Installing new filter pads


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My 1000 gallon goldfish pond is about 5 year old and still has the 3 original filter pads that the installer provided and fitted. I have cleaned them once a year and the pond is doing great. However, the filter pads are tearing a bit and so I bought a roll of 2" replacement filter material that appears to match the original closely. My 2 questions are:

Should I replace each of the 3 pads at once, or is it better to phase them in one at a time so that beneficial bacteria trapped in them does not suddenly disappear?

How tightly should the pads fit in their compartment? Right now there is a small gap around the edge and I am not sure if this was intentional or not
Thanks for help and insights
 
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MoonShadows

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I would replace 1 or 2 now so you still have plenty of good stuff in the filter. As far as fit, I would imagine you don't want to have gaps.
 
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I'd probably phase the new pads in; however your pond is pretty well established with a good bio film at 5 years old, so, if you did change them all at once, you'd probably be fine .
 
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