Originally Posted by pizza snob
1)After 9 months of use, my O-Rings have white crud on the o-ring to the point that is is no longer black. Was this white stuff the lubricant that initally came on the o-rings or is it not meant to be there? Should I strip it clean until o-ring is black and apply the small tube of lubricant that came with cannister? Can I use vasoline? Should the O-ring be black or white?
I think this stuff is lubricant, wipe it off and reapply. I suggest silicone lubricant, not Vasoline, it seems that Vasoline (from local stores) is not the same as Vasoline from Eheim. Vasoline (from local stores) makes rubber seals harden.
2) How long can the media survive "outside" of water?
If you keep the media damp, it ought to be OK, I think bacteria are more sensitive to lack of oxygen than anything else. Submerging in water will seal off fresh oxygen, I think it is better to wrap in plastic bags where you keep it from drying out, but have a lot of air exposure.
3) After I replace all the layers of media and filters, I am having a problem aligning the top most tray tube with the hole in top lid of the cannister. The holes line up so I can see clear to the bottom but it looks as if the top most tube is not long enough to seat properly in the lid. It isn't a problem of alignment so much as a problem of the tube not looking like it is long enough to extend into the hole in the top lid. Pads and trays are placed in the correct order.
This can be important. There is a small connector tube that goes between the head and the top basket. You may need to pull that connector out and reposition. If that connector is missing (or wedged in between the baskets instead of at the top basket as I had) then the filter will not circulate through the baskets but just recycle over the top fraction of an inch of the filter media, not a good thing. Lost a lot of fish that way.
4) How do I "prep" a new (white) fine filter pad before replacing the one I have. I know enough NOT to simply replace it with a new pad as there will be a nitrite spike.
Just replace it, you have all the bacteria in the other media to carry the load, the white filter pad is just to polish the water, removing the finer debris. Change it often, use cut-to-fit pads if you can to make it more economical.
I fill 2 5 gallon buckets with output water from my filter and use this to swish off debris from my filters and also clean the inside of the cannister with.
You might also backflush the tubing to get this water to clean the filters. Disconnect the tubings as normally, then shoot some tank water into a bucket by manually opening the valves. This will clear some of the normal buildup in the tubings and let you go a bit longer before you have to break down the tubing to do a full cleaning.