- Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/)
- - Filter Cleaning (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/filter-cleaning-66132/)
My Filter for my 30 gal. tropical aquarium looks like it needs a cleaning, but I have been getting many different answers as to how. I also want to clean the cartridge.
I seldom replace cartridges unless they begin to fall apart from the numerous cleanings described.;-)
What kind of filter is it?
The best thing you can do is break away from the cartridges. You'll save a ton of money and you're tank will be in better shape if you use custom media.
It's a Top Fin 30.
What would be a good replacement for a cartridge?
Aquaclear sponges and ceramic biomedia. The sponges never need to be replaced, and neither does the ceramic biomedia. All you have to do is rinse it off and throw it back in the filter. This allows you to maintain a strong bacteria colony, rather than throwing it away every time you change the cartridge.
Also, it is easy to split off some of that media for starting a new tank.
Okay, the tank is cycled and has been going for a while so would going from cartridge to a sponge require any new work?
I have never used a sponge before :-)
I don't use carbon in my tanks, so I forgot about that. If you want to use carbon, all you need to do is get a mesh media bag (get 2) and a container of carbon. Carbon goes in the media bag and in the filter. Then when you need to change the cartridge, swap it out for the other - it can be a pain getting the wet carbon out of the wet bag. I found it easier to empty the bag once it was dry, but that was back when I still used it.
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