Changing the filter cartridges..... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Cool Changing the filter cartridges.....

Hi all,

I recently set-up my first tank (around 5/6 weeks ago). It's a 60 litre tank with a few live plants and the following fish:

2 Silver Sharks
3 Guppies
10 Neon Tetras
2 Sucker fish
3 Balloon Mollies (plus 14 baby balloons that I have in a small hatching tank inside the main tank)

My main question is - how often should the filter cartridges be changed? They're looking pretty dirty now and I've read varying suggestions online of every 2 weeks, every month and even longer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 09:19 AM
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Replace them when they start to fall apart. For regular maintenance you should just rinse them in a bucket of old tank water that you remove during water changes. Don't rinse them under tap water.

If you do need to replace them, only do one at a time (it sounds like you have more than one). Replace one and then wait a few weeks before replacing the other.

Hope that helps.

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jimmyfish (10-24-2012)
post #3 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 10:05 AM
I'm not a big fan of cartridge filters except that they are probably the easiest of all filters to service.
As Romad says, use those filter cartridges until they're falling apart and just rinse them in tank or treated water at every water change so you don't kill off the bacteria.

Now once your tank is established (about 6 months) this becomes less of an issue. Many think that the filter is the only place bacteria will colonize. This notion is perhaps fostered by many filters that use special bio-media. But in an established tank, there is beneficial bacteria in the substrate and some on the decor, so changing a filter cartridge becomes less important. Still, it serves as a good mechanical filter as long as it holds together and does the job and there's no sense in throwing good tools away!

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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 10-10-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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jimmyfish (10-24-2012)
post #4 of 10 Old 10-10-2012, 01:10 PM
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Comment not related to the question, the silver sharks, are these the ones whiskers or balas? Either way they will get too large for the tank.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys,

I have three cartridge filters - it was my first tank so I tried getting the full set-up, down the years I'll upgrade to better tanks etc. The tube leading up to the filter is gettind pretty dirty - should this be cleaned or is this beneficial bacteria as well?

Regarding the silver sharks, they are silver bala sharks. I'm aware that they can grow pretty big but was under the impression that this would take a long time and that they would only grow based on their habitat - is this not true?

I recently added a few cherry shrimps to the tank to help clean it up and the silver sharks seem quite keen on those, although the shrimps are a bit too quick for them, however I haven't seen as much of the shrimps as I'd hoped to, they seem to be hiding in my shipwreck ornament away from the sharks and don't come out very much - is this normal? Are they not compatible tank mates?

Thanks

Thanks
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 11:41 AM
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Get rid of the piece of crap filter and go spend 20 or 30 dollars on acua clear 20 or 30.

Sorry to be mean, but those filters are garbage
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackInAction View Post
Get rid of the piece of crap filter and go spend 20 or 30 dollars on acua clear 20 or 30.

Sorry to be mean, but those filters are garbage
No mention was made of the brand of filter the OP was/is using.
While perhap's not liked by a few, or many,,they do what they were designed to do.(proper sized for volume of water).
I used these type' s of filter's for nearly 30 year's and managed just fine thank you.
Is no such filter as the one you noted ,did you mean Aquaclear?

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
No mention was made of the brand of filter the OP was/is using.
While perhap's not liked by a few, or many,,they do what they were designed to do.(proper sized for volume of water).
I used these type' s of filter's for nearly 30 year's and managed just fine thank you.
Is no such filter as the one you noted ,did you mean Aquaclear?


In the long run he'll be saving money by not replacing filters every three months or so because these filters fall apart when cleaning them after months of abuse
Hes better off with a sponge filter that will last for years.


There was a miss typo from me ,yes i meant to say aqua clear .
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BackInAction View Post
In the long run he'll be saving money by not replacing filters every three months or so because these filters fall apart when cleaning them after months of abuse
Hes better off with a sponge filter that will last for years.


There was a miss typo from me ,yes i meant to say aqua clear .
What filter's are you referring to that fall apart after three month's?Even cheap aquatech's(walmart) run much longer than this.
I have used nearly all of the popular HOB filter's, and most will last much longer than three month's with proper cleaning,care.
Would agree that the Aquaclear's are perhap's the best HOB filter's nowday's.
Hydro series sponge filter's are also hard to beat, but the trouble is finding air pump's to power them that don't make too much noise for tank's in bedroom's .
Course you can run the sponge filter's with powerhead's but perhap's that is another topic.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
The tube leading up to the filter is gettind pretty dirty - should this be cleaned or is this beneficial bacteria as well?
If it is easily taken off during the weekly water change, rinsing it out (you can get a filter cleaning brush, or an old manual toothbrush may work, depending) won't hurt. I must confess to leaving my canister filter hoses for longer than i probably should, provided the water is easily getting through.

Quote:
Regarding the silver sharks, they are silver bala sharks. I'm aware that they can grow pretty big but was under the impression that this would take a long time and that they would only grow based on their habitat - is this not true
No, it is not true. Fish grow constantly, both externally and internally (organ development). When the tank is too small for the fish, stunting can result; this means the internal development is abnormal and down the road the poor fish has health problems it would not otherwise have, and usually early demise (shorter lifespan). The physical space will retard the fish's external growth too, so this may be how the fable about fish growing to the tank size arose; way back then aquarists had less scientific foundation that we now have.

There are two components to tank space. One is the physical space the fish "needs" to be itself, and this has to increase [or be large enough to begin with] as the fish develops. Second is the water quality; fish release pheromones and allomones and these have to be diluted and removed, since they affect the fish itself and other fish in the species (pheromones), and other species (allomones). These chemical substances can also stunt the fish, and stunt other fish, and several other things too.

The Bala Shark is in our profile [are you familiar with the profiles?], click the shaded name for the profile. It gives the minimum tank size and the number of fish in the group where this is relevant, as it certainly is here. I won't repeat all that the profile says, so please have a read.

Quote:
I recently added a few cherry shrimps to the tank to help clean it up and the silver sharks seem quite keen on those, although the shrimps are a bit too quick for them, however I haven't seen as much of the shrimps as I'd hoped to, they seem to be hiding in my shipwreck ornament away from the sharks and don't come out very much - is this normal? Are they not compatible tank mates?
As noted in the profile, the sharks will eat smaller fish. And crustaceans are a natural food item of almost all tropical fish. The shrimp will not likely win this game.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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