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Okay so I went to pick up a free tank that a gentleman originally got when our walmart was going out of selling fish. Unfortunately the tank was cracked and unusable but the original filter from walmart came with it. Can I use it right away? is there anything I need to do to it first like cycling it? Is this even a safe practice using a used filter?
There will be nothing wrong with using your old filter assuming it is not mechanically broken, and to add this filter to an existing tank, it will only need just a quick clean (tapwater, no detergents).
If you are setting up a new tank, the filter must be "cycled" or "matured" from scratch (to start the biological activity). This process should occur over six or so weeks with no fish present.
Okay so it has been a month and all my fish are still alive I recently picked up a free 2nd hand tank and filter unfortunately the tank was cracked The filter works though and we were thinking of using it instead as it is a more powerful filter. The only problem is that I don't know if it has a biofilter or not and I know that my current one does. Considering my tank is overcrowded which would you go for the biofilter or power?
My current one came with the tank it is an Aquatech 20 gallon. The new used one is a marineland magnum H.o.t . You can get it with a biofilter I'm just not if mine has it how would I tell? I am thinking that it might as it was used at my local walmart before they went out of selling fish, does anyone know for sure? Is there anything else you can do in place of a biofilter?
So I think your question stems from a misunderstanding of what a biofilter is.
Simply put, biological filtration is the "cleaning" that bacteria are able to provide by consuming waste products from fish that are in the water. Bacteria develop in your tank, generally on surfaces, and benefit from oxygen. To capitalize on this, some filters come with "biofilters", "biowheels", or other types of biological media whose sole purpose is to provide surface area for the bacteria to colonize. While these biofilters are arguably helpful, it should also be noted that bacteria can colonize all surfaces, such as the filter cartridge itself and the filter wool in it, as well as the gravel in your tank. Anywhere with oxygenated water and high surface area will have high concentrations of bacteria.
What this amounts to is that, while biological media and a biofilter is helpful, it is not necessary. Furthermore, the biofilter's functions do not come out of the box; the bacteria must colonize it naturally over time.
Did the filter come with a manual? Generally the manual describes the parts it comes with or can be purchased for a filter.
- Milton Tan Biology Grad Student @ Auburn University
Hi, I had a HOT Magnum filter for 5 years. To add biomatrix , remove top by pulling thewire in front up,toward the back, it will lift open. Then reach in and remove the light blue cover,then the light blue tube. Now reomove the black top that is sitting there, the cartridge will be below that. Take the cartridge out , there should be a blue sponge wrapped around the entire cartridge, remove and rinse with tank water or if starting new tank, tap is ok. Now you should see the bare cartridge, there is a screen around the outside of the cylinder, (Keep in mind what you take out so you can put it back correctly) pour some bimatrix, clay is what i used, into it, to the top. the agitator is in a ball in the bottom ,under another black disk. To remove the agitator and clean , gently pinch the ball and it will open into halves. Then you can clean it and put it back in the ball ,snap it closed, place back the same way it came out. If there is no sponge around the cartridge, there should be , especially if you have a large bio-load. It is easy to clean as mentioned in tank water. it gets gunky. When fully assembled ,hang it on the tank in desired position, plug it in but be sure the switch in the back is off. u will need to prime it, so when ready ,take a cup and using tank water, begin pouring it in slowly. When water gets close to top, it will bubble out the center blue cap ,that is good, now cover it , swing the wire over to catch/close it and give it a few mins, should get a good flow after a few mins. If not, repeat the priming from start. Make sure the rubber washers are put back where you took them off and be mindful of the cover,it has a thin red rubber washer that sometimes falls off when you are closing the lid. just stick it back in the groove. It should have 2 outtakes, you can point them in any direction . You may want to eventually replace it as is not the best for nitrification, the water does not really go through that entire tall cylinder with the biomatrix ,but did me ok for 5 yrs till I recently replaced it with an AquaClear even thought it was still working, just that there are better HOB filters out there. Good luck, HTH Georgie
Thanks Georgie Very helpful unfortunately the filter was too powerful for my tank at this time. It was pushing some of my angelfish into the corner. I will hold onto the filter for when I get a larger tank and return to your advise at that time thank you so much