Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle, WA and Honolulu, HI
The coarse blue pads, the ehfimech, and the ehfisubstrat you can use indefinitely (or until the wear out). The white pads you can replace - there is no prepping needed as the white pads are there mainly for mech filtration. I think it would be best to keep the tray with the ehfisubstrat (the bio media) in a bucket of tank water so the bacteria doesn't die off.
Here is my cleaning routine for my 2026:
1) Remove trays - place top tray in bucket of tank water.
2) Bottom tray (with ehfimech and coarse pads) are rinsed.
3) Replace trays, and put on new fine white pad (if needed).
BTW, the black rings that are on the tubes in the trays aren't lubricated. That white build up happens to me too. I just wipe it off with a napkin or a cotton swab.
Eheim Pimp #162: Eheim ProII 2026