Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

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cremator created the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

New to Oscar fish, and I've been reading about cleaning filters and such, but I don't wanna mess anything up. I have a 150 gal tank with Magnum 350 cannister filter, with carbon and the blue sleeve around it (not sure of the proper name). My question is, when should I change the carbon, and how much of it should I replace? Do I need to get the goop off the sleeve as well? Also I keep reading to save some bio for the filter, what exactly is this? I assumed when doing a cleaning of the hardware everything should be cleaned. I've been doing weekly 10 - 15% water changes, and am waiting for my water test kit in the mail So I can properly monitor levels. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

First, discard the carbon and stop using it. It serves no purpose in everyday use and can actually harm the fish. Always use existing tank water to clean the mechanical portion of the filter. Rinse and squeeze out in a bucket, repeat until clean. The bio portion, which should be quality ceramics should be gently set into another bucket of tank water, and not disturbed. This media contains your beneficial bacteria. If you are using floss or some kind of fine pad on top, this will call for more frequent opening of the canister, as it clogs the quickest. You can rinse this as well, or replace if it falls apart. Re your water changes... very insufficient. A weekly 75% change should be ritual, and as Oscars and pleco grow, more will be in order. Your test kit will give you a good gauge on frequency required. As I stated in your intro thread, more filtration will eventually be needed


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cremator replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

Is the ceramic something I'll need to add? I have this filter, which runs back in to a dual cardboard biofilter. I was given this setup with everything included, so it may not all be proper for a Oscar setup. Inside the filter is just a carbon holder mesh, wrapped in the blue sleeve, everything else is plastic, so Im a little confused on the ceramic part.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

Never had one of those, but canisters all work basically the same. Water in, down to the bottom and back up thru your various media. You should have some sort of sponges in the bottom, the mechanical, then as much ceramic noodles, or rings as you can fit. These will fit into a mesh media bag or two, your carbon bag may suffice. Seachem Matrix or Fluval Biomax are quality ceramics. The ceramics is where your beneficial bacteria will cultivate and grow. You will def need a higher capacity, more efficient filter. If you are able, a Fluval FX6 would be a great addition. If not that then at least a Filstar xpxl, or a pair of Aquaclear 110 hob(hang on back) . Remove the carbon and add ceramics to the Magnum for now.


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cremator replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

I recently cleaned the pump, and didn't notice anything spongy in the bottom, I'll have to address that part. Can I buy these or improvise with something? Also is it safe to add to an established setup? Since I don't have any bio sponge, I may have to get some bio from a local fish store. I'm a little concerned now, especially since realizing I'm missing some key components.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

Sounds like you are missing something. All complete filters have some sort of sponges or pads as mechanical, then the ceramics as the biological component. If you have a reliable independent(avoid big box chains) store you can visit, perhaps they can get what you need. Its a popular filter, well made and reliable, just appears incomplete. Google is also your friend, there should be countless YouTube tutorials on how the filter should be set up. Marineland website may also be helpful.


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cremator replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

I read up on it, I do have the biowheel attatchment but its external, I'm guessing its not what I'm looking for? Quote from Marinelands site: Q. Do I need a BIO-Wheel?
Yes. Biological filtration is critical to the success of any aquarium. If your system has a BIO-Wheel, a culture of ammonia-neutralizing bacteria will grow on its surface. The bacteria will thrive because as the BIO-Wheel provides "wet/dry" biological filtration. As it rotates, the bacteria are nourished by the larger amount of oxygen in the air and water.
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cremator replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

This is the set I have. Upon a little research, I think the biowheels are supposed to serve the same purpose as the sponge.


I may be wrong.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

Ok I get it now. The bio wheel is DUUUH, obviously for bio. Its that wrap around blue sleeve that is your mechanical. In the mesh part where you now have carbon, replace with ceramics. Ceramics offer more surface area for the bacteria. The bio wheel will have some mature bacteria, so no issue with losing cycle. Then, clear as mud as this all may be,lol, get yourself a pair of Aquaclear 110 hob's for some superior mechanical assistance. They also hold a decent amount of ceramics, and then you should be in better shape. Very important, as I mentioned, seriously upgrade your water changes.


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cremator replied the topic: Can someone explain proper filter cleaning for me?

Yeah, im soaking up a bunch of info. Thanks for the help also...I'm very new to this fish, but I def understand a lot more now. I'll order some new stuff asap
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