Changing filter in aqueous 10 quietflow

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Pslone

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Aug 28, 2021
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I have a 10 gallon tank with an aqueon 10 quietflow filter. I have had the aquarium with 2 platy fish for about 1 month. I do my regular weekly water changes and according to the filter instructions I should change my filter cartridge every month. I have read that that could cause my tank to do a mini cycle and harm my fish😳. What is the right thing to do??
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Welcome to AC!

I don't have that filter but you can just rinse filter media in removed tank water or dechlorinated water. Squeeze & swish as best you can. You don't need to change the media until it starts fall apart. Even then you might reuse at least some so you don't lose most of your beneficial bacteria. It depends on how the cartridge is layered how you might do that. I'll let someone with experience with that filter answer more in depth. I looked at pics & can't really tell. Is it a hang on back or in the tank filter? There are 2 with similar names...
 

Pslone

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Aug 28, 2021
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Thanks for your advice. I will do that. It’s a hang on back filter. The filter cartridge has carbon in it. Maybe I should remove the carbon??
 

FJB

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Jun 7, 2019
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This is what you can do with your Aqueon filter (and any filter that uses disposable cartridges). Doing this will accomplish 3 benefits:
1) You will not contribute to the damaging 'disposable behaviour' of our modern like
2) You will save lots of money over time
3) You will not affect negatively the beneficial bacteria each time you change filter media

In the first 2 pictures below you have the very cartridge and holder of an Aqueon 10. Then pictures of an equivalent modification in another filter, the Penguin 350.
The idea is the same: Using scissors, cut along each side of the 'bag' in the Aqueon filter (cut top, and two sides, but not bottom. This allows to flip the white felt down, which will remain hanging from the bottom. Throw away any carbon contained (you don't need it anyway). Place a thin piece of appropriately sized foam sandwiched between the white plastic frame and the attached felt. Close it up. Place in the blue cartridge holder, and slide it into place in the filter. Voila. You know have a cartridge that can be rinsed every time without affecting bacteria, and which will last a long time, and you have money left over for other things, such as fish food or mare tanks. If you prefer, you can dispose of the white cartridge altogether, thus allowing a thicker sponge held by the blue holder. Your preference but you can try both.

The one shown (for the Penguin) is over 3 years old, yet it was supposed to be disposed off 3 years minus one week ago!
Good luck!

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Pslone

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Aug 28, 2021
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Awesome!!!! This is very helpful! I’m new to this and pictures help a lot. Does it matter what foam I use. I saw polyester rolls on Amazon that you can cut to fit will that work for foam?
 

FJB

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I don't think it matters what kind of foam you use, as long as it is not chemically treated (some are advertised as containing anti-bug things). There are coarser and finer sponges, both work fine. Years ago I bought a 12 pack of some knock-off Aquaclear 110 sponge blocks from eBay, and I cut them for all kinds of uses. Great quality sponge, and it lasts years. The blue polyester rolls available at fabric shops cut to size work fine, but last less than sponges, and don't retain their form as well. One can also use the polyester fill they sell (like loose fibers), but I don't like those as they don't maintain their form at all. But just about anything similar would work. Good luck!
 

Pslone

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Aug 28, 2021
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Ok I did what you suggested and did a 15% water change on Sunday. This morning the fish weren’t their active selves so I checked the ammonia and was up a little bit so I did another 10% water change. I came back 6 hours later and checked the ammonia level again and it’s still elevated. What do I need to do?
 

FJB

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Jun 7, 2019
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If there is any detectable ammonia, you need a partial water change. I would do 20-30% at least, and continue monitoring daily. If it goes up, another partial change. Eventually your sponge material will be fully colonized and active.
Up to this point, it has not been different as when you would have changed a cartridge. By next time you clean your media (in a week or so), you would begin the benefits of maintaining a permanent bacteria colony in your media. Beyond that, presumably you will not have to even think about out it, as your media is fully colonized and self perpetuating (as long as you rinse in used aquarium water).
So the current ammonia rise is fully expected and you need to change some water. Good luck!
 
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