Filtration Pads

CamG369

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I have an easy crystal filter box 600 from tetra that came with my tank. The care instructions aay the pad should he taken out and changed every four weeks and that bacteria grows on something else inside the filter called a biological grid

I know that a lot of people say not to change roads as this is where a lot of bacteria lives but on asking tetra themselves they said it wouldn't make much difference as most bacteria is in the water/surfaces/gravel

Any thoughts?
 

seangee

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Tetra aren't going to make any money if you don't replace them.
The pads contain carbon which gets exhausted after 4-6 weeks, but there is no need for carbon if a fish tank.

You can cut a small slit in the pad and remove the carbon, then just rinse the pad every time you do a water change and don't replace it until it falls apart. Otherwise cut a piece of filter sponge to the same shape and size and use that. There doesn't seem to be any other media in the filter. Bacteria does not live in the water, but does live on surfaces. Their marketing makes a big deal of the so called bio-grid, but they don't provide any information on what it is so I'm thinking its a marketing term.

Unfortunately we do get a lot of posts on this site where people have fish health problems soon after changing cartridges so I cannot recommend this as part of your regular routine.
 
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CamG369

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Yeah I read a lot about not changing it and thought it strange that tetra were recommending it. Just wanted to make sure
 
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CamG369

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Tetra aren't going to make any money if you don't replace them.
The pads contain carbon which gets exhausted after 4-6 weeks, but there is no need for carbon if a fish tank.

You can cut a small slit in the pad and remove the carbon, then just rinse the pad every time you do a water change and don't replace it until it falls apart. Otherwise cut a piece of filter sponge to the same shape and size and use that. There doesn't seem to be any other media in the filter. Bacteria does not live in the water, but does live on surfaces. Their marketing makes a big deal of the so called bio-grid, but they don't provide any information on what it is so I'm thinking its a marketing term.

Unfortunately we do get a lot of posts on this site where people have fish health problems soon after changing cartridges so I cannot recommend this as part of your regular routine.
If it has no purpose why is it in it? Also what benefit would removing it give?
 

seangee

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If it has no purpose why is it in it? Also what benefit would removing it give?
Carbon is a very effective filter agent. It adsorbs (not absorbs) any impurities in the water. After 4-6 weeks the carbon is exhausted. When this happens it starts releasing the bad stuff back into the water and you end up with a higher concentration. (Somebody can probably explain the science better than I can). In summary if you use carbon you have to replace it or it will eventually poison your water. If the pads contain the carbon as well as sponge and floss you end up throwing out a lot of good bacteria and potentially causing "new tank syndrome"

Removing the carbon means you can keep using the rest of the pad.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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I have a similar one of their filters that came with two of my tanks. The biofilter seems to be the blue (in my case) piece of plastic that you're told not to remove but to change the other filter monthly. My instructions also say that bacteria is on the substrate (which is true but this was a very new tank). I took one of the used sponge filters from another brand of filter and cut it in half down the middle (I didn't have a lot of space to work with) and figured all my tanks would "share" bacteria. I couldn't see how it could hurt. My other filter has the regular biobeads, a carbon filter and a large sponge filter. I have replaced the carbon filter a couple times (it shines the water LOL) but now I just rinse out my sponge filter and reuse it until it falls apart but I have NOT changed my spare set of biobeads. Should I see a need to, then I just won't rinse the sponge filter for a while just to make sure all the good stuff is saved. Now in a situation where you have an illness in the tank - chuck the charcoal filter or it will absorb all medication and in my case I might even be tempted to toss my sponge filter as well but not the biofilter at the same time.
 

Metalhead88

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removing pads will not benefit you in any way. if you use carbon, it is recommended to replace that for reasons listed in prior posts. many of use do not use carbon and use pads or sponges in its place.

most bacteria lives in your filter. this is proven by brand new tanks being instantly cycled when an established filter is brought over.
 

Deanasue

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I have a similar one of their filters that came with two of my tanks. The biofilter seems to be the blue (in my case) piece of plastic that you're told not to remove but to change the other filter monthly. My instructions also say that bacteria is on the substrate (which is true but this was a very new tank). I took one of the used sponge filters from another brand of filter and cut it in half down the middle (I didn't have a lot of space to work with) and figured all my tanks would "share" bacteria. I couldn't see how it could hurt. My other filter has the regular biobeads, a carbon filter and a large sponge filter. I have replaced the carbon filter a couple times (it shines the water LOL) but now I just rinse out my sponge filter and reuse it until it falls apart but I have NOT changed my spare set of biobeads. Should I see a need to, then I just won't rinse the sponge filter for a while just to make sure all the good stuff is saved. Now in a situation where you have an illness in the tank - chuck the charcoal filter or it will absorb all medication and in my case I might even be tempted to toss my sponge filter as well but not the biofilter at the same time.
I have had the same set of bio beads in mine for 2 years. I bought an extra pack but have never used them.
 

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Carbon is available in different forms. The best carbon is Highly Activated Carbon, then Activated Carbon, then plain Carbon, which is ok but not as good as the other 2 types.

Carbon adsorbs chemicals and heavy metals from air and water. In an aquarium it will remove plant fertilisers and medications from the water. It also removes hormones and pheromones produced by the fish. Carbon will also remove tannins from water, tannins are released by dead plants or wood that is soaking in water.

If there are lots of chemicals, tannins, etc in the water, the carbon can become full within a few days. If there isn't much to adsorb, it can last for a few weeks or even a month or more.

When carbon is full it does not adsorb any more. Under normal conditions the carbon will not release the stuff it has adsorbed. However, if there is a sudden change in temperature or water conditions, the carbon can release everything it has adsorbed and you can end up with a heap of chemicals in the tank water that poisons the fish and other inhabitants.

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Most companies that sell aquarium filters add a packet of carbon to the filter as a form of filtration media. It is a bit of a gimmick/ ploy to get you to keep buying products. Filter pads are the same thing. The better quality filters use sponges and ceramic beads, which last for years and don't need to be replaced every few weeks.

If your filter has a pad/ cartridge in it, buy some sponge for a different brand of filter and cut the sponge to fit in your filter. Put the sponge in the filter next to the pad and in a couple of months, throw the pad away and leave the sponge.

Filter sponges should be washed out in a bucket of tank water at least once a month and every 2 weeks is better. However, do not clean a filter during the first 6-8 weeks because you can wash out the beneficial filter bacteria and cause the tank to cycle again.

Tanks that are cycling usually have ammonia and nitrite levels that cause health issues to fish.
 

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