When to clean and replace bio media in your aquarium filter?

Bio media is crucial for biological filtration in aquariums. Bio media does not filter water itself; however, it provides a surface for colonizing good bacteria. Heaps of good bacteria spread over the porous surface of bio media. Because there is more surface area inside the pores, therefore, numerous beneficial bacteria spread over the media and grow inside its pores.

Good bacteria is required for the removal of toxic chemicals that release from fish waste & other debris. When waste or other gunk is not removed on time, it starts to leach out dangerous chemicals. Foam or sponge only removes the solid gunk while water containing dangerous chemicals flows through the mechanical filter media. When it enters the bio media chamber, then good bacteria removes the chemicals, & allows clean water to flow back to the aquarium.

How often you should wash & change your biological media depends on your fish tank setup. Many bio media manufacturers recommend short replacement time to sell more bio media.

Gently wash your biological media when gunk is built up on it. Use your fish tank water for rinsing your bio media. If you use tap water then all of your beneficial bacteria will be lost because tap water usually contains chlorine or chloramine that consumes the good bacteria. If you do not find any visible waste on the bio media, then you should leave it alone.

When to replace filter bio media?
When to replace filter bio media?

It is recommended to replace the bio media when it starts to break down or it becomes fully clogged with debris.

If you choose to change your old bio media, then do not replace all media at the same time. Instead, change half or one third of media & replace the remaining media after a week or 2. It takes some time for beneficial bacteria to colonize over the new media. It will make sure you still have heaps of beneficial bacteria available in your filter while waiting for the good bacteria to colonize over the new media.

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