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How often to change Filter Media?

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by Homeuser, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Homeuser

    Homeuser AC Members

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    Hi, I have a Fluval 405 and I was just wondering, how often you should change the bio rings? I was told never to clean them completely as they contain very important bio for my health of my fish. Lately, my take was very cloudy, probably from my over feeding and over crowding my tank. However, in the last 9 yrs. I have kept the same bio rings in and cleaned them fairly good. Yesterday, I actually got rid of them and put in new rings...Today, my tank is crystal clear!!! also, very amonia free....
     
  2. mickitaz

    mickitaz AC Members

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    I had a fluval 405 on my Pacu tank. I changed/cleaned the media every 6 months. I monitored the water by checking ammonia and nitrate on a monthly basis. I also monitored their behavior. If they were breathing heavy, I would test the water. If the water changes didn't bring the levels down, then I changed the media.
     
  3. Coler

    Coler AC Members

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    Hmmm interesting.

    Basically you should be reading 0 for ammonia at all times in a cycled tank. If not something is not right.

    Nitrates are removed by a weekly water change of no less than 20% but whatever is necessary to maintain below 40 ppm max; i personally prefer 20 ppm or less.

    Filter media should just be swished around in the tank water and rinsed off/squeezed out say once a month again.

    If you are doing all this and not seeing nitrates reduce in the manner expected following the weekly water change, my suspicion would be perhaps inadequate gravel vac or nitrates in the tap water.
     
  4. Pittbull

    Pittbull ALL BOW DOWN TO THE FIN GODS

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    yeah bio balls and bio rings usually will last longer than you or me, but 9 yrs is a long time thou, and you said you cleaned them periodically so i wouldnt assume it was the bio media the problem, did you do something else different and when you changed the bio rings out were they full of goop and gunk, cleaning canister filters is recommended once a month adding or recharging media is encouraged as well along with cleaning sponges, i have fun cleaning mine NOT i have 3 canisters i change/clean all once a month, like coler said are you doing gravel vac's as well and how often are you changing water and at what percentage, bio balls and bio rings colonize good bacteria and will help your biological needs for this setup and shouldnt impact a huge difference with what your seeing unless they were full of goop or gunk on your switch out..

    hmmm i am curious aye.. what size tank and inhabitants, whats your water perimeters like, take care my friend..
     
  5. mostlycichlids

    mostlycichlids Cichlid Specialist

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    Bio rings start out with a high surface area for bacteria to colonize. It is recommended to replace them every six months to a year. The reason this is recommended is because they can clog with dead bacteria cultures. Cleaning the rings won't help and they will eventually have a very small surface area for live bacteria to grow. They can almost completly clog with dead bacteria. I think the problem was yours may likely did not have the surface area they once had.

    The best way to change the media is not all at once. Replace slowly. I would recommend sponges or pot scrubbers as an alternative to the expensive rings. A lot of people swear by the rings I believe they are a waste of money.
     
  6. Pittbull

    Pittbull ALL BOW DOWN TO THE FIN GODS

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    you know what mostly i didnt even think about the ceramic rings that way and it makes sense coolness aye..
     
  7. Homeuser

    Homeuser AC Members

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    Ok, for starters, I have a 54 corner bow all-glass aquarium. I currently have about 20 assorted cichlids. From Jack Dempsy's, convicts, red zebra, electric blue, red parrot, jewl, yellow libido, johani's. Just to name a few...lol...Coler and Pitbull have seen it on the web before, and I am going to clean up that website a bit, when I get time and not working all the time...but for now, this is what I have going on now...

    http://s270.photobucket.com/albums/jj112/Asharpjr/
     
  8. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    What are your parameters normally like?

    I agree with coler that ammonia should always be zero...if not I'd suspect overstocking is the problem here.

    A complete clean out of all media is not a good idea and could lead to a mini-cycle.
     
  9. Homeuser

    Homeuser AC Members

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    Opps! too late...I did this on Sunday. I cleaned my whole filter out, put in new bio rings and new charcole. My Amonia level is 0, my PH is about 7.8-8.0.
     
  10. krytan

    krytan .

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    What are your nitrite and nitrate levels?
    What test kit are you using?
    I would say you are having water quality problems because of how badly overstocked your tank is (you have enough fish to fill two 125g tanks).
    As you have changed all of your filter media i would keep a very close eye on your water parameters and be prepared to do a lot of water changes over the next few week.
     

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