Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   filter change/media change (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/filter-change-media-change-351025/)

Rdcork23 02-14-2014 04:20 PM

filter change/media change
 
How often should I change my filter? Or filter media? I have a 15 gallon tank and some site say every month change entire filter... and then some say just change the media. I also have some filter charcoal and idk if its working or not cause my ammonia and nitrate are still visable and its been about 2 months. Looking for advice on this weatger I should start the cycling process over again or what. My filter now dosnt seem to be green like some people say it should be (the bacteria). So just looking for advice.

Flint 02-14-2014 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rdcork23 (Post 3925793)
How often should I change my filter? Or filter media? I have a 15 gallon tank and some site say every month change entire filter... and then some say just change the media. I also have some filter charcoal and idk if its working or not cause my ammonia and nitrate are still visable and its been about 2 months. Looking for advice on this weatger I should start the cycling process over again or what. My filter now dosnt seem to be green like some people say it should be (the bacteria). So just looking for advice.

You shouldn't change anything in the filter until it is absolutely falling apart. Just rinse it in tank water when you do your weekly water change or if you notice it isn't flowing properly. Do you have fish in the tank? How are you cycling? I have never heard of the filter media turning green to show there is bacteria growing on it, don't use that as a judge.

sandybottom 02-14-2014 05:54 PM

first off,what kind of filter do you have?this will help us know what kind of media you are using. as far as charcoal,it does not work that way.the bacteria takes care of the break down of ammonia etc.it is brown not green.charcoal takes impurities out of the water.it lasts for a few weeks.many keepers only use charcoal to take medications,tannins or smells out of the water.the rest of the time it is not used unless you have pre-made filter cartridges. if you can walk us through your usual filter cleaning it would help.what are your water parameter readings?

Rdcork23 02-14-2014 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flint (Post 3926265)
You shouldn't change anything in the filter until it is absolutely falling apart. Just rinse it in tank water when you do your weekly water change or if you notice it isn't flowing properly. Do you have fish in the tank? How are you cycling? I have never heard of the filter media turning green to show there is bacteria growing on it, don't use that as a judge.

Well I have heard that the filter itself (the white stuff on the outside) will develop a greenish tint to indicate that the bacteria is present, maybe im mistaken. But I cut a hole in the current filter to put new media in it and havnt noticed a change in the chemical levels even after several weeks. Should I put a new filter in and start over? Or what. I have 3 fish, angelfish, 2 blue german rams

Flint 02-14-2014 06:28 PM

Your tank is overstocked which is why you are seeing those readings.

Rdcork23 02-14-2014 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flint (Post 3926505)
Your tank is overstocked which is why you are seeing those readings.

Over stocked? 3 fish in a 15 gallon tank?

jentralala 02-14-2014 06:47 PM

Welcome to the forum!

Unfortunately none of those fish are suitable for a 15 gallon tank, especially the angelfish. Angels get about 6" long, and 6" - 8" tall. They should really be kept in shoals in a 55 gallon tank, minimum.

It seems you may be getting some iffy advice from either friends or pet shop employees. Filter media does not change color to indicate bacteria. It doesn't need to be replaced until it's literally falling apart (which would be months, if not years down the line). Just rinsed in tank water from the water change.

How often are you doing water changes? What are you using to test your water?

Your best bet at this point would be to return those fish and start the tank over with fish more suitable to the size tank you have.


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