55 Gallon Tank Filter Advice Please.

Sedna

Member
For context, I have a 55Gal Tank that I purchased from a previous owner, so I do not have all of the specifications but from a little searching online I believe that my Filter System is, which is an Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter with 3-Step Filtration for 30-60 Gallons. The filter carts. that came with it are the Aqua-Tech E-Z Change Replacement Filter Cartridge with Activated Carbon for 20-40 / 30-60 Gallon Power Filter #3.

I am currently medicating (Pimafix) my tank, and since I am doing so I've removed my filter carts. After the 7 day medicating is finished should I put the original filter carts back in?
I had just put them in on Monday (02/08/2021) and then removed them yesterday evening (02/11/2021) when I added the medicine (Pimafix).

Alternatively, since they were my last filter carts in the box, is it possible to use different filter carts than the on-brand ones, or even ones that can be re-used?
 

Crimson_687

Member
You can make your own media if needed. Any media will work, it’s purpose is to hold bacteria. A media bag should open to allow you to remove carbon, but if it does not, you could just punch a small hole to remove it. You don’t ever need to replace media, unless it starts falling apart to the point where bits of it fall into the tank or interrupt the propeller (usually doesn’t happen)

What are you medicating for? Pimafix is just bay tree oil, it doesn’t really treat anything. I would discontinue it as it can irritate fish skin and gills.
 

StarGirl

Member
Did the tank come with fish?
 
  • Thread Starter

Sedna

Member
Crimson_687 said:
You can make your own media if needed. Any media will work, it’s purpose is to hold bacteria. A media bag should open to allow you to remove carbon, but if it does not, you could just punch a small hole to remove it. You don’t ever need to replace media, unless it starts falling apart to the point where bits of it fall into the tank or interrupt the propeller (usually doesn’t happen)

What are you medicating for? Pimafix is just bay tree oil, it doesn’t really treat anything. I would discontinue it as it can irritate fish skin and gills.
I assumed I was having to change them every 30 days as the box instructed, we figured we wouldn't be able to really use another means of cartridge for the filter, how would I go about making one that is essentially reusable then?

We're using the Pimafix for assumed Flavobacterium columnare (Cotton Wool Disease). My Goldfish started showing symptoms a few days ago, where his scales looked like he had a light build up on them, he had no appetite, reddening to his fin joints, and his entire behavior had changed. We were advised to use it to clear up the fungal infection. Since we've put the Pimafix in, his redness has decreased to almost none, his appetite, and behavior have returned, and I don't really see anymore of the white cottony spores in the tank anymore. But I've only been using it since last night and it could just be something else. My pH read quite low, and I put pH 7.0 in my tank from API to bring it back up.

Originally we were told to use something that begins with a C, or maybe it was an S, but they were sold out and sent us to another store, and they told me to use the Pimafix.
StarGirl said:
Did the tank come with fish?
Yes, the tank originally came with 3 Angels, 1 Gourami, 1 Common Pleco, 1 Goldfish, and 2 Tetras.
I've since added 1 Gourami, and 2 Striped Raphael Catfish Juvi's. Things were fine up until just a few days ago, after my last water change, and then my filter cartridge change.
 

StarGirl

Member
How long have you had it? Does it have 2 carts? You could change out the carts for regular media like sponges and bio media. I know a good Mod thread if you are interested.

Did the old carts dry up that you took out? If so just get new ones. You can cut a small slit and get the carbon out while they are still dry. But since you have meds in there leave it in to get the meds out. After that don't change them, just rinse them out in tank water when doing a water change. Until they literally fall apart. A great majority of your cycle is on the bio media. So throwing them out every month kinda re starts your cycle or could cause a mini cycle. So using reusable media you just have to squish a sponge out in tank water and your good.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sedna

Member
StarGirl said:
How long have you had it? Does it have 2 carts? You could change out the carts for regular media like sponges and bio media. I know a good Mod thread if you are interested.

Did the old carts dry up that you took out? If so just get new ones. You can cut a small slit and get the carbon out while they are still dry. But since you have meds in there leave it in to get the meds out. After that don't change them, just rinse them out in tank water when doing a water change. Until they literally fall apart. A great majority of your cycle is on the bio media. So throwing them out every month kinda re starts your cycle or could cause a mini cycle. So using reusable media you just have to squish a sponge out in tank water and your good.
I would love to look at the Mod thread!

I've personally had this tank since January 8th of this year, I'm very new to everything and want to do things correctly because I'm quickly finding it to be very enjoyable.

Yes, it does have 2 carts, as far as for bio, I have these red non-removable cart-shaped ones within my filter, which I believe is supposed to be kind of like bio-balls?

Is there a specific type of sponge that seems to be the better choice for filter systems?
I would prefer to be using a reusable filtration like you mentioned with sponges, and just get the crushed/powder version of carbon to use with it rather than it being in it.
 

Crimson_687

Member
Sedna said:
I assumed I was having to change them every 30 days as the box instructed, we figured we wouldn't be able to really use another means of cartridge for the filter, how would I go about making one that is essentially reusable then?

We're using the Pimafix for assumed Flavobacterium columnare (Cotton Wool Disease). My Goldfish started showing symptoms a few days ago, where his scales looked like he had a light build up on them, he had no appetite, reddening to his fin joints, and his entire behavior had changed. We were advised to use it to clear up the fungal infection. Since we've put the Pimafix in, his redness has decreased to almost none, his appetite, and behavior have returned, and I don't really see anymore of the white cottony spores in the tank anymore. But I've only been using it since last night and it could just be something else. My pH read quite low, and I put pH 7.0 in my tank from API to bring it back up.

Originally we were told to use something that begins with a C, or maybe it was an S, but they were sold out and sent us to another store, and they told me to use the Pimafix.

Yes, the tank originally came with 3 Angels, 1 Gourami, 1 Common Pleco, 1 Goldfish, and 2 Tetras.
I've since added 1 Gourami, and 2 Striped Raphael Catfish Juvi's. Things were fine up until just a few days ago, after my last water change, and then my filter cartridge change.
Columnaris is very hard to treat.. it sounds like you caught it early though, so that is good.

Personally I haven't dealt with columnaris, but this thread might be of some assistance:
Columnaris Symptoms And Treatment | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health Forum | 263058

I hope the little one gets better
 
  • Thread Starter

Sedna

Member
StarGirl said:
This will show you what to use.
Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters | Aquarium Filter Forum | 385506
Since you are kinda starting over you could just switch to this. If you have the current carts still just tear the cloth off and put it in with the new media you get. There may be some bacteria in it still. I could explain that more later.
Thank you so very much! I've been skimming through it here and there tonight and will have to read it more in depth in the morning!
Crimson_687 said:
Columnaris is very hard to treat.. it sounds like you caught it early though, so that is good.

Personally I haven't dealt with columnaris, but this thread might be of some assistance:
Columnaris Symptoms And Treatment | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health Forum | 263058

I hope the little one gets better
I'm hoping I caught it in time, it def. sounds like the first strand when I read through. Thank you for that! I had posted a few days ago in the freshwater disease thread for advice because I wasn't certain what he had. He seems to so far be doing a fair deal better, and my tank doesn't seem to have any more cottony floaties.
 

Islandvic

Member
Bump up the frequency and the amount of your water changes for a few weeks.

Slowly eliminate the cartridges in the filter, and replace them with foam blocks like in the thread that StarGirl mentioned.

They are reusable and catch more muck without clogging, compared to the cartridges.

Consider adding a sponge filter powered by an air pump in the future.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sedna

Member
StarGirl said:
This will show you what to use.
Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters | Aquarium Filter Forum | 385506
Since you are kinda starting over you could just switch to this. If you have the current carts still just tear the cloth off and put it in with the new media you get. There may be some bacteria in it still. I could explain that more later.
Good morning, lol. Thank you again so very much for directing me to the Diy guide for media! I finally had some time to sit and read through it better. The sponge method is what we are interested in using in our tank. I did not know that the cart media changes were disrupting my cycle so much. I thought since we had the red plastic bio sheet in the filter that it would prevent that. I'm so thankful for everyones help in this thread.
Islandvic said:
Bump up the frequency and the amount of your water changes for a few weeks.

Slowly eliminate the cartridges in the filter, and replace them with foam blocks like in the thread that StarGirl mentioned.

They are reusable and catch more muck without clogging, compared to the cartridges.

Consider adding a sponge filter powered by an air pump in the future.
We have an outdoor pond that uses sponges on the filter in it, so we're familiar with the cleaning process used for that, after reading through your sponge posts in the Diy media guide I believe that's the one we'll be using for our tank.
The carts that I just removed to medicate the tank were the last in my box, so when I put new media in it will be the sponges. I'm not sure if we'll get extra bio-material though or not since we have the one that came with our filter in, it'll be something we discuss most certainly though! Thank you for the advice.
 

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