So how often do you change out the filter media? I rinse mine out a couple of times before I change it out for a new one. I have read that you should reuse as long as you can because beneficial bacteria has grown in the filter pad, and that rinsing with tap water, as opposed to tank water, will instantly kill the bacteria. What do you do? How long do you think the charcoal is good?
How long do you use a filter pad?
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with my old bio-wheel filter I'd just wait until the water was brimming the overflow which usually didn't take more than 3 weeks. With my rena XP1 I wait until there's a very small reduction in water flow indicating the sponges are getting clogged which takes nearly a month before I rinse thoroghly in the sink. Most filters have designated media or areas where bacteria is designed to collect so I don't get any shivers of dread from the idea of completely changing out a pad, or thoroughyl rinsing my sponges. It just means it will be longer before I'll have to fool with it again. In my aquaclear I have some sort of ceramic-like material that never gets rinsed, and the rena has little bio-stars.