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 Filter Maintenance

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Filter Maintenance   Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:33 pm

From what I have read, traditional wisdom on the topic of filter cleaning is that you do NOT kill all your beneficial bacteria (BB) by running tap water in your filters. that being said, I do just the opposite.

Background: I have one 55 gallon planted freshwater tank (probably overstocked). I do 50%-60% water changes, bi-weekly. And quarterly filter cleanouts.

During the fliter clean out, I unplug and take filters off the tank, and dissassemble the whole thing in the kitchen sink. I rinse and scrub everything in the tap water, put it back together, prime the filters with tank water and they are good to go. The difference in water flow and cleanliness is very noticable.

You may ask, what happens to all your BB? It has been my experience that the BB that resides in the rest of the tank quickly repopulates the filters and I have had no adverse effects. I have been praticing this for a year now and I have had a very successful tank with little to no losses of fish life.

On a side note I took a water sample from the bottom of the filter and looked at it in 400x maginification with a microscope. that is a fun experience. the drama that unfolds at a protozoan level is quite the show Smile

Open for discussion!

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:27 pm

Basically, I do the same. Very Happy 

I use HOBs and they are fitted with the typical blue side/white side poly filter sponge.  (Rite-Size by Marineland which I cut to fit.)  At every pwc - and now sometimes in between, too - I rinse them out very thoroughly in plain water until the water runs clear.  Or as clear as it's going to.  When they get really raggedy, I cut new ones.  

The filter box stays on the tank, but I siphon out as much of the dirty water as I can.  

I even take off the biowheels and rinse them once in a while.  Yes, this is the biggest no-no of all but that's what I do.  I have to, they get so gunked up.  

The important thing is that after this kind of cleaning, the water is clear, the filter box does not fill up as fast, AND there is no mini-cycle.  Meaning, the water stays clear and does not cloud up at all.  The reason has to be that there is already a huge amount of BB already present on all the surfaces in the tank, and whatever is on the sponges isn't needed.   

When you have HOB's and catfish, as I do, thorough filter cleaning is a MUST!

ddavis wrote:
On a side note I took a water sample from the bottom of the filter and looked at it in 400x maginification with a microscope. that is a fun experience. the drama that unfolds at a protozoan level is quite the show  Smile 

Maybe you can take a picture of that and post it.   Very Happy

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JohnnyAMH
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:01 am

I think there is enough  beneficial bacteria to go around...  Dance!  I use HOB filters in my Planted Show tank. I also always let the filter box stay on the tank when cleaning, but I siphon out as much of the dirty water as I can. I sometimes rinse the pads in tap water and have not seen any harmful effects. There is a lot of water circulating through a HOB filter. In contrast, I would never rinse an air driven sponge filter tap water... oh well

BTW: Those filter pads don't last as long as the used to do... Sad

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:07 pm

Here are some pictures and links to videos from the microscope.  I have a better camera on delivery, but its not here yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3kg3B_nDK4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw3MrlCtvA0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT0lQzZB8JI




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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:25 pm

The third shape is interesting, as is the strange Audi-style ring arrangement in purple. Wonder what that is ...

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:03 pm

Yeah, I am wondering the same. I found a lot of similar cells like that, some inside of amoebas, some not, in groups of 1 to 4.

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:10 pm

We have a member, Gerald, who is a biologist so I'm hoping he can shed some light for us ...
Good photos, David!

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gerald
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:24 am

The spiky balls look like Actinophrys or one of the similar "Heliozoa" protozoans. Not sure what the round things are in the Amoeba -- either some other protozoa it has eaten, or maybe some kind of resting cysts they make for surviving in dry mud or anaerobic water.

Here's a fun website with good info:
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/index.html ... click on "Pond Life ID" then "Protozoa"
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PostSubject: Re: Filter Maintenance   Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:36 am

I think the brown circles in the amoeba are some kind of plant cells, just don't know what.

The "pond life link" keep crashing my browser when I try to click on a category.

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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