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Re: Dirty filter

> Subject: Dirty Filter
> I have seen Tom Barr several times say that a "dirty" filter can be
> contributor to algae problems. How often do folks clean their filters? I
> realize it depends on filter size vs. tank size, stocking levels, etc, etc,
> but I'm looking for a ballpark figure here.
> - -Rachel

Most folks, most that is, clean different filters differently:) I guess on
my Wet/dry, never, except for the prefilter sponge(weekly). Canister filter,
about every 3 months, some push it 6 months. I use sponge prefilters on
those too..........they get it every 2-3 weeks. If I let them go too long
and if flow is reduced to 1/2 or so, then things will go sour. The same
thing happens on most canister filters. I think many folks get complacent
regarding them since it's so far and few in between the cleanings. Reduce
the flow, increase the boundary layer, low O2(less mixing, less O2
production from plants, more organic waste in the filter), increase the BOD,
low response time to NH4 influxes vs a well flowing filter etc.
The less crap a filter has to deal with, the less dirt and muck it has to
process, the better. Mulm is fine and all for the substrate but too much in
the filter I think causes problems. One reason I like Wet/drys, easy to
clean and never has this issue. Canisters are nice though for smaller tanks.
I typically will add larger bio media to a canister(small bio balls, large
hard to clog clay balls, lava etc) and have a large pore sponge for the rest
of the filter packing. Seems to work the best.
Tom Barr