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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Top Fin Aquarium Power Filter, one for each of my 10 Gallon tanks. Or at least I think that is the correct brand. Petsmart website won't show pictures and I am at work 20 minutes from home so I am not 100%. Either way, I use the standard cartridges (double layer blue floss with carbon on a black plastic frame). My fish tanks do relatively well but I am wondering if anyone has made improvements on these filters, additional sponge, double cartridge, etc.? Or should I can these things and look for more renowned, reliable filtration? :roll:
 

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As long as you keep up on water changes you should be fine. If you are not too over stocked, you can cut a piece of sponge and put it in instead of a cartridges. I'm not fimiliar with that filter, but most you can use sponge and cartridge at the same time. If you do either, just squeeze the cartridge under running dechlorinated water once every month, six weeks and you're good to go.
 

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In my experience with those kinds of filters, replacing the cartridge with an aquaclear sponge is a vast improvement in filtration capacity. A 10 gallon tank shouldn't be stocked so as to worry about bioload.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jaysee and Henningc. I will look into the sponges this weekend. I feel bad for my fish, as I am in transition of moving from my apartment to a new location and when I checked Tank A's Filter last night...I swear the green sludge waved at me. It was on the filter cartridge and the mesh for the bacteria to colonize on. Rinsed a new filter, then let it sit just for a bit with the old one to transfer some of the bacteria, then lightly rinsed the mesh. I'm hoping my plants in each tank start helping the whole ecosystem soon. Need to get some test strips as well. For me, its always been hit or miss with how safe the water ACTUALLY is. They live I is happy, they die, I is sad for them.
 

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Do you test you water? While sludge needs to be cleaned off regularly, it shouldn't kill your fish. You should be rinsing the cartridge with your weekly water changes.
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I don't agree with cleaning the filter media that regularly, or arbitrarily for that matter. If you need to clean it every week then you've done something wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I check it about once a month, that is, I look at the water, maybe change about 25% or more if needed. I've gotten more handy with the gravel vac as well, helps with the change dramatically. Once I am established in my new home, I will be able to be more attentive to my aquatic pets. And its not that the sludge ever did any harm to them but it does harm to my eyes LOL. Part of the blame too goes to the Mollies. I know, I know, 10 gallons is not sufficient for them. They are divided between the two tanks until I get my 20 or 25 Gallon (still unsure of correct volume) tank set up. Another project for me and my boyfriend when I move to the new place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As a side note, once moving locations is complete, I do plan on making all three of my tanks more habitable, comfortable, self regulating, etc. I'm still in learning phases.
 

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Fish tanks are perpetual works in progress :)
 
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