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Cleaning my Fluval Canister Filter



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 2nd 04, 04:28 PM
CanadianCray
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Default Cleaning my Fluval Canister Filter

Don't worry about overcleaning the spong. Scrub it and clean it as hard as
you like as long as you have the other filter meadia in there it should be
fine. I always clean my sponges like a crazy man when I clean my Fluval 404.
I get all that sludge out until the filter has only a slight brown tinge to
it. I have never had a problem with the tank going back into cycle though. I
must say as a note I always give a shot of cycle whenever I change the water
or do filter cleaning so maybe this helps stop that.

--
Craig Williams
_________________________________

www.Canadiancray.tk
"Commander Vimes" wrote in message
...
Hi there,

I have a small set up at home with a Fluval 2 Plus canister filter.
The instructions with regards to filter maintenance are unclear (or
I'm stupid) so I'm seeking advice here.

I did a 25% water change today and tried to clean the filter. I did
this by removing the sponge filters and rinsing them in the water I
had removed. My question is how hard should this rinsing be? My method
of rinsing basically removed just large debris such as plant leaves.
The filter medium was still brown in colour and has a fine brown
sludge in it. I am nervous about cleaning more vigarously as I do not
want to remove the bacteria which I believe live in the filter (or
have I grabbed totally the wrong end of the stcik here?).

The instructions also say that the filter medium will last 4 months
before needing replacement...I am assuming I do not change both pads
at once as this will certainly cause the tank to go into cycle again,
won't it?

Any advice is always appreciated as I know you guys really know your
stuff!

Thanks,

Vimes



  #2  
Old April 2nd 04, 04:30 PM
RedForeman
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Posts: n/a
Default Cleaning my Fluval Canister Filter

I did a 25% water change today and tried to clean the filter. I did
this by removing the sponge filters and rinsing them in the water I
had removed. My question is how hard should this rinsing be? My method
of rinsing basically removed just large debris such as plant leaves.
The filter medium was still brown in colour and has a fine brown
sludge in it. I am nervous about cleaning more vigarously as I do not
want to remove the bacteria which I believe live in the filter (or
have I grabbed totally the wrong end of the stcik here?).


You don't want to totally 'clean' the sponges, you are correct, remove the
buildup, but not the bacteria that is living in it, the brown stuff... what
you did is good, any more wouldn't be...

The instructions also say that the filter medium will last 4 months
before needing replacement...I am assuming I do not change both pads
at once as this will certainly cause the tank to go into cycle again,
won't it?


Not really, you'll probaby be ok farther than 4m, but if your bioload(poop
factories) is high, your filter will have to work harder, get clogged more,
etc... if you have a low bioload, then you could go longer than 4-6m for a
cleaning....

I usually just watch the output of the filter, when it's showing slowdowns,
it's probably full of stuff... time to clean it....

Again, it's sort of up to you to decide what's best for your tank.

--
RedForeman future fabricator and creator of a ratbike
streetfighter!!!

==========================
2003 TRX450ES
1992 TRX-350 XX (For Sale)
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2000 CBR600F4 silver/red (sold) *sniff*sniff*
'98 Tacoma Ext Cab 4X4 Lifted....
==========================
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meets the definition of a telephone fax machine. By Sec.227(b)(1)(C),
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By Sec.227(b)(3)(C), a violation of the aforementioned Section is
punishable by action to recover actual monetary loss, or $500,
whichever is greater, for each violation."

If you do send me unsolicited e-mail I will proof-read it at a rate
of $100 per hour (4 hour minimum).


  #3  
Old April 2nd 04, 04:31 PM
Rob
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Posts: n/a
Default Cleaning my Fluval Canister Filter

I have a small set up at home with a Fluval 2 Plus canister filter.
The instructions with regards to filter maintenance are unclear (or
I'm stupid) so I'm seeking advice here.

I did a 25% water change today and tried to clean the filter. I did
this by removing the sponge filters and rinsing them in the water I
had removed. My question is how hard should this rinsing be? My method
of rinsing basically removed just large debris such as plant leaves.
The filter medium was still brown in colour and has a fine brown
sludge in it. I am nervous about cleaning more vigarously as I do not
want to remove the bacteria which I believe live in the filter (or
have I grabbed totally the wrong end of the stcik here?).

The instructions also say that the filter medium will last 4 months
before needing replacement...I am assuming I do not change both pads
at once as this will certainly cause the tank to go into cycle again,
won't it?

Any advice is always appreciated as I know you guys really know your
stuff!


Dunno about "really knowing my stuff" but here's my two cents! I've been
using canister filtration (among others) for about 7 years and have been
fairly successful. Water parameters are stable and the fish often breed.

I don't clean the filter every water change - more like every three months
unless the flow seems to be restricted. I have used Fluval filters in the
past but now use Eheim, and I believe that this is the schedule Eheim
recommends.

Like you, I also rinse the media in water I've just removed from the tank.
Some folks don't feel that this is necessary, but I figure what the heck - a
little chlorinated tap water can set your biological filter back a few
steps.

I tend to rinse the sponges fairly vigorously - squeezing them out a few
times to get most of the "sludge" out. If your media fills up with sludge,
it reduces the total surface area for bacteria to colonize (it may
ultimately "smother" your existing bacteria - not providing adequate
oxygenation) and ultimately reduces the flow of your filter. As for
rock-style media, I will generally swish them around in a pail of water
quite vigorously to remove what I can.

I generally use sponge media for quite a long time - I've used sponges for a
couple of years without any apparent adverse effects. Obviously, if it's
visibly deteriorating and can let water flow by without being forced through
the sponge, you should replace it.

If some of your media is highly porous rock (intended for biological
filtration), it's generally a good idea to swap out *portions* of it every
once and a while to prevent it from getting clogged and therefore less
effective over time. By only switching say, 1/3 of the media, you don't
lose too much of your filtration capacity and the new media is seeded by the
existing stuff. Personally, I switch out a portion of that media every time
I service the filter (approx. every 3 months).

I often clean the mechanical media under the tap to remove all the "goo"
that I can - the bacterial colonization here is the least dense, so I'm not
as concerned about it.

Overall, this approach has served me well over the years.

Hope this helps.

- Rob


  #4  
Old April 2nd 04, 05:36 PM
Sue
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Posts: n/a
Default Cleaning my Fluval Canister Filter

I did a 25% water change today and tried to clean the filter. I did
this by removing the sponge filters and rinsing them in the water I
had removed. My question is how hard should this rinsing be?

Think of your bath sponge -shake & squeeze but don't try to wring it out.
My method
of rinsing basically removed just large debris such as plant leaves.
The filter medium was still brown in colour and has a fine brown
sludge in it.

Try & shake out most of this to maintain flow through the sponge but some
sludge is good.

I am nervous about cleaning more vigarously as I do not
want to remove the bacteria which I believe live in the filter (or
have I grabbed totally the wrong end of the stcik here?).

You are correct!

The instructions also say that the filter medium will last 4 months
before needing replacement...I am assuming I do not change both pads
at once as this will certainly cause the tank to go into cycle again,
won't it?

You only change one pad when is doesn't regain it's shape after squeezing
out - about a year or so.
The makers want to sell foams ;o) Never change both together.
Sue


  #5  
Old April 3rd 04, 04:44 AM
NetMax
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Posts: n/a
Default Cleaning my Fluval Canister Filter


"Commander Vimes" wrote in message
...
Hi there,

I have a small set up at home with a Fluval 2 Plus canister filter.
The instructions with regards to filter maintenance are unclear (or
I'm stupid) so I'm seeking advice here.


The Fluval 2 is the internal canister model with just 2 halves of a
sponge, isn't it? The way you did it is fine, or just alternate which
sponge you clean, and then it doesn't matter how well you clean it :~)
Brown is a good colour for a slimy sponge.

The sponge's life ends when it becomes compacted inside. Keep it from
getting in that state and it can last many many years. However that
particular type is a very large pore sponge, so annual changes might be
warranted, ymmv.

NetMax

snip
Vimes



  #6  
Old April 13th 04, 06:07 AM
Graham Broadbridge
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Posts: n/a
Default Cleaning my Fluval Canister Filter

"Commander Vimes" wrote in message
...
Hi there,

I have a small set up at home with a Fluval 2 Plus canister filter.
The instructions with regards to filter maintenance are unclear (or
I'm stupid) so I'm seeking advice here.

I did a 25% water change today and tried to clean the filter. I did
this by removing the sponge filters and rinsing them in the water I
had removed. My question is how hard should this rinsing be? My method
of rinsing basically removed just large debris such as plant leaves.
The filter medium was still brown in colour and has a fine brown
sludge in it. I am nervous about cleaning more vigarously as I do not
want to remove the bacteria which I believe live in the filter (or
have I grabbed totally the wrong end of the stcik here?).


Clean it as hard as you like. The bacteria that do the work are not visible
to the naked eye and (like most bacteria) almost impossible to remove. The
brown sludge, while harboring some bacteria, is really nothing more than
collected fish poop and leaving it in the filter just results in higher
nitrate levels in your tank.

Just make sure you always clean the filter materials in tank water, not tap
water as the chlorine and other disinfectants will kill the bacteria.


Graham.


 




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