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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone!
Today I found an old fishtank in my grandparents garage! It's an AquaOne XPression 17L and it has a cartridge system. I would have to clean out the area meant for the cartridges and then go purchase all the missing pieces (thankfully there's a list inside the tank) so I was wondering if I should just gut it and then just buy my own filter. I'm not 100% sure if this would be better and I'm worried about damaging the tank so I wanted to see what other people think. Also, if I do remove it, what would be the best method?

Photos of the tank here:

https://freeimage.host/i/d8Bf9a

https://freeimage.host/i/d8BBwv

https://freeimage.host/i/d8BqAJ

(it's not letting me attach them properly)
 

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Personally I would keep the system intact as long as it meets 3 conditions:


1. The pump still works adequately
2. The overall filtration is adequate
3. The filter cartridges are available and cheap



Replacing it with something else if those things are ok would just be a waste of time and money. #3 is the easiest workaround depending on how DIY you are and how the internal setup is. I buy filter media in bulk and make my own replacements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Personally I would keep the system intact as long as it meets 3 conditions:


1. The pump still works adequately
2. The overall filtration is adequate
3. The filter cartridges are available and cheap
The entirety of the inside filter is gone (and there are some small plants growing in there too) so I'd have to buy and replace everything in order to test how adequate the filtration is and if it even works when I replace the parts. I was mainly asking because I was worried gutting it might wreck/break the whole tank so I wanted to be 100% sure. Thanks for your advice : )
 

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I would definitely keep it. Now if the pump is missing, there are replacements online like amazon. You can do whatever filter media you'd like in there. Sponges, biomedia etc. You wouldn't have to get the exact replacements. That to me would be the easiest way then trying to remove it. Also I'd assume you can tuck a heater in there if needed.
 

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Even if the pump has to be replaced, I would leave the filter chamber intact and DIY something. I'm trying to figure out how to get a chamber like that in one of my tanks. Even if you used nothing but a small pump and a piece of foam, you would be doing great. It looks like the hardest part would be trying to control the output of the pump. You could make a spraybar or you may be able to find something in the appropriate size to just stick in that hole.


https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Aquarium-Outlet-Fitting-Duckbill/dp/B00R1J67FA
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you both for your help! : )
You stopped me making any rash decisions and removing the whole system. I'm going to clean out the plants and start working on fixing the pump and everything soon.
 

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My first thought is to agree with the other respondents; keep it in tact and fill it with bio media (in a bag) or floss. BUT if it is not going to be easy to maintain when filled with floss and especially biomedia I would remove it!

To me if a filter setup isn't easy to maintain it is worthless!
 

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Much depends on how the tank will be used and part of that is your understanding what a filter does, so that you can make better decisions on what you are more likely to need. We often get to involved with using the designs filter folks put out but they don't know what we might do either, so it fits better if WE make that decision.
Most of us get the idea of mechanical and "straining" the debris out of the water so it is hidden in the filter where we clean it out and we don't see it! Bio is a bit harder to figure as how much bio filter media we need and depends on what fish, home many and what type and size as well as how much water we change. Even how long the tank has been up changes how much bacteria is in the filter versus all over everything else like walls, plants, etc.
An old tank with lots of slick feeling on almost all surfaces means we don't really need to pack a filter with good stuff for bacteria to grow on as it's already all over things!
Chemical like charcoal? Most of us lay it back as too messy and too not needed!
An 8 inch pleco may need a big mechanical just to clear his "dailly deposit" while a half dozen neon tetra and lots of plants may just need something really easy to swish out once in a while!
So look it over and decide, do you need lots of straining for debris or lots more of converting ammonia/ nitrite? A filter box of that sort leaves lots of options so I would likely keep it.
 
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