To clean (my Eheim) or not to clean? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-18-2011, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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To clean (my Eheim) or not to clean?

That is the question. ;)

So I got some flourite as a substrate and was told not to rinse it before I put it in the tank- that I could just let the filter take care of it. I mixed it with a something that they call 'mesh' which to me seems like a slightly larger grain sand.

So I filled the tank and of course it turned into a muddy brown mess. But the filter took care of it mostly over a couple of days. It was still cloudy, however, so I did a 50% water change trying to syphon some of the dust out of the substrate.

Then I went and bought some plants, and when I went to put them in the tank, it's stirred up a ton of dust again and my tank was another brown muddy mess. This morning it had cleared a little bit, and today I bought some of that clarity stuff that Seachem sells. I think the filter will probably take care of it, but now my question is - do I clean the filter now, because it's probably filled with a ton of brown dusty gunk, or do I just not worry, and leave it? This is my first external canister filter - my prior tank seven years ago had an HOB and you could easily see if the filters were dirty. My filter now is in Eheim 2217, my tank is 65 gallons. It's brand new with no fish and now just a few plants.

Thanks for your input!
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Last edited by magpie; 11-18-2011 at 10:23 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-18-2011, 11:20 PM
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I would not clean the filter unless you notice a performance difference. Such as the amount of water coming out the spraybar (if you have one? ) or the output point. Till that time I wouldn't bother cleaning in for a couple of months. I have a Ehiem 2213 and this is how I treat mine. It was always worked great!
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-18-2011, 11:44 PM
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My advice is a bit different.... I would suggest you check your filter to see how gunked up it is and if the filter media is clogged, you go ahead and clean it by rinsing it in tank water that has been syphoned out of the tank.

According to Foster & Smith's website, Flourite should be rinsed before use, hence the cloudy water:

"Although pre-washed, Flourite™ should be rinsed before use to remove residual dust. Filling tank slowly and dispersing water so that the Flourite™ bed is not disturbed can also minimize dust. Slight initial cloudiness is normal and will clear rapidly (2–12 hours). Use of a Water Clarifier will aid in water clearing."

Also, I would guess that your media isn't fine enough to remove all the suspended particles from the Flourite so several additional water changes may be needed, or the use of a diotomaceous earth type filter.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-18-2011, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I put the Clarity in and it worked very well. Gave the Eheim just the help it needed.

I think I am just used to HOB filters. Maybe I'm being paranoid because of it. :)

Edit: just saw the second post. Hmmmm... I can't help but think its all gunked up... I guess it wouldn't hurt to look. Need to go look at instructions on how to do it now.


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post #5 of 8 Old 11-19-2011, 07:55 AM
Yep, it never hurts to check and service a filter routinely or in this case following a 'dirty or foul event'. Just make sure you use tank or dechlorinated water and are gentle with any bio-media.

Lesson learned though - all substrates should be rinsed clean before putting in the tank. I decided to add some pool filter sand I had on hand to my natural gravel substrate (really like the look by the way!). Anyway, I proceeded outside to rinse/wash in a bucket. I was surprised how much time and effort it took to remove the fines (dust like particles) from the sand. It would have made a heck of a mess in the tank if I hadn't washed it thoroughly.

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-19-2011, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Definitely a lesson learned! I should have bought the clarity sooner.. It cleared it all up in a couple hours. Looks sparkling clear now! I think I *heart* my Eheim. ;) I also can't believe how quiet it is! You'd never know there was a large tank in the room. How technology has changed in 10 years....
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-19-2011, 04:32 PM
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Yes I would at least open the filter to inspect. It doesn't take long to to and it's better than hoping it's not too clogged. If there is a bunch of gunk, lightly rinse the media in tank water like was said before. If only some media it very dirty, clean it but not the media that looks good as this will help keep the beneficial bacteria.

You should always wash substrate like was said before, I also always wash anything that goes into my tank or filter system.

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-19-2011, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magpie View Post
Definitely a lesson learned! I should have bought the clarity sooner.. It cleared it all up in a couple hours. Looks sparkling clear now! I think I *heart* my Eheim. ;) I also can't believe how quiet it is! You'd never know there was a large tank in the room. How technology has changed in 10 years....
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It's your Eheim, not the 10 years magpie.

I bought my two Eheim canisters in 1996 and 1997, and they were silent then and they are still running silent now with never a problem. When I had my two large tanks in the same room back then with the Eheims, you could sit in the room at night and hear a pin drop. But not a sound from the filters. Until one has experienced this, it probably seems unbelievable. Eheim make very good filters. And they are silent.

On the other initial issue, yes, i would check the filters and clean if necessary. I set up my 70g with Flourite back in March. I rinsed the Flourite, more than probably they recommend. The tank was cloudy for days, and then not "clear" for weeks. [I don't believe in using "clarifiers" but as you have no fish, I suppose it can't hurt. Do some major water changes before adding fish though.] Suddenly, it was crystal clear; took maybe 2 months. It is the bacteria though as well as the substrate, in a new tank.

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]

Last edited by Byron; 11-19-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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