Filter Cartridge and Auto-feeder Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Filter Cartridge and Auto-feeder Question

Hi all,
I am looking for a good reliable auto-feeder for a 20 gal which is also not too expensive. Does anybody know of one which might be good? Also, I wanted to know how often to replace cartridges on a marineland biowheel 150.
Thanks
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 08:00 AM
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Auto fish feeders that fix onto the tank and have a rotating drum for fish food usually work just fine and donít have a lot to differentiate them. Eheim makes one that is pretty good. Do you want to feed more than once a day, same or different types of food and the hole you have available for the food to drop into are going to be the biggest things impacting your choice. Be aware that if there is a lot of splash or humidity around your tank, feeding flake might now be an option (it clumps up and can get gummed up in the feeder). Nifty features to look for include a battery indicator (sucks to realize your feeder isnít working anymore only after your fish have started eating each other) and an insta feed button so that you can observe fish eat while standing at the tank.

Replacing cartridges depends. Iíd aim to replace them once a month, but you would do better to rinse them out in water you have taken from your fish tank weekly in between changes. If you have medicated the tank, or have something funky going on with water conditions you may want to change more often to get advantage of the activated carbon which is usually doing nothing for you by the end of the month.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.Isley View Post
Auto fish feeders that fix onto the tank and have a rotating drum for fish food usually work just fine and donít have a lot to differentiate them. Eheim makes one that is pretty good. Do you want to feed more than once a day, same or different types of food and the hole you have available for the food to drop into are going to be the biggest things impacting your choice. Be aware that if there is a lot of splash or humidity around your tank, feeding flake might now be an option (it clumps up and can get gummed up in the feeder). Nifty features to look for include a battery indicator (sucks to realize your feeder isnít working anymore only after your fish have started eating each other) and an insta feed button so that you can observe fish eat while standing at the tank.

Replacing cartridges depends. Iíd aim to replace them once a month, but you would do better to rinse them out in water you have taken from your fish tank weekly in between changes. If you have medicated the tank, or have something funky going on with water conditions you may want to change more often to get advantage of the activated carbon which is usually doing nothing for you by the end of the month.
Thanks for the advice with auto feeders! I'll look into Eheim feeders. I am feeding flake food once a day but I don't have that much splash so I should be good I think. I did some research on the cartridge thing and some people say they don't replace it because beneficial bacteria live in it. I've even heard people say that they've kept their same cartridge for over a year. I'm kind of confused so far and am hoping for some other people to chime in as well.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 07:43 AM
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Regarding cartridges. You should replace them immediately with some filter sponge and then never replace them again.

Those cartridges are just a way to sell you something and frankly are entirely inadequate for your tank. Buy some filter sponge and stuff that in your filter and it will do all the same things but never need to be replaced. Just rinsed in used tank water when doing a water change. Since you can cram more sponge into a filter then those cartridges hold it will be more effective as well. Google videos of people hotroding hang on back filters to get more information.

Example video:



There are many ways to alter a filter like this, you don't need to do it this way, basic idea is to use sponge instead of those cartridges.


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Last edited by minorhero; 03-12-2020 at 11:35 AM. Reason: added video
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice!
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