HOB Filter. Proper Technique during Water Change - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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HOB Filter. Proper Technique during Water Change

This should be a simple thing, but for me I just can't think of the best solution to this issue I am having. I've usually ran Overflow tanks or Canister filters so a HOB is a new beast for me. To get to the body of the issue when I change water I unplug the filter so it won't suck air if I drain out too much water, etc. When I plug it back in after changing the water it spits out some gross tank garbage into my new freshly cleaned tank!

Should I
A. Also take off the filter and just dump it out and give the body a quick rinse in the tank water and then fill it before plugging it back in?
B. Throw it in the yard?
C. Option A and Also place a bowl to try and catch the first few seconds discharge out of the filter.

What do you do?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 01:52 AM
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Hi Jennifer,

I can share my 2c from my little bit of experience, but I do hope someone else with more weighs in. Good call unplugging the filter. In my HOB (Aquaclear 20), I pull out the intake piece and clean that (if I don't do this, as I drain water, the water from my filter leaves proportionally). If inside of the filter is dirty, then I would definitely clean it (dump it out, scrub it etc, without damaging your bacterias - I leave them in my tank water that I pulled out) - I would think that if you continue this technique, the next time you go to water change, it will be less grubby and so on.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:07 AM
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What model hob filter? There shouldn’t be anything getting past the filter pads on the output side unless it’s poor design or you’ve got something installed incorrectly.

Is something actually growing on output side past filter pads and then get pushed into tank?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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I have a fluval c4. I am running the filter pad at the first stage And then their c-nodes, but at the last stage I am running a purigen bag.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 09:06 PM
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Option A. And a little gunk going from the filter to the display tank isn't really hurting anything, it was already in contact with the water all along. I'd imagine that it would clear up within a day, unless a crazy amount is going in, in which case it sounds like the filters need to be rinsed more frequently.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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It totally clears up after about 30 minutes it just irks me to see it come flying out and wondered if I was missing something


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:12 PM
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I tie wrap an old sock around the filter outflow. When the filter is turned on, the gunk collects in the sock and I immediately remove the sock.
Takes a few seconds!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 01:11 AM
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No need to unplug the filter unless you're taking it off the tank for a complete cleaning.
Simply leave the filter running and pull the inlet tube prior to the water change. Drain, refill the tank, then reinsert the inlet tube. Note: at any time with the filter running, you can remove the media basket to service the contents.
------
Note: on the Aquaclears (and I presume the 'C' series Fluvals) in time, gunk will get into the impeller magnet area. This can cause the impeller to stick so if the power is cut, the impeller doesn't turn when the power is back on. I found that you need to pull the filter, remove the motor and impeller and clean about once a month to insure it will always restart fine).
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Note: on the Aquaclears (and I presume the 'C' series Fluvals) in time, gunk will get into the impeller magnet area. This can cause the impeller to stick so if the power is cut, the impeller doesn't turn when the power is back on. I found that you need to pull the filter, remove the motor and impeller and clean about once a month to insure it will always restart fine).
Yep, that's my experience, too. Also, in heavily planted tanks, the AC's sponges will get clogged and you will experience the "elevator effect:" the media basket will float and rise a couple of inches out of the housing. I've actually watched it happen while eating dinner. ("Now? You're telling me I have to clean you *now*??") Putting a pre-filter sponge on the filter stopped that.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 06:10 AM
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I am unfamiliar with Fluval filters, I have only had Aqueon and Aquaclear. I have never had the gunk problem you are talking about with HOB's, I occasionally get it with my canister filters. My guess is that when shut off, some sediment is not embedded into the the mechanical media and settles to the bottom when shut off, then when turned back on, it bypasses the filtration because the sudden pressure when restarting.

No matter what filter, I find it clears up pretty quickly like you said.

My routine with my Aquaclears was that I usually rinsed the mechanical filter during the water change. Reason being, they are coarse so they just need a few squeezes in water and they are basically clean. Not that it would spew detritus if I didn't but I found it just a good time to do it. Non chlorinated water, and going straight to my plants so a perfect time. Not sure how your HOB is, my Aqueon would have been much harder to clean this way.

If I run a Fluval prefilter, I do the same as above but my filter stays super clean. So clean I don't even clean the filter media, it just doesn't need it. That was my preferred way, I would do the same with the prefilter as I would with my AC's sponge, it was just more fine and took a bit more effort. Some say that it reduces biofiltration but I never had problems doing it this way, my betta lived 6 years after purchase this way, I also had probably 500 RCS in a 10 gallon.

-Matt

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