Questions on replacing biomedia for AquaClear filters

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biofish

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Hello everyone!

So… yeah. I was talking with a classmates about filters and they asked me what filter I used and how often I have to change the biomedia…

And uh…

I came to the sudden realization

That I’ve been using and cleaning my filters and biomedia ( with charcoal and a sponge) for a year now and haven’t replaced a single piece of it yet….

Is that okay?? Should there be Something I should be looking out for to see if they are no longer effective??? Water tests have been perfect except for hardness which doesn’t really have to do with the filter….

All my tanks use AquaClear plus one tank that uses 2 so that’s 7 aqua clear filters total that I haven’t been replacing biomedia for 👉👈
 

Rocky998

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The media should never have to be changed unless it is literally falling apart, even then you won't change it all out at once. Remember, this is where a lot of your beneficial bacteria resides.

But the activated charcoal on the other hand has to be changed so it maintains it use. BUT, you shouldn't even need to be using the charcoal unless you want to remove excess medication or discoloration from the water.


Don't forget to mention cycling to your classmate.


Replacable media is kinda just a money grab. You can save A TON by not changing it out weekly or monthly. And plus, its more beneficial anyways to leave it!
 
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biofish

biofish

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Oh thank goodness! I was really concerned. Cause my bags and sponge are holding up super well. My first tank used those thin cartridges that always got so nasty and didn’t clean well, so yeah, my current biomedia and sponge were always easy to clean and still very much intact so it never even crossed my mind to get them replaced.

Would replacing the charcoal with lava rocks work? I have a few lava rocks scattered throughout my tanks to help hold good bacteria in the case I need to give a filter a deep clean and when that happens I sometimes scoop them up and put them in the filter.
 

Boundava

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I agree with everyone. You should never replace your filter media unless it is at the end of its life. At that point you can replace in small increments. Always remember that your tank has a maximum amount of beneficial bacteria that it can grow based on nutrients available to feed said bacteria, and adding more media does not mean more bacteria. So as you remove old media you should replace with approximately an equal amount of new media.

I have multiple hang on back filters and if they came with a disposable cartridge I would never used it. I would always customize these filters by using the space and adding an assortment of sponges and other types of media like Seachem Matrix or Eheim substrat. Both types media (sponge and Matrix/Substrat type media) do a great job of holding colonies of beneficial bacteria.

The only time I would ever consider using carbon in any of my tanks would be to remove medication. Otherwise there is no need for carbon filtration. If you need a chemical filtration you can try something like Purigen. However I have been used chemical filtration in my tanks for years and really don't see a need for it.

You can replace the carbon with lava rocks if you have those available. Or if you have some extra sponges you can fill up the space that the carbon was taking with those as well.
 

GaryE

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Manufacturers have a problem, especially the manufacturers of Aqua-Clears. They are too good. They last too long and they don't need new media.
Before water changes aquarists needed charcoal/carbon to keep the tank odour down. It became fish lore. even if we didn't need it. But it needs to be replaced, and that's why it's sold. Revenue streams. Selling a filter once and having it tun for 15 years on the same media {I have gotten to 17) is a weak business model as quality doesn't pay as well as disposable parts.

Your classmates have probably bought filters that say they need cartridges. That media only exists for revenue streams. Tell them to buy a good aquaclear type sponge or real bio-media and modify their filters to work for them and their fish, and not for whatever corporation produces the equipment.
 

plebian

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Both types media (sponge and Matrix/Substrat type media) do a great job of holding colonies of beneficial bacteria.
Seachem Matrix is a scam. They advertise massive surface area but don't tell you that almost all of it is useless. Water follows the path of least resistance. Do you really think water is going to flow through the pores in Seachem media? It will simply flow around the media. Even gravel provides more useful surface area for bacteria than Seachem.
 

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When I ran Aqua Clears all I had in them was the foam sponge and the charcoal bag . One time I used peat pellets in a filter bag for my Rams with good results but I wonder , do all the different media a guy can get really do anything special ? Or is it just marketing hype ?
 

Slaphppy7

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When I ran Aqua Clears all I had in them was the foam sponge and the charcoal bag . One time I used peat pellets in a filter bag for my Rams with good results but I wonder , do all the different media a guy can get really do anything special ? Or is it just marketing hype ?
I just find ceramic media easier to rinse than sponges, when bagged properly...I use poly floss, replaced weekly during WC's, in place of sponges in my ACs
 

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