Gloves for cleaning filter? Are food gloves okay?


This is really embarassing to admit, but... I've never actually cleaned the filter in my betta tank, except for one failed attempt! Firstly because my tank is cycled successfully, so I'm scared to mess with it, but also because I have bad eczema on my hands so I'm worried it might be an infection risk.

Anyway, I'm trying to repent of my ways and actually clean the filter and maybe replace part of the wool. But I need to find some gloves. Something tells me aqua gloves or anything of the sort will be either unavailable or really expensive here, and since I'm only touching the filter components outside the water, not actually putting my hands deep in the tank, I figure short gloves should be fine.

Are any food-safe disposable gloves okay? Should I look for anything specific e.g. powder-free?



All 13 of my tanks have nitrile (blue latex free) gloves beside them for that reason. I have used other food safe disposable gloves over the years, nitrile gloves come in big boxes so they last awhile.. Whatever works best for you. Some people have reactions to certain products so it is personal choice, just make sure they are perfume free. Some use powdered gloves so that they can get the gloves on and off, I don't like powder as they dried out my hands again personal preference. With eczema do you wear a lot of lotion? gloves would be best as you don't want lotion in the tank and you don't want aquarium water on your dry skin. Good luck cleaning your filter just remember to rinse the media in tank water, not tap.


I believe whatever gloves are safe for food handling should be safe for fish, as long as they are latex free. Also forget about those gloves with the chalky stuff.

  • Thread Starter


Thanks Plecodragon and Dom90! I got some latex free and powder free gloves, which came in handy because my filter un-suctioned itself and dropped to the bottom of the tank.

ETA: Cleaned it! I just rinsed everything in tank water (except bio-balls compartment which I didn't disturb). Soooooo much gross stuff came out.

Good news is my filter is running much better now! Before it was making a clicking noise. The current became way stronger without my changing the flow settings.

Is there any particular protocol for "ordering" media? I have three clip-together compartments holding, from top to bottom (in the order I've put them in)

1. plastic mesh thing - this thing didn't have much dirt/scum in it. Do I even need it?!**
2. bio balls
3. finer mesh wrapped around carbon sticks

Is this a good order, or should I rearrange them?

**I only ask because my tank isn't very tall, and when I get my gravel it's going to be a tight squeeze keeping the current filter above the gravel and under the water, so if one of the compartments is unnecessary, I could remove it.

Alternatively, if this isn't a terrible idea, could I snip the coarse mesh/sponge thing in half and squeeze half in with the bioballs and/or the mesh/carbon compartment? The filter actually seems really big for the amount of media it contains, but I'm not sure if it's supposed to be loosely packed into each compartment like that. Seems like it could easily fit into fewer compartments, making for a more compact filter. ?

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