when do you clean your ehiems? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Question when do you clean your ehiems?

Im new to the filter ehiem. ( sorry if i spelled it wrong)
I was wondering how often you should clean them out.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 12:37 AM
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It depends on your bioload. Most places recommend cleaning them once every three months.

Having a higher-tech tank will not allow for laziness when it comes to cleaning the filter. It can (and does, as I found out) lead to algae blooms.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:11 AM
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Personally I try to clean mine every 30-45 days. I replace the fine filter pad and flush the rest out with clean water (dechlorinated or RO). I have 2 on a heavily stocked 125gallon, high-tech. I split it up so that I do one every couple of weeks. Depends a lot on bio-load as was already stated.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:20 AM
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Question

It is a "Depend upon" answer.

If its small Eheim filter (they make several types and models) I would suggest weekly if its a large Canister type monthly.

I have a Eheim Pro11 for a 5ft tank and it is cleaned monthly.

I also have a HOB filter (non Eheim) and it is cleaned weekly.

It also depends on what is in the tank as well.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captivate05 View Post
Having a higher-tech tank will not allow for laziness when it comes to cleaning the filter. It can (and does, as I found out) lead to algae blooms.
Really? Could you, or anybody else, explain the reason behind why it would lead to algae blooms? And do you mean in a particular type or just all around in general?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:39 AM
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In all honesty I do mine every 4 - 6 months no matter how many fish are in the tanks.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 02:11 AM
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In all honesty I do mine every 4 - 6 months no matter how many fish are in the tanks.
That's exactly what I do with my Eheim's too, I can usually last half a year or even a little more between cleanings. So I was wondering how not cleaning an Eheim as often would cause algae blooms?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Heartnet View Post
That's exactly what I do with my Eheim's too, I can usually last half a year or even a little more between cleanings. So I was wondering how not cleaning an Eheim as often would cause algae blooms?
Low flow caused by a dirty filter = less filtration and less CO2 distribution. This "may" lead to issues including algae. I'm sure there's a happy medium depending on load, size of tank, size of filter, etc... Personally I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 02:50 AM
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Well, depending on the tank, load, and filter size, sometimes the gunk trapped in the filter media can get ahead of the bacteria's ability to break it down. It isn't an Eheim brand problem. It is an every filter problem.

If any filter gets gunked full of junk, you'll have decomposition and waste products being dissolved into the water column and circulated back into your open aquarium. Stuff trapped in your filter is still in your water column just like stuff floating around in your tank. It may be kept out of sight, but it is still decomposing in your water column.

The filter houses large bacterial colonies that break stuff down into less toxic components. Ammonia gets broken down to less toxic nitrite. Nitrite gets broken down to less toxic nitrate. (I originally had nitrite and nitrate transposed in this post. I edited this post to correct the mistake. The above breakdown is now correct.)

So, the bacteria in your aquarium help, but you can still get an accumulation of stuff that is too much for the bacteria to handle.

Filters have media inside that traps stuff. Now, that stuff does not magically disappear when it gets caught in the filter media. Filters are also designed so that you can get inside them and remove this media. There is a purpose for this. The filter collects gunk in one spot but it is still up to you to remove that collected gunk periodically. Finding the sweet spot in that maintenance schedule is up to the user.

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Last edited by random_alias; 11-30-2010 at 02:27 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 02:59 AM
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The issue of a gunked filter is typically caused by over feeding. If you feed the proper amount there will be little to worry about. I have accounts that insist on having the filters serviced once a year (cheap-Os) and they do great. Feed the right amount and the filters won't get too gunked. ...
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 12:01 PM
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I don't have an Eheim but another canister and I have cleaned it ... say ... never. <ducks for cover>.

I really need to though. Tank is a 55g with virtually no bioload but I'm sure it has to be icky in there. So since you brought it up...I guess I'll finally do the deed this weekend.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 12:58 PM
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Those $2.50 or so cleaning brushes for the tubes (available at kensfish) work wonders. Flow has greatly increased after cleaning them out.

65g planted tank - 200W heat - PC 192W/6700K - Eheim 2217 - Pressurized CO2 - EI Dosing
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by random_alias View Post
The filter houses large bacterial colonies that break stuff down into less toxic components. Ammonia gets broken down to less toxic nitrate. Nitrate gets broken down to less toxic nitrite.
You got your nitrites and nitrates mixed up.


And I agree- until you clean your filters, you haven't cleaned out your tank. Water changes definitely help maintain water quality, but organic waste buildups in filters can definitely contribute to algae issues.

I clean most of my canisters about every other month. My Eheim 2217 is on a pretty lightly stocked tank, though, so it gets cleaned probably every 3 months right now.





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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:11 PM
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I don't think feeding has everything to do with it. I clean one of my 2 filters every 2 weeks. My filters (Not eheim) get gunked up with dead leafs and plant matter the most. It doesn't seem to affect their flow too much but when I open them up the sponges are pretty gunky sometimes. Not cleaning definitely seems to help BBA grow in my tank. If you think about it, having decomposing stuff in your filter spreads it through your water column since all your tank water runs through there a few times an hour.

The main part of cleaning for me is cleaning the sponges. I often barely touch the ceramic media, and if i do I just rinse it, it usually doesn't get too dirty and it holds alot of the good bacteria.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
You got your nitrites and nitrates mixed up.

D'oh! You're right. Thanks for catching that. I'll edit the transposition.

"Insanity: doing [or asking] the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
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