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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a fluval 405 canister filter for my 75 gal. It was waaaay overdue for a cleaning....

It got to the point where fish were breathing heavy....and there was almost no water pumping through the filter cuz it was probably so clogged.

So i finally took it apart and I replaced the sponge part, cleaned out all the compartments. I made my own filters by using womens pantyhose and filling them with carbon and the ammonia remover. Found it is much cheaper this way. The only thing I did not change was the little round tubes - which I think is like where all the beneficial bacteria is built up. I just rinsed them in a bucket of tank water. Took me a bit to get the syphon of the filter started back up again, but it finally did.

Glad to say that all the fish are OK and are not breathing heavily...seem much more active now too.

Just wanted to make sure I did everything OK? and also how often should I change these filter parts? or if and when i should change those lil tubes?
 

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how long was it since you last cleaned your filter?

what fish do you have?

do you run another filter on this tank?

how often do you do water changes and how much do you change?

do you use a dechlorinator?

you shouldnt have to replace the sponges just a good rinse in tank water

I dont use carbon but ,you should only rinse one tray per cleaning as to not disrupt to much of your B.B
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it was probably like 6 months since i last cleaned the filer... maybe more..i know...horrible...

i have mixed african cichlids and a jack dempsey

no other filter, i always use stress coat de-chlorinator and sea buffer to stablize the pH

and i do water changes pretty often....once every week or two usually, and when i do usually about 15-25% water change
 

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While we all seem to set routine after a while, it seems to me there are only a couple ways to judge when to clean. First for me is when the water flow begins to be lower. That means less O2 is going through the filter and the good bacteria can begin to be replaced with the bad stuff that doesn't require O2. At the same time I watch for a flow decrease, I do testing to make sure the water quality stays good. No real way to say how often any given tank will need cleaning as they are all different. If your fish were showing signs of stress, you waited too long. I'm guessing you do no testing? Bad plan, as there are a number of things that may happen to upset any schedule you might use. A fish can disappear and not be seen for a few days and all of a sudden the ammonia is running wild and possibly killing fish. A dead fish can upset the best of filtering.
Rather than carbon or the ready made filter cartridges, many use a media that provides Bio and mechanical filtering and don't use the carbon. Carbon clogs and needs to be replaced every 2-3 weeks in most cases. It really isn't needed unless you are trying to get color or medicines out. Just rinse the round tubes in tank water.
 
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