Filter Cartridge - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Filter Cartridge

Hi,
I need to change the cartridge in my Top Fin 30 filter because it is starting to effect the water flow. I know simply changing the cartridge will kill most good bacteria, and I don't want to re-cycle my tank. In most of the things I have read on changing filter cartridges, there is something about bio-wheels, sponges, things I don't have :(. My filter only has the cartridge in it.

I know I can somehow use the current cartridge and move some of the media into the new cartridge, but I'm not really clear on that. Can someone help me out?

Thanks
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 12:50 PM
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I was wondering the same thing. I have an aqueon filter and there's just a catridge in it- nothing else- and I too hear about sponges and such but I only have a catridge. I am in the beginning of cycling my 20 gallon tank and I'm always worrying about what to do when I need to change that catridge. I was considering wedging the onld one in the back behind the new one but I don't know how that will work, especially when there isn't much room and it's affecting the flow. I'm wondering if I should just purchase a sponge for another filter model and just stick it in there, that way bacteria will build up on it so when the catridge is taken out it won't be a huge loss but I'm not certain either. Hopefully someone with experience will be able to answer this one!
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah... I tried stuffing the new cartridge in with the old one but it affected the water flow too much. Sponges look good but I can't get any at the moment :(
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 08:24 PM
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try a fluval edge pre filter sponge on the end of your intake tube. These nifty little sponges fit most common intake tubes and add another "mechanical stage" to your filter. Once installed just rinse along with your cartridge till replacing is due. If you stagger the replacement of the sponge and cart you can safely change one element as needed and keep the bacteria on the other.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 08:47 PM
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So your just replacing it because i'ts gunky?? Why not just clean it off? I just use the sink spray think and clean it that way... really no need to replace...
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 09:09 PM
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best to use old water from your pwc to rinse/clean filters and filter media. At a point rinsing will not be enough and replacing must be done.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pufffreely View Post
best to use old water from your pwc to rinse/clean filters and filter media. At a point rinsing will not be enough and replacing must be done.
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Which is true, I judge mine by texture... it starts too feel slimy when I feel it is not good enough to use anymore... it takes a while though...

See all that attitude, it isn't necessary dude...
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-04-2011, 10:42 AM
A power filter with just a cartridge and no bio-media likely contains only some beneficial bacteria, while the gravel, rocks and decor in the tank contains these beneficial bacteria as well. I'd say you might just clean your existing cartridge to remove solids (be sure not to use chlorinated water), but at some point, you will simply have to replace it to maintain adequate water flow...when that time comes, just replace it - if you are doing other maintenance for the tank properly (gravel siphon 20% weekly) and not over feeding or over crowding, your tank should be fine and a new colony of bacterial will form on the new filter cartridge fairly quickly.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-04-2011, 12:19 PM
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So your just replacing it because i'ts gunky?? Why not just clean it off? I just use the sink spray think and clean it that way... really no need to replace...
I used to do that years ago and didn't think anything of it. But since setting up my new tank a month ago I came on here and I've read that a lot of people on here rinse off filter catridges in a bucket of the aquarium water because if you have chlorine or chloromine in your tap water it can actually kill the bacteria on the catridge and the cycle will have to occur all over again...which takes forever. Not fun!
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-04-2011, 02:11 PM
unless its falling apart like mush, rinse it off with tank water.

If you HAVE to change out the cartridge, you can put in the new cartridge and squeeze the old cartridge into the filter so a bunch of that mulm and bacteria get stuck onto the new foam. A lot of your bacteria is in your substrate and plants and such, at worse, you will get a mini cycle. Unless you have ultra sensitive fish, its unlikely it will hurt your tank that much.

Personally, I would go for one of those filters with the foam + bag of media + bag of media setups. Allows you to staggers media changes as to avoid a new cycle. A friend of mine fills his HOB, a old tetra whisper filter that also only has a cartridge, with ceramic filter media. Basically does the same thing as the cartridge unless you need the carbon and he changes out half the media every half year when they get too yucky.
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