emperor 400 questions for a beginner - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-21-2010, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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emperor 400 questions for a beginner

I have the an emperor 400, it so much quieter than the aquaclear 70 I used to run. I am still really new to aquariums and what to do.

The emperor 400 came with two filter cartridges and 2 empty cartridges. I was wondering how often on a 55gallon tank , I should be changing the cartridges. I just completed my cycle and my fish tank actually has a pesky smell to it, so I was thinking of switching the cartridges.

I have also heard people say they add things to the blank cartridges... how do I do that? (Beginner again sorry). Do I need to buy a box of just product and fill it in, or does it need to be marineland products that fit into the empty cartridges?

Any advice and help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-21-2010, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to add really quick

My ammonia, nitrites, nitrates are all at 0 and I have 4 danios in the tank. The tank finished cycling 3 days ago and I bought the danios 2 days ago.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-21-2010, 08:41 PM
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By empty cartridges are you referring to the media baskets like this http://store.seacorals.net/maemoemrplme.html ? I buy polyfiber quilt batting in a roll (from Walmart in the craft dept) and cut it to size to fit in the media baskets. I use two layers of the polyfiber. When I clean the filters I just rinse the polyfiber in used tank water and put it back in the media baskets. About every couple months when it's gotten really dirty and is kind of falling apart I replace it with fresh polyfiber.

For the pesky smell you might try fresh carbon. I don't run carbon all the time but if I need it I open the media baskets and just sandwich a layer of carbon between the polyfiber layers. After a week or two the carbon has lost its effectiveness and I dump it out.

What's nice about the media baskets is that it is so much cheaper than buying those expensive cartridges. The roll of polyfill I have I think I paid like $5 or $6 bucks for and I've had it well over a year. I've only used not even half the roll and that's for 3 tanks that run Penguin 350's with the media baskets. Those blue filter cartridges can be expensive to buy all the time so this is a nice alternative. Also, you can just rinse those cartridges in used tank water and put them back in your filter. The carbon loses its effectivesness but you can just cut a slit in the top and dump it out.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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