Will a water change and replacing filter uncycle the tank?

HalfTailedOwner

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My 10 gallon tank is cycled as of 2 months ago. I have been using the same filter pad for the same amount of time, and I have always rinsed it off with used tank water as advised to prevent what would un-cycle the tank. Unfortunately, no matter how many times I rinsed the filter pad the indicator said it needed to be replaced. Not sure if I'm doing anything wrong, but I'm starting to think that the filter needs to be replaced. Taking it out, it looks extremely degraded (not sure if that's how long it's supposed to last) but I'm still not sure. Wlil my tank have to re-cycle if i replace the filter pad? What should I do about it?
 

MrDankYT

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If the filter is just 2 months old then no it shouldn't be the filter that is the problem, i am usually able to give a good cleaning or replace the material since that's often the problem, if that's not it either then i would try moving the filter material into a container with tank water and taking the actual filter mechanism and try to give it a good clean and to see if any gunk is stuck in it, that's most of the times what's wrong with mine, either that or a snail swam up into it and jammed it. And is there actually any water flow still coming out of the filter? If there is then keep it in the tank while you put in and cycle the new filter if you decide to buy one, so a cycled filter is always in the tank, either that or take the filter material into the new filter that way the cycled material will be in a new filter and you don't have to cycle it.

I'm sure this user by the name of Byron will come along soon and will probably be able to help you better than i can, since they are really helpful.
 

Byron

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Here I am. :drinks:

Filter manufacturers encourage us to replace the filter media much more often than it usually needs to be replaced. I do not know your specific filter, but most media including foam and sponge types does not need to be replaced until they are no longer providing what they should be. Rinsing them is or should be sufficient, but regularly. My filters, some of which are simple sponge filters and others have a foam insert, are rinsed thoroughly every water change which is once every week. When (if) the foam/sponge begins to lose shape so that it no longer fills the space so water is forced to pass through it, it is then time for replacement.

On the matter of the cycling disruption when replacing filter media, this should not be an issue. Provided the tank is not overstocked beyond the capacity of the biological system to handle the fish, removing the filter altogether should not cause issues, so replacing the media certainly would not. However, some people do have more fish than they should in a tank, or do not perform sufficient adequate regular partial water changes, or feed too much food, etc, and the system is basically running teetering on the edge--that is putting far more reliance on the filter. But even at that, the bacteria living elsewhere in the system, primarily in the substrate, should still be adequate. Live plants can also make a difference.
 
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HalfTailedOwner

HalfTailedOwner

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On the matter of the cycling disruption when replacing filter media, this should not be an issue.
Oh okay. My filter cartridge is from aqueon, and after the time I used it, it did fall apart and the indicator kept blinking even though i rinsed it within the tank water during a water change. I did end up having to change it but I am worried that it will uncycle the tank.
 

Byron

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Oh okay. My filter cartridge is from aqueon, and after the time I used it, it did fall apart and the indicator kept blinking even though i rinsed it within the tank water during a water change. I did end up having to change it but I am worried that it will uncycle the tank.
I am not sure what you mean by "fall apart." Can you post a photo of the filter, or a link to the info on it? Aqueon make many different filters.

On the cycling, no, changing the filter will not cause issues with ammonia or nitrite provided it is an established tank, not overstocked, you do regular maintenance (water changes, etc). It is a new tank that can be problematic, or those not properly maintained or with too many fish.
 

seangee

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my guess would be that the flashing light is based on a simple timer and nothing to do with media condition
 
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