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Change my filter?
My tank as been running for about 5 weeks now. It is finished cycling and my levels are all stabalized. It is definatly time to change the cartrage in my filter. But I am worried. Isnt all my good bacteria in my filter? What will happen if I change it? Wont my ammonia levels spike?
Your experience is much appreciated.
What kind of filter do you have? I wouldn't do a 100% change of the filter pads (if you have them). My Penguin Bio-Wheels harbor all the really beneficial bacteria on them, the pads are there to catch any big debri and waste. When I do my weekly water changes, every other week I just swish the pads around in a bucket of tank water. This allows alot of the gunk and debri build up to fall off.
You filters don't contain 100% of your beneficial bacteria, most but not all. I wouldn't suggest swaping them out with brand new ones, that may cause a mini-cycle. I run those pads for months before switching them out, you can really run those kind of pads (assuming that what you have) until they are literalyl falling apart.
I have a Top Fin by Tetra. Its for a 10 - 15 gallon in my 10 gallon tank. It only has a carbon filter in it. So should I just rinse it in a bucket of tank water then??
Yes. The carbon gives out as it adsorbs stuff, but that doesn't matter as it isn't necessary. Rinse it regularly in tank water to remove particulate matter so the water will flow through it; this can be weekly during the partial water change.
Yes, rinse the cartridge weekly in tank water if your tap water is chlorinated. Eventually, you'll want to replace the cartridge, but by then other elements in the tank should be sufficient to support the necessary beneficial bacteria. If when you might upgrade, consider a filter with capacity for bio-media.
okay, Im gonna start rinsing it everytime I do my 20% water changes. And wait maybe another month or so before I change the carbon filter pad. THanks!
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