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grannyfish 07-24-2012 12:53 PM

filter change in new tank???
While a tank is cycling, should the filter media be changed?

I have a Marineland penquin bio 100. I know the info that came with it said to change the filter about every 2 weeks, but I think I read on a post somewhere not to change it that often while the tank is cycling as it helps to establish more beneficial bacteria to start with.

It that true and if so, when should it be changed? It does have some accumulated crud on it.

Geomancer 07-24-2012 01:10 PM

I don't replace my filter media until they fall apart, or loose shape so gaps form letting water past without going through.

I don't use carbon though, activated carbon only lasts a couple weeks before getting exhausted, but only the carbon needs replaced. The filter pad does not.

Better filters will have each part seperate so you don't have to replace it all at once, but most HOBs use cartridges. This is why for a HOB I recommend the Aquaclear filters (or canisters for larger tanks).

I would not replace the cartridge during the cycle, the filter is where most of the bacteria will be in a new tank. Eventually it will be everywhere but in the start most is in the filter.

If yours is cartridge based, I recommend getting a pre-filter sponge to put on the HOB's intake tube. You just squeeze it out a few times in old tank water and put it back on, forever. I get the ones at Petsmart made by Fluval, it's for their Edge tanks but it fits on pretty much every HOB in existance, they are around $2. That way you always have something on the filter keeping bacteria plus it helps keep the pad clear from getting clogged.

grannyfish 07-24-2012 02:18 PM

I thought the biowheel was more or less the permanent biological filter. Isn't that the purpose of the biowheel?

Geomancer 07-24-2012 02:38 PM

It is, but the bacteria forms on every surface in the tank. I would still keep the cartridge until you're cycled.

grannyfish 07-24-2012 02:45 PM

OK. Thanks! I have been reading other posts about filter changes and some recommend never changing them...

Geomancer 07-24-2012 06:38 PM

I don't change mine, until they disintegrate or loose shape.

My 125's never been changed, my 10 and 20 have had the same pad for over 4 months now.

At every water change I rinse them out to clear out any debris, otherwise all that's in them is the beneficial bacteria. Filters do not remove 'toxins' from the water, hence why weekly water changes are still needed no mater how many filters you have.

Chesh 07-24-2012 07:13 PM

I have 2 tanks with that funny little biowheel filter, one is 2.5, and one is 5g. . .and I've NEVER changed the pad! I give it a swish in dirty tank water every other time I do a water change - or just when I can see debris on the top of the pad (in my case, this is usually plant debris). Since the water doesn't exactly run THROUGH it, and it's got the plastic bottom on it. . . *shrug* Mine has never lost shape or gotten holes in it like the HOB filters do. But that's a smaller tank - I've never had them in a larger one.

Either way. . . I'd leave it well alone while the tank is cycling. :)

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