Most of the carbon are low quality and usually used up in 2-4 weeks, I don't use carbon when a water change will do the same thing-remove odors, tannins, medication. Use of carbon is a personal choice IMO.
okay thanks! How often do I replace the carbon? The filter came with a timestrip supposedly showing when the carbon runs out of it's full "capabilities" but the timestrip was full after only 3 weeks. When is the correct time to do so?
That make things easier, just replace the carbon only as per the package direction and only give the filter media itself a swish/rinse 1-2 times a month, I would not change the filter media itself until it is falling apart and just replace the carbon.
I use a tetra whisper pf10 filter is the filter media basically the filter cartridge? Cuz my cartridge is able to open the cartridge and remove the carbon&put new carbon in&reseal the artridge. Would I do that to keep the bacteria?
When changing the filter media-cut a piece of the dirty old filter media away from the cartridge and stuff it in the filter with the new filter media for a week to 10 days to help seed the new filter media with the good bacteria from the old filter media, you can use a rubberband or paper clip to attach it, depending on the type of filter media you use.
What kind of filter and media are you using?
True that too high ammonia can cause some issues, I would make a 25% water change until you get the ammonia down to about 3-4ppm, I would also lower the temp to 80's area too.
Filter media, if you want to use carbon-go by the package direction on changing but cut the old media off and add to the new media for a week-10 days to seed the new media to prevent a mini-cycle.
If you don't want to use carbon (I don't) you can either make your own filter media or remove the carbon from the store bought media and change it when it is falling apart (1-2 times a year) with just swish/rinse in tank water 1-2 times a month or when the flow slows.
OLF, i have some questions about cycling. I have a 5.5 Gallon tank heated to 90 degrees rightnow. No real plants used. I'm using the cycling with raw shrimp method and my ammonia hit 8.0 yesterday and i removed the shrimp. But today i read that having ammonia that high will actually slow the cycling speed of my tank. Is this true? if so, should i do a water change and how much% ? thank you