When to change filter
Hi everyone, All my tanks that I've had had power heads on them so no filter. My new 29 gallon came with a Whisper 10-i30, My question is when do I change the filter?
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Clean once a week. If its a carbon filter clean once a week, change every 4 weeks.
I am not sure if that model is a permanent sponge or a disposable. The permanent sponge just needs to cleaned every couple of months. When it looks dirty try to rinse it off with tank water that you have removed during a water change. Just do not clean the filter with tap water as the chlorine can kill the beneficial bacteria. Killing the bacteria could cause your tank to have to cycle again.
The disposable filter pads are usually listed as replacing them monthly. I use mine for 2 to 4 months depending on the tank they are in. I just clean them and put them back. The charcoal that is in the filter will likely not be active after the first month but I have never been to concerned with charcoal.
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.
Thanks everyone for the info.
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