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I'm planning an extended trip and so will be away from my tanks for about a month.
Wanting to make sure everything is top shape before I leave. I know one is not supposed to change out all the media at the same time but I was wondering if perhaps I should change out the sponges...they've all kind of lost their shape and firmness...and possibly the Fluval biomax media in one of the tanks as I'm wondering if the pores don't seem a bit clogged.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. That you.
 

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Typically you have the bio-media and then either one or two sponges or other
forms of material like pads etc before the bio-media that are supposed to keep
the bio-media clean. I would only clean the first layer of sponge/pad and leave
the other layers alone.
The bio-media in one of my tanks has not been touched in at least two years.
In the other tank it may be up to twice as long as that. But then I don't keep
a heavy bio-load in my tanks.
 

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I would not suggest changing out very much media at one time. Certainly not when I might not be there to stop a disaster. Your best defense while gone will be good bacteria colonies. Changing too much can kill off too many of the helpers. so go careful.
For hard media in my Eheims, I've never changed any. After a tank has been running for a year or so, I just do a rinse on both hard and soft media the same way in old tank water and rarely replace either until the soft gets too ragged to lay flat, etc.
 
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