changing filter
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changing filter

This is a discussion on changing filter within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> i have a tetra whisper for a 20 galllon it has what i think is a sponge filter and then a carbon insert which ...

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Old 10-29-2009, 05:48 PM   #1
 
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Question changing filter

i have a tetra whisper for a 20 galllon it has what i think is a sponge filter and then a carbon insert which is actually what catches all the crud right now my water is flowing through it as well as OVER it...it is pretty cruddy looking what should i do?!?! it has been 4 weeks since i last changed it
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:00 PM   #2
 
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Molliefan, ditch the carbon - just another thing to have to worry about and replace. There should be a Sponge for just mechanical, and then another black sponge that is used just for biological filtration. The first sponge needs to be rinsed regularly, I'd suggest every 1-2 weeks. And by rinsed I mean rinsed in old aquarium water, not under a faucet. After rinsing it several times, the filter pads tend to lose their filtering capability over time, so they will eventually need to be replaced. My suggestion would be to not buy the whisper brand pads, or any carbon, or anything like that. Instead, buy the kind of filter pad you can cut yourself, which is a blue/white pad usually. It is a lot more economical, and they last a while. The biological sponge you should not rinse out, although I have found on my whisper 40 filters that they themselves do get clogged, and what I do is fill a small bucket with aquarium water and swoosh them around gently in there to loosen things up. You can even reuse the backeria colonies that fall out on other tanks, other media, or even to water your plants, hah.

Let me know if you have any questions, I typed this so quickly so maybe some parts make no sense.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
 
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i went to the store tonight to pick up a new tank so i can upgrade my bette from a 1.5 to 5 gallon and i was looking for some sort of filter with out the carbon and had no luck....yes what i thought was a sponge is the black bio filter thingamewhatsit you mentioned.....another question....ive set up the new 5 gallon to start the cycling process and ive left the carbon filter out of that.....should i take some sand (i have sand not gravel) out of my established 20 gallon and put it in the new 5 gallon filter?? and if the answer is yes....i dont have any pantyhose or such material laying around....can i use a sock?!?! might sound like a silly question....
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
 
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It's hard to find a filter that doesn't advertise the use of carbon, because it's so popular. It's okay to buy one that states it, you just don't need to actually use it, and instead use the space for bio/mechanical media.

I wouldn't bother with putting the sand in the new tank. What you could do it use a dirty filter pad from the established filter on the new filter and tank and it will really speed things up.

What type of filters do you currently have on the tanks?
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
 
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For a 5 gallon tank with a betta, the best filter is a simple sponge. You can buy them to hook up with a small air pump, or there are some internal filters that are just a small motor and sponge. I have the latter in my 33g and it is perfect; a slight water flow and effective at removing suspended particulate matter. With a betta you should have plants, including floating plants, in the tank anyway, so they will handle the filtration with respect to cleaning the water better than any filter. The sponge will remove particulate matter.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
 
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thank you both for your input...next time i am at the lfs i will see what they have available....
byron....i do plan on adding some plants sometime soon (before adding the betta) do you have any suggestions for easy care floating plants??

in the 20 gallon i have a testra whisper 20-40 but will be upgrading to one for 30-60 and adding somemore plants because the tank is VERY close to completely stocked and i want to make sure they have the proper filtration....in the 5 galllon i have an aqueon for tanks 5-15

Last edited by molliefan09; 10-30-2009 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molliefan09 View Post
thank you both for your input...next time i am at the lfs i will see what they have available....
byron....i do plan on adding some plants sometime soon (before adding the betta) do you have any suggestions for easy care floating plants??

in the 20 gallon i have a testra whisper 20-40 but will be upgrading to one for 30-60 and adding somemore plants because the tank is VERY close to completely stocked and i want to make sure they have the proper filtration....in the 5 galllon i have an aqueon for tanks 5-15
If you're upgrading filters in the 20g I strongly recommend a sponge, nothing more is needed with plants. Other filters will have more water movement than you want or need.

As for floating plants, one of the easiest is the Water Sprite or India Fern, Ceratopteris. It is a fast grower (= very good water filtration), native to the betta's habitat, and its dangling fine roots are excellent bubblenest building sites and food sources. All the gourami and betta species love to cruise through the root masses searching for food tidbits. It doesn't like being subjected to changing water parameters, but once established will grow well. Daughter plants are formed on the leaves by the dozens, and these can be removed as new plants and the older plants discarded; this is the best way to keep the plant in check.

Byron.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
 
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thank you.....i dont understand the hole sponge thing....i have the hang-on the back kind....do i just take out the carbon and put in a sponge?!?!? sorry if these sound like silly questions...im still learning and just dont wanna mess anything up....
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:04 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molliefan09 View Post
thank you.....i dont understand the hole sponge thing....i have the hang-on the back kind....do i just take out the carbon and put in a sponge?!?!? sorry if these sound like silly questions...im still learning and just dont wanna mess anything up....
You mentioned upgrading to another filter earlier, hence my recommendation. For your existing filter, it is fine, the pad(s) are the important parts as they filter particulate matter from the water as it passes through them (they "clear" the water). With plants, I would remove the carbon thing; it isn't needed with plants (they do the filtering better) and it may be removing nutrients. Plus you have to keep replacing the carbon (it wears out within a few weeks or sooner, depending...) which gets expensive for no reason.

A sponge acts exactly the same as the pad in your filter, but a single sponge filter inside the tank is a bit easier that a filter hanging on the back. But the principles are identical. Both the pad in your filter and the sponge also act as media for the colonization of bacteria. Although in a planted tank this is unnecessary, so the water "clearing" job of both is the more important. A simple sponge is usually less expensive to buy new.

And no question is silly when you're learning. Reminds me of a story I once heard: a boy was riding in the car with his father, and asked "how tall is that building?" The father said, "I don't know." The boy then asked, "How long is that bridge?" "I don't know" answered his father. After a few more questons with the same response from his father, the boy asked, "You don't mind me asking you these quesitions, do you dad?" "Of course not," replied his father; "how else are you going to learn anything."

I hope the answers you get from all of us here will be more beneficial.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 10-31-2009 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:39 PM   #10
 
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lol...funny story!!
this is the filter i currently have....
im so lost it isnt even funny.....im normally not this ignorant about things but for some reason im just not comprehending......
is this what a sponge filter is?!?! or can i just get a sponge filter and cut it to fit inside my current one?!?!?!
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