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Filter Cleaning Time is Near

541 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Backfill

I have a heavily planted tank with quite a bio-load of fish in it. I am running an Eheim 2028 canister filter on it. I have not cleaned this filter since I added the plants and fish and was wondering what kind of shock to the tanks bio-system I would create by doing so.

What precautions should I take when cleaning the filter?
I typically do 50% water changes weekly. Should I do one at the same time I clean the filter?
I use pressurized CO2 to keep the PH stable at 6.5
I use an in-line water heater (tied to the output of the canister filter which will be cleaned) which keeps the temperature stable at 84 degrees.

Thanks in advance for you time

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84 degrees is a bit warm for me, but I suppose it depends on the fish you are keeping.

I am not sure how big your tank is, so I do not know if you have more than one filter, etc in your aquarium.

As for precautions, if you only have the one filter, I would not clean all the filter media at once (perhaps, just half of it now, and the other half perhaps 2 weeks later). In addition, and perhaps most importantly, do not use tap water to clean your filter media. The chlorine will kill the beneficial bacteria, so the best thing to do is to use the water that you withdraw during your water change (so yes, you can carry out a water change at the same time you clean the filter).

Using the water from your water change, you can swish the media around to get rid of all the accumulated dirt and junk.
Best way to clean a filter: take a 5 gallon bucket, fill it with ~tank temp water, add dechlorinator. Then take your media baskets and swish them around in the water. It will remove the gunk and debris without killing the bacteria. Sponges I take out and rinse under tap water to really get them clean, the bio-balls have most of the bacteria anyways so you dont have to worry about killing your cycle.

And do a water change after you clean the filter and turn the filter on for 5 or so minutes. A lot of gunk that was loosened by the wash gets blown out so a water change will remove that.
Thanks for the information folks, My tank is a 56 gallon with only one filter. You have answered my question and given me confidence in this tanks next (first) filter change.
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