kimbo asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

When do you have to replace a filter for a 5 gallon tank?

I have a 5 gallon tank, i replaced my filter after a very LONG period of time. We didnt know and we didnt need our filter for a while because we didnt have any fish at the time, because they died. Now we have 4 fishes and we need to know when to replace it next time. We have the Whisper filter and it is Medium size. Please help

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Actually, it really only needs changing out every 3 months or so on average. At least once a month, more if the tank is heavily stocked, take the filter media out and rinse it in a bucket of used tank water, or dechlorinated water. Give it a scrub with your hand, and just put it back in the filter. You can tell when it's no longer good, the water flow coming out will be poor.

    The manufactuers of those filter pads want you to replace it every month, so you spend more money buying more filter pads. Save your money, do it every 3 months or as needed.

    An even cheaper alternative to buying/using those premade filter pads-which are ridiculously expensive, go pick up a bag of filter floss for about 1.50. A bag last me at least 8-12 months for all my tanks. It's white cottony looking. Just rip off a hunk and stuff it in the filter. I always leave a little bit of the old stuff in the bottom of the filter when I put new stuff in to help preserve the beneficial bacteria.

    EDIT: I just reread your question....did you mean the actual filter or the filter pads? If you're talking about the actual filter, that only needs to be replaced when it breaks on ya. Otherwise, keep using it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the cartage should be replaced about every 4 weeks.....

    actually it really does need to be changed every 4 weeks it is in no way a scam to get you to buy more.....every filter cartage has a finite amount of carbon...enough that will last about 2-4 weeks in the average tank....the false idea and myth that i hate is that it just last 2days...which i totally false...and all based on one non university study using very little carbon in large amount of water with high amount of organic most carbons used in the right amount...depending on the stock and amount of water in the tank can last 2 weeks or even longer.......and serve as more then bio media for the duration of the 2 weeks+ of there activeness

    The best use for carbon it keep out house hold chemicals that can make there way in to the tank...and harm the fish.....nothing but carbon is going to remove that...

    Phenol is another of the main problems that carbon helps to control as Phenol Forms naturally in every tank from the brake down of amino acids and is toxic to fish not only this but it also gives the tank a yellow tinge.....and alot of tanks have large amount of phenol as it does form farly the time you see in the tank it is at dangious levels....just put a white plate in the tank and if you see any yellow aginst it then the phenol is already high....

    Next reason for carbon is that fact it removes that fishy smell....with a good carbon in the tank the that fishy smell is reduced to almost having to your nose in the water to smell it...

    in my opinion people against carbon are to full of them self and ingnorat for thinking there water is so great...and of course the ones recommending the largest water changes sometime well over 25% a week b/c this is what they have to do to keep the water looking good...and such water changes over 25% a week cause the tank to become unstable no only in the PH but also in hardness and the denitrification cycle......but for the best and clearest and cleanest water carbon is a must.....carbons phosphate level on premium carbon are very low and most are acid washed which remove nearly all of the phosphate left for manufacturing....and carbon does not continue to leach phosphates after the first 2-3 day.......this is why even if you are concerned about the phosphates you can soak the carbon in distilled water....and is in no way a waste of money but another way to improve your tank....and the heath and safety of your fish.......

    carbon although is not the only opption as i also use "Purigen" which helps to not only remove chemical waste but to remove orgainc waste before it even turns in to phenol.......

    And i still recommend 10% water changes a week.....but that still in no way does the same thing as carbon as the turn around time of water is still slow if done correctly.....and carbon is noting more then another form of filter as it is just full of small holes that nano partials get lodged in.....any and all chemicals that are percent in the air can make it in to the tank.....and to think that large filter floss is all that is need and that your water is so good that unseen nano partials need to go unfilted is no less then prude....

    so in closing carbon is the reason why you need to replace the cartage...and replacing your cartage with media not designed for it is it can restirct flo or not filter the water properly

    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    hmm. a month

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