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Filter cleaning

4 Feb 2012
When people talk about filter cleaning, what do you mean?

just a floss change, sponge clean or a full on empty and thourough clean with tank water?

im about 3 months into my tank i have been changing the floss but do people generally clean the whole filter?

cheers dave
I cleaned my filter 2 weeks ago now, canister was taken out into back garden and the media trays, foam and floss etc were all rinsed in tank water. The canister was then emptied of the water that was in it, cleaned with tank water and media trays etc all placed back. The filter was then filled with heated, de-chlorinated water so that I wouldn't have to prime it again. All connected up and plugged back in.

Pipe work wasn't cleaned though, that'll be done when I fit an inline atomiser and inline heater.

The filter gets cleaned as above every 3 months.

Hope that helps

I'm old fashioned, so all I do is wash the gunk from the media (but not TOO thoroughly) in mature tank water.

Im the same, iv had my external for about a year and iv only opened it up twice, to clean the media.

Make sure you use tank water or dechlorinated, you don't want to kill all bacteria!
Hi all,
I just have ceramic rings, alfagrog or Eheim "cocopops" in mine (no more than 2/3 full) and a coarse sponge pre-filter. I clean the sponge pre-filter every week, and I rinse the rings etc every couple of months, when I clean the hoses.

The filter media is usually pretty clean, but the hoses are all in light so they need fairly frequent cleaning. I clean as soon as the flow drops.

I just run the media and sponge under the tap.

cheers Darrel
my filter is just sponge with a bag or two of purigen. I clean only half of my sponges at a time- and only when flow is visibly reduced.
For my filter cleaning, I clean my external filter every couple of months by giving the ceramic rings a quick rinse in old tank water. I then do the same with all the sponges and empty the contents of the canister otherwise when you turn the filter back on you have a big mess inside the tank!
My juwel internal filter I just take everything out and squeeze it out into old tank water then vaccuum inside the housing. Its always a good idea to keep your filters as clean as possible in a planted tank otherwise you can have algae problems.
I open my Fx5 every month to change the filter pad and I rinse half of the sponges in old tank water and change the carbon. Every so often I rinse the ceramic rings. I then refill with de-chlorinated tap water at tank temperature. This weekend I removed the motor and cleaned the impeller and housing. I was surprised how clean it was considering I haven't cleaned it and the filter has been running for 9-10months.

Generally every 3 weeks. I've got a canister filter so tend to pop the whole thing in a bowl, take the top off, take out the basket (leaving the water in the canister). I then spend a chunk of time extracting all of the shrimp that are in the sponges before rinsing the bag of ceramic rings and gently squeezing out the sponges into the canister. This dirty water then gets poured into a spare container (in case I've missed any shrimp) and I reassemble and top up with fresh water. The polishing pad is given a squeeze/rinse too but every now and again it'll get replaced.
I am wondering if I need to be harsher when cleaning out my filter (TetraTec EX600)? Every 4-5 weeks it gets opened, I replace the thin polywool layer with new polywool and do nothing else beyond swill some old tank water around in the filter, drain, then refill with old tank water.

Should I be doing more than this, perhaps squeezing the sponges out each clean? I've gotten to wondering if my persistent battle against black beard algae is down to the filter maintenance being too light.
Filter maintanance is a good thing to do. I have 2 jbl e1500 fitlers and alternate with cleaning the sponges every 6 weeks.

This always leaves me with 1 fully working filter at all times. Every 3 months I would strip down the piping and give it a good clean. No matter how much I clean it there is always gunk that gets flushed out after priming.

I would simply rinse each compartment with tank water and usually the first rinse turns the water dark brown. The second rinse with the sponges and rings usually a murky colour.

Thats enough for me.
Should I be doing more than this, perhaps squeezing the sponges out each clean? I've gotten to wondering if my persistent battle against black beard algae is down to the filter maintenance being too light.[/quote]

I tend to squeeze out either 2 -3 of the 6 sponges I have in my Fx5 at any one time in old tank water. The water is a very dark brown / black colour once I have finished. I would advise not doing all of the sponges at the same time e.g. if you have two do one each time you open up the filter.

I clean and rinse the whole canister filter (Eheim Eco Pro) including media, course pre-filter sponge, pipe work and lily pipes about once a month.

I have also completely dispensed with the fine white pad, and have not noticed any discernible difference in water clarity, but have noticed a marked increase in water flow.
I ran out of polywool once and yes, the flow rate was noticeably improved! Might give it a go without any in 🙂
I clean my JBL e1500 monthly by dumping my biomedia(bioballs) in a bucket of tank water and washing all the sponges out under the tap. Idealy you need to keep your bio and mech filtration as separate entities so you can wash/replace you mech as often as required to keep flow up without affecting the bio capacity.