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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I was wondering what you do when it's time to clean your canister filter? How often do you replace your mechanical filtration? How often do you replace your carbon filter pad?

My tanks been setup for nearly a year now. If I let my EHEIM 2215 go longer than 2 weeks without a thorough cleaning, the water gets cloudy and a brown tinge to it. I take the power head off, remove all mechanical filters and carbon, and backwash water from the tap through the biological filtration. All kinds of crap comes out the inlet tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks BriDroid. Do you think the aggressive cleaning of the biological filter media is prohibiting sufficient bacteria growth? Therefore putting the filtration demand on the mechanical media?
 

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Plant Clown
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I would get rid of the carbon and replace it with mech (sponge, filter floss, etc.) I also have a hunch that you're using an underpowered canister for your tank. Is your tank quite large? And/or is it overstocked? And/or do you have especially poopy fish?

Assuming you're going to keep just the can you have, I'd suggest going with only mech media in all baskets. Carbon, IMO, is only really useful for very short-term purposes (removing meds, surface scum, (possibly) tannins).

A prefilter is never a bad bet, too.
 

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Carpe Diem
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2215 is not that big of a filter... what is the size of the tank you are using it on?

As per BriDroid, do ditch your carbon pad - it's useful for a very short time and for some specific uses. Otherwise, it's creating more problems then it solves. Flushing your bio filter every couple of weeks is not that great either. Even though you have the beneficial bacteria through-out the tank, the largest concentration is still in the filter and killing it weekly is a big part of your issue. Do check your A and N to see if you are getting mini spikes.

If you have to clean your mechanical filtration that often then something else is going on: too many plants leaves falling off, too much food, overstocking, using wrong size filter for tank etc.

The above is just my personal opinion: I have never changed my mechanical media (ceramic tubes, bio-balls, etc) in any of my filters. I did change the coarse pad in my Eheims 2026 at most twice ... in 13 years. For reference, here is my usual filter cleaning schedule:

Finnex FX-360: ~ every 4-8 weeks for the 2 running on a 12G (2+ years) long and never on 1 running a 4G (1+ year)
AquaTop CF-400 (SunSun) every 4 to 6 weeks - it clogs up too fast (1.5 years)
Eheim 2026: every 4 months (1 running on a 75G tall and 1 on 17G)
Eheim 2075: every 6 - 8 months (2 running on a 65g and 1 on a 36g corner)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep, undersized. The tank is 75g. The tank is about 50% planted with 7 Platys and 11 Rasbora. I have been feeding twice a day. In addition to the Eheim 2215, I have a hang on the back Aquaclear 110. I also have plenty of circulation with the JBJ Ocean Stream 1600. I'm also dosing 4 capfuls of Flourish Excel daily. CO2 injection. I do have a mild case of Staghorn. Until I can afford to buy a larger filter, what would you recommend I do in the meantime? I will pull the carbon pad and replace with filterfloss. Here is a recent photo Water Plant Pet supply Terrestrial plant Organism
 

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Carpe Diem
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Instead of replacing the current Eheim I would add another canister filter, when you can. Having 2 filters has multiple benefits, including the cleaning rotation and preserving a large chunk of beneficial bacteria.

Meanwhile you might look at adding a pre-filter (a simple foam 'tube' around the intake will work) - which will allow you to catch larger debris and to reduce the need to clean the main guy. Adding a $6 sponge filter with an air pump/powerhead is not a bad solution either; adding more plants and/or vacuuming the gravel more often.

The tank is looking good, btw :)
 

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I clean my canister once a month, though I'm sure it could probably go longer than that without any issues. When I do, I set the media baskets (I had an Eheim Pro2, now Fluval G6) in a bucket of dechlorinated water. Everything gets lightly rinsed with room temperature dechlorinated water.

When I clean mine, I'm more interested in getting out any larger bits of debris that might have collected, removing and snails or other animals, and making sure the impeller is clean and unobstructed. Usually, it's a pretty quick affair.

Also, if you use any chemical media, it's probably good to change it out/recharge it after a month.

David
 

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Just to give you some perspective. I have a 20G half moon with a 2215. I clean it twice a year and even then, only really change out the polyfill and just hand-wash the foam.

The 20G is heavily planted but also heavily stocked and been up for two years now!

I would begin by getting a pre-filter as someone else mentioned to collect most of the larger and medium sized particles. I would also invest in another filter at the opposite end for the 75G (I would suggest a 2217).

Lastly, I'd look to see if there's anything particular thats kicking up a lot the debris/scumb. You should also gravel vac out particles.

Once a tank matures, it reaches a pretty steady balance between filter and debris that is only disturbed during heavy replanting or something equivalently chaotic. At this point, the filter should mostly be ingesting water and the irregular floating debris.
 

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To me it seems like your doing alot of work a month to just clean the canister...

you have to remember that canister are design to hold large media and IMO not even ment to open in such a way so many times....

I have gone 6 month without even cleaning my 2215 ...i would have done 1 year..lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I knew I would gain some perspective here. Great advice. I had a hunch I was meddling too much. I have a water change scheduled in the morning. I'm going to ditch the carbon and use more mechanical filtration. I'm going to add the pre-filter and leave it be for awhile. During water changes, I'll be sure to suck up as much detritus as possible. I'm on a mission for that crystal clear water, but I'm convinced a filter upgrade is necessary.
 

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I agree with OVT. Your filter is too small for your tank. But, buying a second filter has benefits, and will be cheaper.

I also agree with BriDroid about using Purigen if you are set on chemical filtration. It not only lasts WAY longer, it as can be "recharged". Just soak it in bleach overnight (15 minutes really but overnight is what most people do), dechlorinate, and you have what you started with, even years later. I recommend having a pouch to swap to make life easier. You can buy it in a pouch or buy it in a jar, and use your own filter sock. It's very small so it's hard to find a sock that works. Unfortunately, the pouches open up after bleaching but I just superglue the edges now. Not to get too deep but it is better in many ways than carbon to begin with and should last way longer, no need to replace it ever either.

I personally took all my fine filter pads out of my filters. That allows you to go much longer without maintenance. I rinse them, not replace them which is only to save money. Some people clean it in tank water but it doesn't work well enough for me. I use a hose with a sprayer which works great, but kills bacteria. Never had a problem doing it that way though.


With a proper sized canister filter, or multiple filters, you should be able to go anywhere from 4 cleanings a year to even about 1, depending on your media choice. Depending on my stocking, I do one to two cleanings a year per canister filter. Most do more but I am just saying, with more filter capacity, your maintenance should be much less, and if you do two, it's easier as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the heads-up on the Purigen. That looks promising. I can see that the pre-filter is definitely doing its job Plant Leaf Botany Vegetation Terrestrial plant


The water clarity has improved. Here is a shot down the 4ft section of the tank.

Thanks everyone for the advice and compliments on the tank
 

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This was an interesting read. I clean my 2215 every month or 2. This involves rinsing the media in tank water and replacing the fine filter floss at the top. I clean the impeller blade every other clean.

This is running on a 17g Mr. Aqua tank. I also clean my clear hose and lily pipes every 2-3 weeks. My tank is in the middle of my kitchen, so I like to keep up on maintenance/appearance. No problems yet. Been about a year with that schedule.

I've thought about purigen in the past, but might give it a shot after hearing some of the advise in this thread.
 
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