Cleaning filters

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by LanceP, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. LanceP

    LanceP

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    To what extent should one clean a filter? Everytime I clean my internal filter, I notice that afterwards my ammonia levels rise, and the cycling process kicks in. So, I'm obviously doing too "good" a job.:mad:

    I clean my filter by siphoning tank water in a bucket, then rinsing all the filter material (sponge and ceramic rings) in that water. I typically shake the rings around and squeeze the sponge out a few times. Oh, and I do this maybe once every 2 months.

    What am I doing wrong?
     
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  3. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    Hey LanceP - you are doing nothing wrong - There will always be an ammonia rise and a small cycle after a filter change - If it is affecting your fishes you could add a second filter and clean them alternately - that way you always have 1 undisturbed filter..

    But there will still be a small rise in ammonia and a mini cycle...
     
  4. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Can I put my 2cents worth in?

    I have 2 filters running. An internal hangon-type, and one in the hood of the tank. One month I clean out the one filter completely, (squeeze out sponge, replace floss), adn the next month I do the other filter. And you know that black/green/brownish slime that accumilates on the sides of the filter... I try not to disturb that, or throw is away. If I do a really good clean, I would make sure I put this slime aside, and put it back into the filter when I'm finished. (It has a lot of bacteria in it that I want.)

    I also don't clean my rings AT ALL.

    Should i be?
     
  5. OP
    LanceP

    LanceP

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    Yeah, the mini-cycle has affected my fish, notibly my stripes and paki loaches...all dead. These guys seem to be more sensitive than the other fishes?

    When do you need to change filter material? Do you need to change the sponge or rings? I forgot to mention, I also use filter floss, but have been reusing that too.
     
  6. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    I use to re0use filter floss too.. until I realised that the floss is really as a mechanical filter to catch the floating plants, waste etc... and with that stuff trapped in the floss, it eventually rots and puts more ammonia/Nitrites into the tank.

    So once every 2 months I completely replace the floss.

    I've never replaced my sponge... just sqeezed it out in aquarium water.

    I've never replaced my rings. (not cleaned them)
     
  7. Mongwopman

    Mongwopman King Ding-a-ling

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    All i do weekly, is a 50% water change, the rinse the floss out in the bucket of water that i took out the tank and replace with 50% new and 50% old floss.

    I never clean my rings or bio balls.
     
  8. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    This is how 90% of people change their filters... and NEVER have problems.
     
  9. OP
    LanceP

    LanceP

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    Cool, thanks folks. I'll try the minimalist approach and see how it goes.
     
  10. theosmit

    theosmit

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    What works for me is a small clean every other week with my water change. I run 3 filters. So every 14 odd days one of them gets cleaned. The effect on the entire tank is therefore minimised. They are obviously cleaned in the siphoned water. I also do not clean the ceramic rings, but was wondering wheather it should be done. Will probably do it from time to time...
     

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