TOTALLY BAFFLED & FRUSTRATED

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Swartz44

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So basically stop using my disposable pre filled blue filters and replace them with black foam filters asap? I watched the above video that was sent to me. Also can I add a round foam filter to where the tube socks up the water for even better results?
 
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Swartz44

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Can I buy these items at most pet shops? Also what colors are available?(white im assuming). So I should stay away from filters that I already filled with carbon that need to be changed(according to package) every 4-6 weeks? Can I replace immediately?
 
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If I can't locate these black foam filters at my local pet shop. Would you be able to suggest something else?
 

essjay

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Any filter sponge, any make will do. You can cut it down to fit.

I've had white foam and blue foam come with the different filters I've had over the years.
 

DAnCSF

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Yes you can do that, I know I'm in the process of swapping over from cartridges. But there's the thing from the looks of your current situation you don't have any live plants. A purely biological system using sponge filters and bio ball...etc are the way to go if you have plants or a few fish.. Why? We are trying to duplicate all the natural cycles of nature. But the big con is that it takes some maintenance, primarily cleaning the bioball and sponges of the detritus and gunk that accumulates. Depending on the filter one has, that can take some time and care. From the looks of your situation, filter cartridges may be the way to go if you don't mind the expense and the cost of the replacement cartridges. Changing filters is certainly really easy very little fuss or muss. The down side of using activated charcoal/filter cartridges is that they remove all the trace elements needed by live plants, as well as any and all medications should you medicate your tank.

Sidebar - explanation
Full disclosure here, I am a old fart, and grew up using old fashion in tank air stone box filters, then graduated to HOB and filter cartridges. And yes I do have a supply of those filter cartridges for various HOBs as well as about 10 lbs of zeolite and pelletized activated charcoal for 5 planted tanks. I am in the process of switching over to using bio ball and sponges as media for my HOB. But I do have a 100 gal with a canister filter where I have sponges and charcoal as my media. There are no plants in that tank and I needed to use the tank quickly to house some large fish. So I went the charcoal route to get the tank useable for the fish. Yes I know the bacteria in the sponges are not fully benefiting but for now that's ok I will eventually replace the charcoal with bio balls.

Back to your situation - May I suggest you continue using your filter cartridges till you used them up. But in the meantime get a sponge to cover the HOB intake. This will allow you to start a bacteria colony and in the mean time get a some small sized bio balls and a mesh net. The bio balls and mesh net are for after you exhaust your cartridge supply. If there's space in the you HOB you can place the ball balls in the HOB now, again this is to get the bacterial started. After you use your last cartridge place those bio balls along the many more in a mesh nest and place the mesh in place of your cartridges. BTW way this is what I'm currently doing with my planted tanks. With one modification I empty the cartridges of their charcoal and use the empty cartridges to filter the water of gunk.

I hope this helps but this is just my method I'm sure there will be plenty of comments on my suggestion.
 

Deanasue

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Just make sure the foam isn't black because it's impregnated with carbon. Any foam will do, just not one that contains carbon.
Black sponges are fine though.
 
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Swartz44

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Just bought this black big square piece of foam. Should I cut it to fit my filter and get rid of my carbon filled cartridge and run this only in back filter till it falls apart?
 

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Deanasue

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I can’t tell how course it’s fine it s by that should work. :)
 

Utar

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The members

I tried posting videos but couldn't
Everyone has already addressed that your cycle was not done or complete in the beginning, and that you should get rid of the carbon and keep using the filter until it falls to pieces. Also your tank will not hold the Angel Fish or red tail black shark because these fish get way to big for a 20 gallon. I have two Angel Fish in a 55 gallon and I am thinking it is not big enough for them.

If you want to post a video here there is no way to directly post it on this forum, you will have to upload it first to youtube or some other media hosting site then link it from the forum.
Like this video I did for my tank.

 

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let’s be kind. :)
 

mcordelia

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@Utar beautiful tank!

@Swartz44 Something that you should also be doing daily for the next couple of days is measuring your ammonia and nitrites, and any time either of them read above 0 you should do a 50% water change. Until your new filter sponge gets the right bacteria growing on it, you might be doing daily 50% water changes for a week or two. I'm sorry you're in this situation but hopefully once you get the right bacteria set up in the filter things will be better for the long term :) In general, there is no need to clean your filter more than once a week, and when you do, do not run it under tap water! Take some water from the fish tank, swish it around in that water, and put it back into the filter. This new sponge should last you many years before it falls apart. Good luck and keep us posted how everything goes.
 

Deanasue

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@Utar beautiful tank!

@Swartz44 Something that you should also be doing daily for the next couple of days is measuring your ammonia and nitrites, and any time either of them read above 0 you should do a 50% water change. Until your new filter sponge gets the right bacteria growing on it, you might be doing daily 50% water changes for a week or two. I'm sorry you're in this situation but hopefully once you get the right bacteria set up in the filter things will be better for the long term :) In general, there is no need to clean your filter more than once a week, and when you do, do not run it under tap water! Take some water from the fish tank, swish it around in that water, and put it back into the filter. This new sponge should last you many years before it falls apart. Good luck and keep us posted how everything goes.
I wouldn’t wash your sponge for at least 6 weeks to allow time for bacteria to grow on it. Then wash it in tank water every 2 weeks. Can you leave your filter media from your old cartridge in with the sponge to seed it?
 
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Swartz44

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I wouldn’t wash your sponge for at least 6 weeks to allow time for bacteria to grow on it. Then wash it in tank water every 2 weeks. Can you leave your filter media from your old cartridge in with the sponge to seed it?

Yes. That is actually what I'm doing.
 

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