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fishfishfish 05-12-2010 03:40 PM

Cleaning Cheap HOB filter
Sorry this may be long,

I have a cheap top fin hang on filter that came with my starter kit and has a white filter cartridge with black carbon pieces in it. It has been running about 3 months and a week ago i lifted it out of the filter box and pushed it back down. This resulted in tons of debris pouring out of my filter for about 30 seconds. The water got so thick with debris I could barely see the back of the tank, and settled out after an hour or so.I tried rinsing the filter cartridge in tank water but i still get the same effect whenever I even move the cartridge. So finally I went and bought some replacement cartridges, but I read you need to leave the old one in for awhile for the bacteria, but after trying several arrangments there is absolutely no way the old and new catridge will both fit in the filter. Any suggestions on how to clean this filter? Will the gravel have enough bacteria to sustain the tank if i just switch cartridges? I also have a feeling that stuff is settling in the bottom of the filter box, could i wash that out?

Sorry for the long post,


Aqua Jon 05-12-2010 03:51 PM

Personally, I turn off my filter when I wash out the cartridge to prevent this. Definitely clean out the filter pack in your tank water to avoid the chlorine, form tap water, killing the good bacteria.

zof 05-12-2010 09:38 PM

I don't know how the top fin HOB filters are but my aqueon HOB has a large enough reservoir behind the filter to just set it in there I don't know if you are just trying to put it in the same slide slots as the new one but just being in a reservoir next to the filter should be more then good enough.

I do not know if this is recommended but I suppose you could even just put the old media next to the inlet for the filter for a couple of days.... if it just sits there it shouldn't throw a bunch of crud in the water, or maybe its better to do it in reverse, new media in the tank and keep old media in the filter? I'm sure someone else will come along to help clarify this :D

fishfishfish 05-12-2010 10:03 PM

thanks, I was trying to put the new cartridge in the empty area behind the old one, but there just isnt enough space it is too narrow. I had thought about putting the new cartridge in the tank but im not sure if it would be as effective since water isnt flowing through it like in the filter. I have heard that you cant just switch the cartridges, but ive also heard that most of the bacteria is in the gravel, if this is true then the gravel should be able to carry the tank for awhile, does anyone have any experience with just switching cartridges?

1077 05-13-2010 03:55 AM

At three months,should be enough bacteria on gravel,glass,wood,decorations,etc to allow you to replace the cartridge.;-)

beetlebz 05-18-2010 06:00 PM

ok few things... first...

anytime you change your filter media in a HOB the easiest thing ive found is just to put a net under the outflow and now i have one bent to stay there while i clean the media. pop it back in, remove the net. might get a little crud but no biggie.

you shouldnt have to change your media. i mean you can if you want but its not necessary. I take mine out every few water changes, swish it in the water change bucket and pop it back in. takes two mins, and using the net doesnt make a mess.

Aqua Jon 05-18-2010 08:00 PM

i like the net idea, then you get the junk in HOB reservoir out of there for good.

beetlebz 05-18-2010 10:02 PM

exactly. you think what washes out into the aquarium is funky? you should see what the net catches

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