Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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scott0402 12-06-2008 04:06 PM

help with "emporer" filter
Hi all,
I have 2 emporer 400's on a 75 gallon freshwater and am very pleased except for the price of replacement filters. Also I've picked up a few "super cartridges" from dr.s foster and smith. Which are basically empty shells that fill up the whole side of each filter. Ok, here is my question...

does anyone know of a source of "safe" polyfiber like on the emporer filters? I'd like to run 1 or 2 of these super cartridges and just stuff them with safe polyfiber. Occasionally I've come across stuff that looks like it might work, but I've been hesitant for fear of potential chemicals in the stuff.

In advance thank you very much.

Oldman47 12-07-2008 07:04 PM

If all you want is polyester filler, the Walmart carries it for pillow stuffing. You do not want the specially treated fire retardant fiberfill, just the plain unadulterated type. With that type of cartridge, you could also go out and get some good filter media like sponge or ceramic media at the LFS.
Stop changing those filters right now no matter what. When you replace the filter, the fish get to live through a whole new cycle so it is a terrible idea to replace the cartridges. Instead just rinse them out in used tank water and put them back into the filter. It is not only cheaper but it preserves the biofilter that has built up in the cartridge. The carbon bit that they put into one of those cartridges is only good for about a week so don't worry about it being worn out. It never did do much good most of the time they would have you leave it in there anyway. You have some used tank water available every week to rinse them in because it comes out of your tank for the partial water change.

Tyyrlym 12-08-2008 10:50 AM

When it comes to the bio-wheel type filters though the wheel itself is a much better place for the bacteria to colonize and that's where they do, not as much on the filters cartridges. I don't rinse both of my Penguin 330's at once regardless.

jeaninel 12-08-2008 11:10 AM

Yup, that's why I like the biowheels so much. You don't have to worry as much about harming your bacteria if you change out cartridges. I have an Emperor 280 and Penguin 350. I just swish mine in used tank water to clean them and put them back in. If they are falling apart or really gunked up and gross than I will replace them. I only run carbon if I need to remove any medication so I just slit the top open and dump the carbon out. This way you can buy the carbon in bulk and refill. I haven't touched my biowheels. The Penguin has been running for about 16 months.

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