How often to clean external filter and tips

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how often do u clean ure external filter?

Weekly
1
14%
Fortnightly
2
29%
Monthly
0
No votes
6 Monthly
4
57%
Yearly
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

uknavynigel
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How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by uknavynigel »

I just wondered how often people cleaned out their external filter,
also someone advised me that putting some sponge on the end of the inlet tube to the external filter then it would extend greatly the time u would have to mess with the external filter as the pre filter removes most of the gunk and could be changed or replaced as required.

They suggested useing a elastic band to fasten a couple of washing up sponges on the end of the inlet pipe.

What are ure thoughts on this?
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MatsP
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by MatsP »

As you haven't given "my answer" in your poll, I clean mine about every 3-4 months.

However it depends on the fish in the tank, the size of the filter relative to the stocking of the tank, and what kind of food the fish get, amount of plants that are breaking down in the tank, wood, etc.

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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by MChambers »

I voted for 6 months, although I might do it a little more frequently than that. Depends most on how the flow is. Adding a prefilter of some sort definitely reduces the need for cleaning the filter. I find that I need to clean the prefilter about monthly, but it's not very hard to do. Much easier than taking the filter apart.
uknavynigel
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by uknavynigel »

What do you use for a pre filter?
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by grokefish »

I have yet to clean out my FX5 after about 4years (?) :))

It works fine, I have no problems.
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by AndrewC »

You only need to cover the inlet pipe of an external filter if you have fry in the tank that keep getting sucked into the filter, you usually need to do something like that for bristlenose fry.
But i would not recommond covering the inlet pipe just to save a bit of cleaning, covering the inlet pipe slows the external filter down and reduces it's effectiveness.

Just run it like normal, you will get used to when it needs cleaned, the water output from the filter slows down when it is getting clogged.
I clean the hosing for the filter as well as the cannister when cleaning, hoses can also clog up.

As Matt says, it depends on the fish you keep how often you need to clean an external filter.
I find L134s poo much more than hypancistrus and i clean their cannister more regularly than my hypancistrus tanks.

I clean my filters every six months and replace the pre filter.
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by Lloydy »

I try to clean my internal powerhead and external fluval 305 every Sunday, along with a 30-60% water change.
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uknavynigel
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by uknavynigel »

Lloydy wrote:I try to clean my internal powerhead and external fluval 305 every Sunday, along with a 30-60% water change.

Yeah so did i either weekly or at least 2 weekly though now i am seeing there is no need, just wondering why manufacturers advise to change filter/polishing pads monthly and such if some people get away without opening up the external filter for months or years!
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by MatsP »

1. Manufacturers want to sell polishing pads.
2. If you don't replace the polishing pad often enough [which obviously depends on many of the factors mentioned above], you may get particles in the tank, and if the manufacturer says "you can leave the filter untouched for 2-4 monhts", they would get complaints from at least a few customers who say "well, my filter has been running for 6 weeks, and the tank isn't clean". So, basically, they want to cover their behinds from disappointed customers - they can just point at "On page 3 of your instructions, it clearly says you need to replace your floss every <however often the instructions say>".

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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by joefish72b »

I clean the filter bands in my Fluval FX5 every 3 months and only rinse the baskets. Also I only used the polishing pads for the initial set up of the tank and that was because I used bagged rock bought at Lowes (a lot of sediment in that stuff)
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by dw1305 »

Hi all,
About every 6 months for internal media in a canister filter, but sometimes they won't need cleaning. I always put a coarse (PPI10) sponge on the intake of an external and I only 1/2 fill them with ceramic rings for the media. The filter sponge I rinse when the flow from the spray bar has slowed, which depends upon the fish and the bioload, but usually be somewhere between once a week and once a month. I usually buy second hand Eheim classics, if they come with the strainer attachment I use it as a scaffold for the sponge, if they don't I just slip the sponge over the intake tube and use a ring of hose (or a cable tie) to stop it slipping off. I DIY the sponges from a sheet of sponge (you can see the wavy seam in the picture), they take minutes to sew up (with nylon thread), and cost pennies to make.

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You want to keep any bulky organic waste (saw dust from Panaques etc.) out of the filter. As long as the filter doesn't become clogged bio-filtration will carry on functioning properly. The oxidation of NH3 to NO3 is an oxygen intensive process and you need to ensure that the water isn't de-oxygenated in the filter.

cheers Darrel
uknavynigel
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by uknavynigel »

Thanks Daryl for your comprehensive answer. So now I will only open the filter when the water flow slows and keep up with the pre filter. Thanks everyone for the advise.
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Re: How often to clean external filter and tips

Post by lovefishtank »

I clean the filter bands in my Penn Plax cascade 1000 external filter every 3 months and only rinse the baskets. Also I only used the polishing pads for the initial set up of the tank and that was because I used bagged rock bought at Lowes (a lot of sediment in that stuff)
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