Monday, April 26, 2021

Filter Media Tips

Disposable filter cartridges should be replaced monthly. Filters recirculate the same water over and over. Regardless of where particulates collect: the aquarium bottom or the filter, they will be broken down to produce ammonia. Monthly replacement will remove the particulate from the aquarium. This routine tank maintenance will also keep flow rate from slowing down due to clogging.

Reusable and/or biological filter media should be washed in water taken from the aquarium. Chlorine in tap water is lethal to nitrifying bacteria.

Micron cartridges should be cleaned by soaking in a solution of unscented household bleach and water (one part bleach to five parts water) for several hours. Rinse thoroughly under pressure. As an added precaution, they can be soaked in a solution of water and dechlorinator prior to being reused.

Chemical filter media (i.e. carbon, Ammo-carb, and ammonia chips) should be replaced each month. These remove molecules of organic compounds from the water until the surface area becomes saturated. Once saturated, these media are no longer effective and may begin releasing compounds back into the water.

Several manufacturers now offer rechargeable chemical media as an alternative to carbon. These should be used and recharged in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

IMPORTANT: If for any reason the power filter has been shut off for two hours or less, biological, chemical and mechanical filter media should be thoroughly rinsed before restarting the filter. To preserve existing nitrifying bacteria, rinse the biological filter media with water taken from the aquarium. If the power filter has been off for more than two hours, the mechanical and chemical filter media must be discarded and the biological media thoroughly rinsed. Toxic, anaerobic bacteria will be present.
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