How to safely Replace a Filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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How to safely Replace a Filter?

Hey everyone. So I have a nice 10 gallon Ive had set up for quite a while. I recently decided to rotate the Dario darios I had in it into my "mini fish" 20 gallon with licorice gouramis, guppies, and corys. I plan on putting a betta and some corys in the 10 but Im also thinking its time to get a better filter for the 10 gallon. I purchased it as a kit that came with a tetra 10 gallon filter. It works well enough but isn't the strongest and i'd like a little more flow. I was thinking getting an Aqueon Quietflow 10 for it, but I was wondering how I could switch filters without the tank re-cycling.

Would I have to run both filters for a while? Or could I do something like, set up the aqueon and stuff the already established filter cartridge of the tetra filter in the back? I figure just taking the tetra out and putting the brand new aqueon in would probably cause problems. Also, would just getting the aqueon as an ADDITIONAL filter be good? I am having some algae on my anubias plants so if it would help that I would be very happy to do so.

What's a good method when upgrading filters?

Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:32 PM
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You can either run both for a little bit, or put the filter media from the old filter into the new. I personally would go with the latter.

Remember, the bb in your tank is everywhere, not only the filter (though that's where most of it lives). You should be fine seeding the new filter with old media.

Just check the ammonia and nitrite for a few days as a precaution, and if you have any at all, add a little prime.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:38 PM
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Takes a bit of judgement but not too hard. It is pretty well thought that older tanks will have bacteria on almost everything. The slimy feel of the glass is likely to be a good percentage holding bacteria. The filter is the place we "design" to hold the bacteria but it will be all over.
So when we trade out a filter but keep the media, we are likely to lose "some" of the bacteria on the filter body, etc. but then that is not very much compared to the whole.
My plan when changing is to maintain as much bacteria as practical but I also know that bacteria is real quick to rebuild. In your case, it sounds like a good solid plan but I also do some backup planning. I keep a jug of something like Ammo-carb, Ammo-chips or such on the shelf. It is dry and easy to store for those special times when I miss and screw up the bacteria enough to show? I also have easy access to water change reserve water so that I can do either of two things. Add the ammonia removing stuff or do more frequent, larger water changes.
Most of the time, it doesn't require either but when doing major shakeups, I do test strips for quick readouts to assure all is well for a few days.
Hope/ plan for the best but prep for the worst!
The 6 P's. Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.
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