I've got a 30 gallon tank with an Aqua Tech 20-40 filter, which only uses one filter insert. Lately I've been concerned about starting a mini-cycle when I change filter inserts. I haven't noticed any spikes in ammonia or nitrites, but that doesn't stop me from being paranoid.
Would there be any benefit to adding an additional filter so that I'm leaving one partially soiled insert in place when I change the other one? Or is there a better filtration option that is out there? (Of course there is! I got this one at WalMart!)
That is all,
If there is room, I would add an aquarium safe sponge in the filter. Leave it in the filter at all time. If it becomes dirty, just clean it off some in old tank water. If you are looking to buy a new filter Marineland make a nice bio-wheel filter. the bio-wheels are great for bacteria to grow on, and dont need replaced.
The sponge idea is good, it'll give bacteria a place to colonize that isn't changed regularly. If at all possible I'd put the sponge after the material that's already in there to limit the crud that builds up on it.
If you want a new filter a Marineland Penguin 150 or 200 or an Emperor 280 would be good choices.
An additional filter would be fine, as would a sponge filter. Really your choice.
Check out HYDRO sponge filters. You could leave one of these in the tank(excellent biological filter) and whenever you needed to make a tank immediately suitable for fish you would simply put the sponge filter in the tank and could moderatly stock it immediately.Assuming that the sponge is colonized with bacteria.
i and most don't use anything other than dual sponges in an aqua clear. anything other than the sponge isn't going to you a larger bacteria colony. like mentioned, only clean the sponges in old tank water when you do your cleaning. tap water has chlorine and chloramine and your colony won't fair well with these additives. you can also rig a sponge filter around your intake tube. it will lessen the debris that get to your sponges and its another place for bacteria to grow. also clean it in old tank water.
The easiest answer to your dilemma is to stop changing filter cartridges right now. A filter cartridge only really needs to be changed when it falls apart. Until then, try cleaning it by rinsing in old tank water. The only people that actually think it is a good idea to change filter media frequently are the people who sell the stuff.
This is probably the route I'm going to take. This keeps the good microbes in place, and lowers my filter replacement costs.
Everyone else who responded, Thanks! When I upgrade filtration systems, I'll likely try one of the MarineLand products and a sponge filter.
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