Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (
-   -   Help with clean water / filter question (

trishalove 10-26-2012 10:45 AM

Help with clean water / filter question
Good morning. I'm a newb. I have a 20g with a Tetra Whisper 30EX power filter. The filter has a "bioscrubber" which just looks like a piece of plastic where I assume bacteria grows on this and I do not remove it. It also a carbon filter insert. It has a timestrip that tells you when to change the carbon filter. Usually after about 3 weeks. The tank has 2 guppies, 2 corys, 1 molly, 1 play, 5 neons & a mystery snail. All water params are 0. A few live plants. I change 30-40% of water once a week.

I also have a 2g Fluval Spec with a few shrimp and small live plants. The Fluval came with a rather large (compared to the small size of tank) sponge filter. Inside the sponge are two cut out areas where there is a place for two bags - one bag of bio balls - and one bag of carbon. I replace the carbon once a month.

The 2g is crystal clear. The 20g is clear but not crystal clear like the 2g. There is a marked difference. Obviously I want the 20g to look as clear as the 2g. I really don't think there is any kinda bloom going on. It looks more like small particles making it a bit hazy but not milky.

Or maybe I just need to scrub the inside of the walls? Best way to clean the walls?

Should I be using a different type of filter insert besides this carbon one that goes with the Tetra Whisper?


Romad 10-26-2012 11:14 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum :wave:

Is the 20 gallon glass or acrylic? They sell tank scrubber pads for a few dollars for each. The white ones are for acrylic, the blue ones are for glass. When you do your water changes, wipe down the inside glass with the pads to prevent build-up.

As for changing your filter pads - you don't need to change them until they're falling apart or so clogged that they're not doing any good. You can avoid them becoming clogged by taking out the pad and swishing it in the bucket of your tank water that you remove during water changes.

I think they recommend that you change them so often because the carbon inside doesn't do much good after a month or so but to be honest, it's not necessary in the first place unless you need to remove trace meds. after treating a sick fish or the whole tank.

trishalove 10-26-2012 11:40 AM

Thanks Roman. It is glass. I will order some of those scrubbers and try it out. Is there some type filter media that is better than others to remove particles? I guess if you use different types of sponges you just cut them to fit in your tank? I was reading about people using poly fill found in pillows. I don't really understand how to do this though. My filter has this loose tray type thing that the carbon filter goes into. Not sure how to stuff poly fill in this loose tray... or does it go inside some other type of bag? I'm clueless. Thanks

Romad 10-26-2012 12:09 PM

It's completely up to you. The pre-made cartridges are certainly easier but there's no reason that I can think of that you couldn't use bulk filter media. Having said that, I'm not really familiar with the filter you have.

One type:
Micron Filter Pads

The coarser pads trap bigger particles and the polishing "floss" traps finer particles. A combination of both might work best. In my 10 gallon quarantine/hospital tank, I use a premade cartridge but cut the carbon out of it and just leave the floss on the cartridge frame. I have also just used bulk floss in the filter when I didn't have the premades.

The key is not to restrict your water flow.

trishalove 10-26-2012 12:16 PM

Thanks. Looks like the premade filters I have contain a coarse section and also a multi layer section and carbon in the middle. Guess that's about as good as it gets. I see the carbon is not necessary but is it helpful at all or harmful?

Romad 10-26-2012 12:22 PM

It's not harmful at all. You just don't want carbon in your filter while using medication in the tank or if you have live plants.

You do want to use carbon when removing trace meds. from the tank after treatment.

trishalove 10-26-2012 12:33 PM

Oh I didnt know that about live plants. I do have live plants. Guess I should stop using it.

Romad 10-26-2012 01:40 PM

Here's an old but still useful thread on the forum. Hope this helps :)

trishalove 10-26-2012 01:56 PM

Thanks that was helpful. I am going to remove the carbon.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome