Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Guber 02-12-2009 11:18 PM

Power Filter Question
I'm still barely starting the cycling process of my tank. But i'd like to be prepared ahead of time. My 20 gallon has a Tetra Whisper Power Filter 20 and I'm not entirely sure on how the whole bio bag etc works when needing to replace it. All i know is in the filter there is the bio bag, and a piece of black foam on a little plastic frame. Any help is appreciated!:shock:

aspects 02-13-2009 03:27 AM

traditionally, it should be replaced weekly

Twistersmom 02-13-2009 06:29 AM

The black foam is the area for your bacteria to grow. You should only take it out of the filter when it looks very dirtly, wash it only in old tank water. Washing it with tap water would kill your good bacteria. The foam should never be replaced. You can do the same with the bio bags. They realy only need to replaced when they are starting to fall apart, or once a month.

Guber 02-13-2009 09:34 AM

1 Attachment(s)
oh ok thanks a lot. so should i replace the bio bag after my cycle before i add fish? and also, if you guys had to say...what is this ammonia reading at? (sorry about that last question, kinda dumb but i'd like to get other opinions so i know i'm doing this right)

Attachment 837

aunt kymmie 02-13-2009 11:53 AM

That reading is a bit above 4.0 heading towards 8.0. Are there fish in this tank???

Oldman47 02-13-2009 01:13 PM

You do not ever replace that filter cartridge. You do a partial water change every week or two and if the water flow in the filter has slowed down a lot, you rinse the cartridge in the old tank water before you throw the water out. The filter cartridge has almost all of your beneficial bacteria in it and it should be kept until it falls apart.

Twistersmom 02-13-2009 02:46 PM

What are you using to cycle the tank? Pure ammonia?

Guber 02-13-2009 06:00 PM

There is definitely no fish in there. I read somewhere on some forums that ace hardware janitorial strength ammonia is fine so i'm using that. there are no ingredients on the bottle it just says "Contains 10% ammonium hidroxide on the front of it.

aunt kymmie 02-13-2009 06:19 PM

Fishless cycling, good for you! :-D

Twistersmom 02-13-2009 08:40 PM

I would not touch the bio bag. I would leave it in there through the cycle and keep it in there when you add your fish. Good bacteria is growing on it as well. It could hurt your cycle if you change it out. I would just clean in in old tank water and only replace it when starts to fall apart. Good luck with your fishless cycle!

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