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Filter Maintenance During Following Fish-less Cycle

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I’m on the tail end of doing a fish-less cycle. I’ve been running a canister filter during that time. In the canister is that fine poly-fil, polishing type of media. Since there is no actual fish to gunk it up. Would you replace it as if there were fish gunk in it or leave it until there are actual fish in the tank to gunk it up? It’s been about a month + a week since day one. Trying to figure out a game plan for when the tank is ready for fish. Leave the media in place and reset the maintenance clock to zero after adding fish or go through maintenance like normal when you have an established tank before adding the fish?

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1 minute ago, DShelton said:

I would put a sponge on the intake strainer, so that I would only rarely have to open the canister to disturb its media, but definitely do not change the poly-fil.

I have a sponge for the intake as well. I was waiting to attach it to let as much bacteria build up in the canister. Mainly got it to keep the sand from going into the filter once I move my Yoyo’s into the tank. The extra surface area for bacteria is a bonus. 😎

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