Cleaning & Reusing Floss Cartridges

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Kaskade10729

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Jun 16, 2013
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dougall, not trying to pick a fight, but if the tank is healthy what could be released back into the tank? Nitrates is my best guess from gunked up media...but that can happen, if unlikely, in other tanks. Regular water changes "should" fix that...shouldn't they? You know I'm a lame tester...
Basically anything the carbon might have adsorbed.

If there were nothing, there would be no reason for it in the first place, so I am assuming it may release something, toxic or otherwise.

Honestly I would expect nothing bad. But there is potential. It should be slow enough to not be noticable as long as regular water changes take place.. water changes won't make any difference to whatever is in the carbon unless it is changed too.. in which case don't replace it.

Or just ditch the whole thing and feed less for a couple of days in case of a mini cycle.
Yeah, this whole "what can be released that wasn't there before?" aspect of this always had me thinking...I mean, if things THAT toxic were already in the water, then something is wrong with the maintenance schedule...

Seriously, though, if I'm doing weekly changes of about 50-percent and we only have two fancy goldfish in a 60 gallon, should I be alright with removing the carts from time to time and blasting them under strong tap water?
 
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Kaskade10729

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I wouldn’t rinse it if it was primary filter and use tank water there is no concern really like dougal said about carbon WAIT OMG BEST IDEA EVER BLACKWATER CARBON SLOW RELEASE TANNIN BLOCKS
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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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...put him in the iron maiden.

You will be fine with your water changes.

I would not worry about carbon leeching anything back to the water quickly enough to be an issue.

The issue with carbon hosting beneficial bacteria is if you swap both cartridges at once and that is the primary place that bb grow you risk losing too much if it,is all.

With other biomedia outside of that you will be fine.

And yes, by the cartridge breaking down I mean the floss/media not the plastic. That will be around longer than useful.

Don't worry about filtration so much (sorry if I caused any).. take pictures of fish instead.
 
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Kaskade10729

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...put him in the iron maiden.
My meme dude or the poster?

You will be fine with your water changes.

I would not worry about carbon leeching anything back to the water quickly enough to be an issue.
Thanks.

The issue with carbon hosting beneficial bacteria is if you swap both cartridges at once and that is the primary place that bb grow you risk losing too much if it,is all.

With other biomedia outside of that you will be fine.

And yes, by the cartridge breaking down I mean the floss/media not the plastic. That will be around longer than useful.
So I'll be okay blasting these floss carts with, say, a kitchen faucet hose to try and get them cleaner than they are? I am suspecting most of what I'm seeing on these things is BB building, but I can take a pic if you'd like to be sure.

Oh wait --- you just said this:

Don't worry about filtration so much (sorry if I caused any).. take pictures of fish instead.
LOL; the only reason I created the thread was to determine if swooshing out these common floss carts is okay rather than throwing them away and replacing them (like the manufacturers want you to do). There is some chatter in forums like this one that suggests these carts should NOT be reused, under any circumstances, because they're designed not to be. So I just wanted to be sure.

I can take pics of my goldfish if you'd like; since the time I started the old threads when the tank was cycling with these two fancies, they have since grown and flourished, looking super healthy and happy. The calico faintail, "Bruno," in particular has grown to boast beautiful spots throughout his scales and gorgeous veil-like tails...
 

Kaskade10729

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Something else I wanted to pick your brain about, Doug (or anyone else who has knowledge about AquaClear filters)...

Is it better to leave the flow control tab at the top of the unit turned to its full/max output or to the lower side? My 110 model is on a 60 gallon, so I figured it didn't need to be pumping full flow in my situation (the lowest side of the flow control seems to produce just as much flow as the max side, to be honest).

Also, I have read that by setting the flow valve to the "-" (lowest flow) side, this gives the water more time to hit the media, and, because of a Hagen/Fluval design element, the water is recirculated a few times (making it cleaner) in this low position.

Is any of this true?
 

fishorama

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Your cartridges look like the carbon is already in them. Mine are a different for another brand of filter & I have to add the carbon into the floss sleeve. Maybe at first just try running tap water & not "blasting" it, concentrating dark spots if needed. Be a bit gentle rubbing with the carbon in there, you could make a hole. My floss gets white-ish, most all of the brown gunk comes off.

I wouldn't worry about the loss of BB from rinsing, like you said BB is everywhere. But that's also why I don't clean both filters at the same time, even with a lot of plants & few fish I don't want to take chances...& besides I'm lazy, lol.

I know we've discussed prefilter sponges but given your 2 goldfish, it might be easier to let the filters suck up the waste & the clean the filters more often. I can go a couple months using them usually before I need to clean media but you likely can't...

Yes, we'd love to see new pics, it's been a while...but if you put them in the "goldfish/cold water" forum I won't see them, I never go there.
 

Kaskade10729

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Your cartridges look like the carbon is already in them. Mine are a different for another brand of filter & I have to add the carbon into the floss sleeve. Maybe at first just try running tap water & not "blasting" it, concentrating dark spots if needed. Be a bit gentle rubbing with the carbon in there, you could make a hole. My floss gets white-ish, most all of the brown gunk comes off.
Yes, the carts I'm talking about come with the carbon already in them; I do not PLACE carbon in them, so I don't mind if it exhausts in the pre-loaded carts and just stays as a place for more bacteria to grow. I was just worried that something would leech back into the tank by keeping the pads in there so long.

I wouldn't worry about the loss of BB from rinsing, like you said BB is everywhere. But that's also why I don't clean both filters at the same time, even with a lot of plants & few fish I don't want to take chances...& besides I'm lazy, lol.
But the thing is, the reason I clean these pads rather than throw them away (like you're "instructed" to) is because I wanted to KEEP the BB that may have stuck to the floss...should I not worry about this at all?

I know we've discussed prefilter sponges but given your 2 goldfish, it might be easier to let the filters suck up the waste & the clean the filters more often. I can go a couple months using them usually before I need to clean media but you likely can't...
I have added a prefilter to my AC110, but when I rinse it, amazingly, I don't see any waste or food fall off...pieces of flakes I feed the fish do stick to the prefilter when they float past it and get sucked into it, but one of my goldfish always find these and immediately eat them off the filter.

As for cleaning my media, I actually DON'T need to clean that often -- I only have two goldfish in this 60 gallon, and every time I take media out to rinse it, nothing really dirties the water in the bucket. For whatever reason, even though the water is crystal clear in the tank, there just isn't a massive buildup of waste or food...

Yes, we'd love to see new pics, it's been a while...but if you put them in the "goldfish/cold water" forum I won't see them, I never go there.
Well, what if I directed you to the area once I post them there....:p?

Seriously, though, I will try and snap some and post them here.
 

fishorama

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So, as far as BB goes...say you have 35+% on tank surfaces, & 35+% or more in your AC...& you destroy ALL of the BB on the foam cartridge (worst case, but unlikely IME)...BB can double every 24 hours...so, at least to me, if you feed a bit lighter than usual after media cleaning, you're good to go the next day...Really, if you're worried you can test...until you get the hang of your tank & filters...every tank is slightly different...we've discussed this too as I recall...but it's been a while...
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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I am not a user or hang on back filters at all if I can help it. So take it with a grain of salt, but I would always let the flow be as high as possible and diffuse the output with foam or something if there was too much current for your tastes.

For pictures . Post anywhere, it should be easy enough to find just by looking at new posts, there are only a couple of handfuls of posts each day
 
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