Need help changing filter...
So it's about that time for me to change my filter. My tank has been up and running for about 3 months now. I do regular weekly water changes with a filter rinse in tank water once a month. It is to the point where my filter is all brown and gunky and will not get clean even after the monthly rinses. My tank has formation of tons of small bubbles and a whitish clear film on the surface near where the filter deposits water. These bubbles and film go away right after my monthly filter rinse and then return 1 day later and remain there until the next rinse. I only have the dirty filter to blame for this film and bubbles. There are no contaminates in the tank and my fish are healthy and happy!
So the part I'm confused on is how to change te filter. Do I get a new cartridge and cut it open, dumping the stuff out and adding the internal media from the dirty filter to the clean one? Will this keep all of the beneficial bacteria alive when in my new cartridge? Is that the proper way to do it?
If this helps, here is The filter I use:
if i were u i would use this
I use that filter on my 10 gallon quarantine/hospital tank.
It should look brown and gunky. Only replace it if it is actually clogged (but that should rinse out) or falling apart. But, if you feel you really need to replace it at this point, I would put the new pad in with the old pad for about a week and then take the old pad out. You don't need to remove the charcoal inside unless you are using meds. or have plants.
As for surface scum, it sounds like you don't have enough agitation at the surface. A small air stone would take care of that unless you have live plants.
And you should probably upgrade to the next size filter when you can as suggested by brokenrules. It would work much better on your size tank.
You can just replace the cartridge in the filter. In tank that's been running for some time, you have many times more beneficial bacteria in the substrate than in that old dirty cartidge - just toss it and put a fresh one in there. Besides, that filter has the plastic bio-guard gizmo. Also, don't mess around removing the activated charcoal from inside - sure it won't last long, but it can stay in there. As for the surface film, try collecting by dragging a dry paper towel over the surface.
I am so sorry about the original picture. I didn't recognize it was a 20. I have a 30 actually...not the 20 like in the picture. Looks the same though
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