changing foam in filter
I have had my aquarium set up for three months, it all cycled well and now has some fish. When i do my water changes i rinse out my internal filter in the bucket of tank water that i have just removed from the tank. It has carbon foam and plain foam. I then put a couple of pipettes of 'filter start'(good bacteria) back into the tank in case i've rinsed them away. The bottle says to dose when you do water change.
But now i'm thinking it must be time to replace the foam in the filter. When i do it, should i do one foam at a time to ensure i dont loose too much good bacteria? or should i just replace the carbon foam? Its a 48 liter tank(12 gallons) annd i have 3 balloon mollys and 6 cardinal tetras so far. Water is looking a bit cloudy in there now despite regular water changes, but i think thats due partly to an african frog i had in there for just over a week. They are very messy and need allot of filtration. Now he's gone, hopefully it will get a bit clearer. Or could this be down to the fact that i need to change the filter foam? Also i have a bit of a pair of nylon tights(hosery) over the intake to prevent my tetras being sucked into it. Could that be a problem? If i remove it then i'm worried i'll start loosing tetras again. I lost 3 to this problem.( suspected to be the cause. Once i covered the intake with the tights i havent lost a tetra since.)
Any suggestions as far as changing the foam anyway?
I'm no expert but I just change all of the filter foam
Replace the one with the carbon with one that does not have carbon. You really don't need carbon unless there is something in the water your are trying to remove such as medications. After you replace that foam, don't replace them unless they start falling apart or get contaminated. There is no need. You're just wasting money.
As far as washing away the bacteria, you are not. The bacteria has a pretty firm hold on the media. By rinsing it off you are not causing any harm at all. Just make sure you do it in the old tank water or dechlorinated water.
You probably just need to clean rather than replace the foam since foam lasts a very long time. Now foam in filters is often very porous (open) so it is good at catching large particles and serving as a platform for beneficial bacteria. It will do little for cloudy water. Cloudy water is often a non-beneficial bacteria bloom often the result of dissolved organics in the water. Removing the frog may help, but you may also need to reduce the amount of food you feed any any one time as many uneaten food can create this problem.
Also, when you do your weekly water change, you may need to use the gravel siphon and clean the gravel as you fish and frog may have deposited significant waste that is decomposing.
As a little update from what I said before:
When I clean my tank I have a bucket to fill with water that I siphon out of the tank, once I've taken 50% out and filled the bucket with old tank water, I pull out the filter foam and rub my fingers on it in the water, this doesn't remove too much beneficial bacteria that is there (like AbbeysDad mentioned previously) but it gets rid of things like bio-load and large unnecessary things that are stuck there. I usually just keep the same piece of foam, using the rubbing cleaning method for a month. After a month it is replaced with new filter foam. Hope this helps :)
Oh really? Ok, thanks for that, I'll just use the same from now on :)
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