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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Canister Filter problem

I have a Marina CF 40 canister filter on my 20 gallon aquarium. I just recently set it up again after not having the tank up for about 2 years.At first the filter appeared to be doing it’s job, but now it seems like it isn’t filtering the water at all.

The filter appears to be running - there is decent water flow from the spray bar. The filter media is clean. But the tank quickly gets dirty again after I clean it and there is a lot of particulate matter in the water. I skipped a weekly cleaning last week because I was sick and this morning, the tank looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in months. How can it be circulating the water, but not actually filtering the water?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 07:16 PM
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Is the flow bypassing the media?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 07:17 PM
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If you have the media in the filter correctly there is no reason it should not be cleaning the water . Maybe double check the installation of media and make sure there are no bypass points where the water is going by the media .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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That’s what I’m trying to figure out. It MUST be bypassing the filter media. But there is only one way to put the filter together. If you do it incorrectly, the pieces just don’t fit. So how and why this is happening has me baffled.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 03:14 PM
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This is a hobby full of mystery! It seems like it has a neverending set of questions to sort out, so we have to just keep at it.
So some thoughts on what I might "think" is wrong. But keep in mind that I get in a mess at times!
It may be a case of how tanks seem to mature after a while and what we have done up to that time seem to stop working. Some things that "may" be happening for you to review.
Has the tank been running long enough that that small points may have changed? Things like how we clean the bottom? We may start off with clean substrate and it gradually fills with debris/mulm, etc. so that it becomes a breeding ground for algae. Perhaps we simply worked harder at first and not that we have this all going we got busy with life and maybe we are not doing the routine the same? Or maybe fish and plants are just bigger and require more! Any chance that some of the media is not as good as when new? It can be pretty easy for things to wear a bit thin and not be something we spot as we got used to just rinsing and reusing.
No good way to spot from here what is going on and I admit that I had to keep logbooks to keep track of what I did as a way to look back and spot small changes where I might have created problems for myself.
Plants tank are a bit more likely to grow and change without us spotting it due to both plants and fish changing but it would not be unusual for some of our routines to need adjustment. One thing that certainly can happen is we fail to up the ferts as the plants grow and that means they stop doing as much good for cleaning the water and it can seem like things can go downhill on lots of small points.
I might suggest thought on what might have changed, try a few changes to see what makes it better. There is always some chance that the tank may have outgrown the filter and more may be needed or more work to keep the current one up to the job.
Good luck with the search?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:51 AM
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What kind of media is in your filter? I used to run an Eheim canister, and kept getting small particles all over the tank until I cut a piece of poly cloth to fit in, as the last media the water flows through. This caught all the fine stuff and kept it out of the tank.

Also, do you happen to have a fish that makes a lot of waste? like a pleco? maybe your filter just can't keep up with the load


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