Failing Filter - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Failing Filter

I got up this morning and my HOB filter is making a horrible noise, I think it may be failing already. If I go buy a new filter today, what do I do that isn't going to kill my existing cycle? Do I need to buy the exact same filter, despite the failure, and swap the media?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 01:33 PM
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I don't know that you have to buy the same exact filter, but I would certainly find a way to include the old filter media in the new one if at all possible.

Keep in mind that bacteria aren't just in the filter --they are on all surfaces inside the tank.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 02:16 PM
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You may want to take the filter apart and make sure there is no debris stuck inside the impeller. Sometimes if a grain of sand or something gets caught inside, it can make a horrible racket...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 02:24 PM
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definitely. Clean out the snails from the impeller casing.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 02:29 PM
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Just one more here. Try cleaning up the impeller before you give up on it. That's going to be the mostly likely cause of noises coming from a filter motor of any sort. If it is in fact broken, the impeller shaft is probably broken, and a replacement impeller may be a cheaper fix.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 02:46 PM
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+1 on checking the impeller. When my HOBs make a lot of noise, I usually find that the impeller is tangled up in a piece of string or long hair (still a mystery how either of those got into the tank in the first place, but I guess it happens!)
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 03:30 PM
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+1000 on the impeller check! I have a penguin 550 powerhead and about every 2 months or so it decides to stop and start to grind. I just clean the impeller and impeller housing really well! Make sure to get inside where the magnet goes with like a cue-tip or something to get all the gunk out! I also lube everything up with a little petroleum jelly. It works good as new every time! I've pretty much fixed the thing completely by sticking a sponge filter on the input! Good luck!

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I called the manufacturer and they told me how to get into the impeller. Now I know why the foam filters get added to intakes, wish I had left mine on. And I'll bet you're right, a snail got in there.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Update: got it fixed by pulling the impeller and rinsing the impeller and the filter chamber. Thanks for the help! No sign of snails, but some nasty vegetation came out.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 02:42 AM
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That is always the place to start: Thorough cleaning, and a bit of petroleum jelly on the moving parts.

Finally filters do die, or you want to upgrade.
Any way to keep the cycled media in the system will keep the biological filtration going while the bacteria move to the new filter media. If the old media fits into the new filter, that is pretty easy. But if the media is wearing out or does not fit, then divide the old media into several nylon stocking or mesh bags, and hang these in the tank. Then remove one bag a week so the bacteria is removed slowly.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
That is always the place to start: Thorough cleaning, and a bit of petroleum jelly on the moving parts.

Finally filters do die, or you want to upgrade.
Any way to keep the cycled media in the system will keep the biological filtration going while the bacteria move to the new filter media. If the old media fits into the new filter, that is pretty easy. But if the media is wearing out or does not fit, then divide the old media into several nylon stocking or mesh bags, and hang these in the tank. Then remove one bag a week so the bacteria is removed slowly.
Thanks, Diana. That's what I needed to know.
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