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How important is it to have a clean filter in a planted tank?

I have a Fluval canister filter and wondering how often I should clean it. I don't like opening it and like putting it off. All I have in the canister are spongs. My tank is moderately planted and will be heavy soon. Water changes about 25% every 1 to 2 weeks.
 

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I clean filters every 3-4 months and filter hoses more often if necessary. A simple rinse at water-change time is all that's required. I think this contributes to maintaining good quality water which is eventually beneficial to both flora and fauna.

I was using a Fluval 304 and found it to be easy to disconnect and rinse. The on-off flow switch is well designed to make this process convenient.

The foam filter tends to get clogged and a rinse is beneficial. If you use the ribbed Fluval hoses, you would do well to run a brush through them and get rid of the gunk which builds up therein. I replaced the ribbed hoses with clear vinyl hose of the same diameter (5/8").

Andrew Cribb
 

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I agree, it's best to do regular maintenance on your filters, plants or not.
The plants may help absorb some of the things from the water, but the filter still needs to get rid of the solids that are bound to pass through a tank. With plants it's especially important to keep an eye on the intake strainer since it picks up all of the little break-away plant parts and can get clogged very quickly.
If you get in a normal routine, it's not too much effort at all. :)
 

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I have Fluvals and I always rinse sponges & replace the floss each waterchange. I run a brush through the hoses once a month and clean the impellar as needed. I would suggest to add floss to your filter which will catch very small/fine debris that the sponges do not. Proper filter maintance will let everthing run smoothly and prolong the life of your filter.
 

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What kind of brush do you use? I have 2 - 2 1/2 feet of hose and have been wondering how to clean them, I can't envision a brush being long enough to reach the whole length of hose. For those out there using Renas, do you replace their plastic clip for attachements with hose clamps? TIA.
 

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My wife has a bottle brush which is about 18" long. To clean long filter hoses I use an old length of airline (hose) and attach the brush to that. The airline is stiff enough to enable you to push the hose through the filter hose.

Andrew Cribb
 

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:) I'm not even sure what she was using it for, unless it was for daughter number 2's bottles. DN2 is now 3 years old and does not appear to be suffering from algae (yet).

Andrew Cribb
 

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I have a wet/dry, and haven't cleaned the bioballs in the two years since I setup the tank. I do rinse the prefilter sponge regularly to prevent it from being clogged.
 

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I use a HOB Whisper and just rinse out the cartridge every week.

I think what is important is that the water gets some movement, to stir up those nutrients in the water column.
 
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