How to safely change an aquarium filter cartridge? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-27-2014, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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How to safely change an aquarium filter cartridge?

Hello, I have had a 5 gallon tank set up for almost half a year, but have never changed the filter cartridge during this time. I was told that its not necessary to change unless its literally falling apart, and that advise has proved fine so far. But now the time has come to change it, but I don't know how to go about it without messing up the colonies of beneficial bacteria that live on the cartridge. My filter is just a simple one with a one piece cartridge, I think its called a tetra whisper internal filter. I can open a thickish bag, and all thats inside is some carbon. How would I take this one out, and put in a new one, without stalling the nitrogen cycle? I was thinking maybe to take out the plastic brace, so it becomes just a media bag filled with charcoal, then cut it in half at the seams, and put half of it into the new cartridge in the same tank, and half in my power filter in a 20 gallon tank i'm cycling, to seed it. Would this work? Thanks in advance for any advice!
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-27-2014, 05:34 PM
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here is what i do. after about 2 months i take out the carbon in the cartridge, and then i just put it back in. about every 6 months i rinse it out the cartridge with water FROM THE TANK. if u leave carbon in a cartridge for too long it can release all of the toxins it previously absorbed. i hope this helps! :)
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-28-2014, 10:17 AM
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Respectfully, I disagree with the above assessment on charcoal. After it has been spent, it just becomes filter media. I also have tetra whisper internal filters. When it is time to replace them with a new cartridge, I cut the top off, dump out the charcoal and place it in back of a new cartridge. I usually leave it in there for up to a months time.

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