences in feeding, debris, etc. I don't think once weekly will be too much. But of course you'll want to use the minimum amount of work necessary.

Since I use a Python water changer that drains directly to the sink, it's an extra step for me to get a bucket of tank water for rinsing media. Multiplied by six tanks. So I lean towards less frequent and deeper cleanings, with extra flow/filtration to keep things in good shape in the meantime.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:10 PM   #29
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I have a hose that I hook up to my sink, then I run water to start the syphon, but it still takes WAY too long. Is the Python pump/motor driven? How fast does it drain? What's the cost?
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:20 PM   #30
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The Python is not electrically powered. It's also, I hear, no longer made - seems the company went bankrupt. But folks say the Lee's Water Changer is identical in every respect, and also cheaper than the original Python, which I think I paid $35 for.

Letting water run the entire time you're draining speeds it up, but wastes water. I do this only for the smaller tanks, so I can quickly move to the next one. For the larger ones, I time how long it takes to drain a few times. If fairly consistent, then I start setting a kitchen timer which I carry while I go about the house, using that time to do other, interruptable chores. I make sure the Python's secured by braces or lights so it can't slip out, and a bit of mesh attached to the intake prevents livestock from getting sucked in, so I can leave it unattended for that time.
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