12-25-2012, 04:39 PM
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When to service a filter is a very arbitrary thing with no good rule of thumb. If you over feed and or have a lot of fish and/or the fish you have are very messy, you may need to service the filter each and every week.
If not, the filter may run a month or more and be just fine. Too many variables for steadfast rules.
I think the Whisper is a cartridge filter. You can rinse and reuse cartridges until they all but fall apart. The use life of the carbon is only a week or so, but that's okay.
Also, if you have a new tank, you want to be careful and always rinse the cartridge in tank or treated water - this is less important in an established tank as there develops more BB in the substrate than the filter.
Some folks stress too much about cartridges...but eventually they all have to be replaced and it's done w/o the disaster some fear.
So service the filter and evaluate it's condition - soon you'll be able to judge how often it needs to be torn apart and cleaned.
Edit: I'll just add that in many ways, the filter media is more of a bio-filter than meets the eye. Specialized bacteria will work to breakdown trapped solid wastes into dissolved organics - a very natural process. In some respects, cleaning a filter too much, too often may be less productive than some may think... food for thought.
Last edited by AbbeysDad; 12-26-2012 at 10:48 AM..