When should I clean out my filters

Hank82

Jack Dempsey
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Apr 23, 2019
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Stillwater, Oklahoma
Recently cycled a pink and did the first water change with fish. When will I need to do a filter cleaning and how often? I have a FX6 and 2 aquaclear 110s running in my tank. This is a new hobby for me just want to get your guys opinion? Thanks size is 112 gallons and the fish population has two Oscars and a convict
 
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TheReefer

Fire Eel
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Apr 13, 2019
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I personally just take the sponges out once every 1-2 weeks and wring them out in water change water to remove all the waste and stuff and to prevent clogging, but DO NOT TOUCH THE BIOMEDIA, EVER. The most you should do is maybe use some tank water to LIGHTLY rinse off the poop and stuff. That is what I do, some people clean once a month and do the same thing, some just wait until the filter is clogged/too dirty, I just do small, frequent cleanings as a few sponges in my filter get clogged within a week. So to sum it up, just wait and see when the filter sponges and stuff get dirty and look brown and gross, just wring them out in some tank water from a water change and put them back and do that as needed, if the biomedia gets really dirty then maybe use a bit of tank water to rinse off the waste (with something like a turkey baster as to not disturb the media too badly).
 
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Hank82

Jack Dempsey
Original poster
MFK Member
Apr 23, 2019
142
46
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Stillwater, Oklahoma
I personally just take the sponges out once every 1-2 weeks and wring them out in water change water to remove all the waste and stuff and to prevent clogging, but DO NOT TOUCH THE BIOMEDIA, EVER. The most you should do is maybe use some tank water to LIGHTLY rinse off the poop and stuff. That is what I do, some people clean once a month and do the same thing, some just wait until the filter is clogged/too dirty, I just do small, frequent cleanings as a few sponges in my filter get clogged within a week. So to sum it up, just wait and see when the filter sponges and stuff get dirty and look brown and gross, just wring them out in some tank water from a water change and put them back and do that as needed, if the biomedia gets really dirty then maybe use a bit of tank water to rinse off the waste (with something like a turkey baster as to not disturb the media too badly).
I have to move the media bags in order to get to the sponges in the Aqua-clear 110’s. Or do you mean don’t clean them? I know not to mess with the media.
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 30, 2015
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Clean mechanical filtration regularly. Once a day, as I do, or less frequently, it's up to you and your stock, bio load etc. But beware of one thing. If you are waiting until your sponges are brown and cruddy before cleaning them then that's not a good thing in my opinion. Brown and cruddy sponges just accelerate your nitrate build up. Keep mechanical filtration pretty clean in my book.

Bio media? Some never touch it. Others, me included, give it a bit of a rinse in tank water maybe once every 6 months or so. Getting rid of bits of gunk and dead bacteria help promote new growth. Keeps everything healthy. But again, it's up to the individual.
 

Matteus

Redtail Catfish
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Jan 6, 2018
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I have to move the media bags in order to get to the sponges in the Aqua-clear 110’s. Or do you mean don’t clean them? I know not to mess with the media.
Welcome to mfk and the hobby. Glad you could join us.

I think what reefer means is not to rinse it under tap water or anything like that. Your beneficial bacteria lives on the surfaces of your filter media not in the water. That’s why you don’t want to use chlorinated water to rinse filter media.

I usually keep a bucket or two of tank water from a water change to let my bio media bags just sit in while I rinse the sponges out in the other bucket of tank water.

I like to cycle through my filters, one week I do my fx5, next week I do fx6, week after that I clean the ac110. This way you aren’t straining all your B.B. from all filters on one tank each time you do maintenance. Also that way you don’t have to clean every single filter on a weekly basis.
 

tlindsey

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Aug 6, 2011
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Also do my sponges like what esoxlucius esoxlucius stated.
 
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TheReefer

Fire Eel
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Apr 13, 2019
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Welcome to mfk and the hobby. Glad you could join us.

I think what reefer means is not to rinse it under tap water or anything like that. Your beneficial bacteria lives on the surfaces of your filter media not in the water. That’s why you don’t want to use chlorinated water to rinse filter media.

I usually keep a bucket or two of tank water from a water change to let my bio media bags just sit in while I rinse the sponges out in the other bucket of tank water.

I like to cycle through my filters, one week I do my fx5, next week I do fx6, week after that I clean the ac110. This way you aren’t straining all your B.B. from all filters on one tank each time you do maintenance. Also that way you don’t have to clean every single filter on a weekly basis.
Yeah, I meant don't rinse them or anything unless they are really dirty (so maybe once every few months), if you have to move the media bags no big deal, just make sure they stay in tank water
 
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neutrino

Aimara
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Jan 22, 2013
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Every tank is different, so imo the best answer is to monitor your setup to work out what your tank actually needs. My tanks are not all on the same routine-- for some people it's just as easy to do all their tanks-- or filters-- at the same time as their most needy one. Mine are simply on different routines.

Fish load, type of fish, type, size or number of filters, what and how much you feed, as well as other, less obvious variables all factor in. There isn't really a one-size-fits-all answer. You could start with a baseline, perhaps based on the suggestions above, then see how it goes. Ultimately, I'd adjust to suit your own circumstances or preferences. Depending how your filters are set up, sometimes even location in the tank, you may find they differ in how much gunk they collect. Example-- I've sometimes had a fast power filter, set up primarily to collect dirt, on a tank with a canister set up more for bio-filtration, to allow less frequent cleaning for the canister.
 
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