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Power filter cartridge alternative

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This was discussed earlier, but I did not gather a conclusive information what can be used instead of filter cartridges to save money. I bought Auaen 20 power filter for my 29 g tank in April and did not replace cartridges since then. Now, I see it circulates the water, but does not filter well any more. Can I use some cheap sponge pad insead of relatively expensive cartridges? What kind of sponge would be th ebest: May be I can use the same sponge again and again after sim0le rinsing it?
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Hi ufimych! I have two HOT power filters and I use the black sponge refill from my Filstar Canister filter like this:
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/199476/product.web

I cut it to size and then also stuff some ceramic rings into a small bag in place it in media area also. I am not familiar with the filter you have but both of mine are pretty slim but if I flatten out the rings in the bag they fit. To polish the water from time to time I add a this micro-polisher cut to fit at well.

When I do a water change and take all of them out and rinse them in the old tank water while its draining to clean them of gunk and place them back in the HOT filter. The rings and the black foam have been in use for 6-8 months and the polishing pad gets replaced about every other cleaning when I need it. (I cut a piece about 2.5 inches tall x the width and place it as the last thing in my filter).

Next time your at the LFS take a look at what they have and you should be able to find something that works for your filter. IMO, its not worth getting the refills as I find they have carbon in them and I don't need that for my tank. (I do keep one or two on hand just in case I need the carbon but as of today I have not used them)

Good luck!

Duff
 

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I used to cut the cartridges up so they became little more than frames and then stuffed the basket loosely with filter floss using the old cartridge too keep it from floating out.
Same here.. I have a TOM mini canister in my nano at work and I stuff it with filter floss. Since I do 2x weekly water changes it is more than adequate.
 

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In case you missed what Duff wrote about rinsing. YES, rinse out the cartridge!

Take it out and rinse in a tub/pot/pail of tank water during water changes. It is part of your biological filter and you don't want to destroy all the bacteria by rinsing in tap water.

You don't need to replace it unless you are only using it to polish the water or it gets holes in it so water bypasses the filter medium. I have sponges that are 10 years old and still hanging together and getting plenty of **** in them.
 

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Try to not throw your filter out at all unless it starts falling apart. That's where most of your beneficial bacteria is to keep your tank cycled. If you notice it's starting to fall apart stick another filter pad in it to start getting the bacteria on it before throwing out the old one.

You should probably only gently rinse out the current filter pad in old tank water so as not to desturb the good bacteria otherwise you'll send your tank into hopefully only a mine cycle.
 

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I use filter floss aka polyfill for my HOB filters. You can get a huge bag of it from Walmart for around $3. When I clean my filters I just rinse half of the media in tank water and stuff it back in.
 
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