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Is it advisable to leave some of the gunk, brown detritus in the filter when you wash it?
I usually lightly rinse the filter sponge & bio media with tank water, and when
I took my filter media out for washing this weekend, I notice there are A LOT of brown debris in the bottom of the filter (along with a few shrimps too :eek5:)
My tank has always have very little nitrate (0-5)...would those brown detritus thing help provide a source of nutrients for the plant?

It seems they are definitely not harmful to the livestock since the shrimps are able to live in the highly concentrated gunk water.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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I agree, at the point where your tank is established there's plenty of N-bacteria in the main tank to make up for whatever might be rinsed out during filter maintenance. I like keeping my filter clean so the water flow isn't restricted.

A friend of mine had so many RCS living in his canister for so many years that we decided they were becoming a new species, so we made up a new name for them LOL
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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I agree, at the point where your tank is established there's plenty of N-bacteria in the main tank to make up for whatever might be rinsed out during filter maintenance. I like keeping my filter clean so the water flow isn't restricted.

A friend of mine had so many RCS living in his canister for so many years that we decided they were becoming a new species, so we made up a new name for them LOL
lol, RCS sp. 'Eheim' (or insert your filter name here) :icon_lol:
 

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I'm doing my first canister clean next week. In prep, I ordered a wire brush to clean the hoses and lily pipes.

I should take a bucket of tank water 'mini waterchange' and rinse the inside of the filter and media with it correct? Should I be scraping the gunk out of the canister with a paper towel or something?

My canister actually looked pretty clean, 3 months of running. I figured it was time to clean it since the hoses had some browning.

Anything I should do to the fish tank itself after I get the filter cleaned? I just want to keep fish stress to a minimal.
 

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In a similar vein, any of you Rena owners replace your mechanical filter pads? My 90g is filtered by a Rena XP3 and a Magnum 350. The XP3 has been on the tank since I set it up over a year ago. Once a week, I rinse the filter pads (just under cool tap water, and I've never gotten an ammonia spike - there's lots of bio filter in there I don't touch) and empty the gunk out of the bottom. However, I'm fighting with blue green algae in this tank lately, and can't figure out why. Nothing's changed in it in MONTHS. There's plenty of circulation. Water tests out great. Nitrates are 0 unless I add them (which I've tried doing to get rid of the BGA).

Tank is, as mentioned, 90G. Plants are all low to medium varieties (vals, crypts, anubias, moss, java fern, lilies, aponogetons). Lighting is 138W HO T5 lighting on for about 7 hours per day. No CO2, no ferts other than throwing some trace in now and then, or some KNO3 or Phosphate mix if I see a need for it (I add the latter when I start getting GSA on the glass). Substrate is a mixture of plain sand and fluorite sand.

I've never replaced the filter pads (I'm talking about the black ones), just washed them - maybe I should buy new ones? They still seem sturdy, not broken down at all...
 

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Of course with different filters you will have different methods of cleaning, but with my canisters I clean as follows:

(1) Remove the biological media and place it in a bucket of water from the tank.
(2) Dispose of the used filters pads/sponges/etc.
(3) Dump the old filter water down the sink
(4) Rinse the mechanical media in hot tap water (a strainer works well for this)
(5) Wipe the inside of the filter body and then clean it with hot tap water
(6) Clean the impeller/impeller well/motor housing
(7) Swish the bio media around in the bucket to remove the larger particles
(8) Reassemble and put back into service.

The only thing I am careful with is the bio-media. The rest of the filter get a thorough cleaning. I clean the tubes once or twice a year with a hose brush as well.

Dave
 
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