How to replace the Petmate Fresh Flow filter
with a better, homemade filter.
The Fresh Flow filters use a pelletized form of carbon. While it is very
clean and easy to handle, it is definitely not the most effective for
removing impurities from the water. It is probably used to minimize the
rinsing required when using a new filter. However it lacks the abundance
of pores which the more common aquarium carbon has. Plus, there really is
very little carbon in the purchased filters. Certainly not enough to
justify the price!
At the top of the filter the pouch is stitched closed. By removing
these stitches, you may refill the filter with a larger amount of better
quality carbon. Once you have removed the stitches, pull out the black
plastic frame, turn the filter bag inside out and discard the carbon
pellets. Rinse the filter bag very well, rubbing/rolling gently between
your palms, then turn right side out and rinse some more.
My 3 water-drinking cats liked the fountain when I first got it but in
only a couple of days showed less enthusiasm. It was only the first day or
so after it was refilled that they really drank a lot. Since switching to
refilling the bags with lots of traditional aquarium carbon they show no
loss of interest over the course of a week, even if I refill without
The carbon is available at any pet store for only a few dollars. If you
have any doubt about what to buy just ask a clerk for Activated Carbon for
Fresh Water Aquarium filters. If your town water supply uses Chloramine
(sp?) you may wish to use a product called AmmoCarb which has ammonia
removing resins in addiction to the carbon.
Because the carbon is so inexpensive, I replace it every 2 or 3 weeks
but I suspect you could wait much longer, especially if only one cat used
||Take a couple of tablespoons of activated carbon and place in a clean
||Fill the glass with fresh clean water. The water WILL turn black, this
is normal. Much of the carbon will float. The purpose of this step is to
let the water soak into the carbon which will reduce the amount of rinsing
which will be required later. How long to soak? I put the carbon in the
water before I start cleaning the fountain. By the time the plastic
housing and the pump motor are clean and everything else is set back up I
figure that is long enough. (I tried skipping this step and found it took
much longer to rinse the dust from the carbon once I put it in the filter
||Note the slight taper of the filter frame. That narrow end must go
into the filter bag first and will end up at the bottom when placed in the
fountain. With the frame in the bag, spoon the carbon from the glass into
the bag. It can be filled quite plumply, but stop filling when you get to
within 1/4" of the top of the frame, 1/2" of the top of the bag. Rinse,
rinse, rinse! Both from the top an the side. You can put a few basting
stitches in the top of the filter bag but it is not necessary. |
||When the filter is replaced in the housing it should look something
like this. The water level doesn't/can't go high enough to wash the carbon
out of the filter bag. If when turning on the filter the first water
coming down the ramp appears dark it simply means the carbon was not
rinsed well enough. It will do no harm if left, the carbon is non toxic.
Or you may dump out the water, rinse, rinse, rinse, and refill.|
|Copyright 2004 CNR
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Make your own replacement filter for longer life and save money.