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post #1 of 6 Old 02-13-2013, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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help choosing right filter cartridges

so i have a aqua tech 30-60 for my 50 gallon freshwater tank. i got the filter with the tank and it has these charcoal looking cartridges in it. I am not sure if these are the best to use and wondering if there is something that will work better. thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-13-2013, 10:47 PM
Hey Spartan,

Like the name by the way. Anyway most standard filter media that come inside filters are ok to use. I do have some questions though. The charcoal looking things inside the filter is carbon.

Is your 55 gallon aquarium a live planted aquarium? If so carbon is not good to use as it removes a lot of the minerals and nutrients live plants use to grow. If your tank has fake plants then you are ok. I have a 75 gallon planted tank with a Marineland emperor bio wheel running. When I buy new filter cartridge I just cut into the foam media with a knife or scissor make a very fine cut and shake out the carbon before running it in the filter. As far as other media to use, I'm not really sure maybe someone here can help you better on that.

Hope this helps
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-14-2013, 04:48 AM
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I do the same as OSagent23 with my planted tanks. If your tank will not be planted with live plants, it is usually recommended to change the charcoal cartridges every two weeks. If you wait too long to change them, the impurities leach back out.

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post #4 of 6 Old 02-14-2013, 06:34 AM
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Can by foam or polyester from craft store,walmart,and cut to fit opening in nearly any filter.
Don't have to use cartridges at all.(save a lot of money).
I ran Emperor Filter's by Marineland for long time, and just removed the cartridges first thing and stuffed the opening's with foam,or polyester.
Worked just fine.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-14-2013, 08:24 AM
I've had a couple of small Aquatech 5/15 that I used for 5/10g tanks. You could custom cut some foam to fit in there and maybe that's an option for you. Another option would be to 86 the cartridge and stuff the cavity with polyester fiber.

However, the amount of carbon inside those cartridges is very small and is effective for a very short period (prolly a week at best). I'd suggest you use the cartridges until they nearly fall apart and just periodically rinse them to remove the crud. You'll find that they will last a long time... and if you do see a need for periodic use of carbon, well then you replace the cartridge.

Carbon gets a bad wrap from 'plant people' because it adsorbs a wide range of impurities (including nutrients) that plants need. For a moderate to heavily planted tank that gets ample weekly water change volume and is dosed with fertilizer, then carbon would be counter productive and an unnecessary expense.
On the other hand, carbon also adsorbs impurities that plants don't use, so in some situations, periodic use can be effective in creating even greater water purity.

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-14-2013, 09:11 AM
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Have used the Aquatech 30/60 20/40 Most of the good bacteria will colonize the black coarse pad so replacing the cartridge with foam should pose no problem's.
Would leave the black coarse pad and clean it when it get's caked with gunk to the point it hamper's the flow from the filter.
Be sure and clean it in old water you remove from the tank, or dechlorinated water.
Might also hunt down a small brush that will allow you to clean the impeller assembly and lift tube.
Don't believe you can remove the impeller on these filter's(I tried but feared breaking it ) but should try and keep the tube clear, and maybe pipe cleaner or something similar to poke around the impeller to remove trapped gunk once a month or so.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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