02-09-2008, 02:46 PM
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First of all, I must ask if the power filter is your only means of filtration. I will assume that it is since nothing to the contrary was mentioned. By removing the sediment pad, you will also be removing a good portion of biological filtration bacteria. One thing yo may be able to do is to replace the pad, and if possible, leave the old pad in the filters' reservoir. This would allow the bacteria to remain somewhat in tact and in the system.
You need to change pads no less than yearly. That would depend upon how much "clogging" takes place. Most manufacturers suggest 3 month changes with monthly maintainance. You may also want to consider getting additional means of filtration. By having multiple filtration, it allows one to perform maintainance on one elelment of the system without possibly creating a problem while the bio-bed re-establishes itself on the one that had maintainance.