Question About Filter Media

  1. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    Hello. I was wondering if any of you know what the filter media from the 5.5 gallon Top Fin LED Aquarium Starter Kit is made of. Need to know if it has any carbon in it because I'm trying to find a good medication to treat my fish for anchor worms and a lot of the medications have instructions that say to remove carbon from the filter before putting in the medication.
  2. goplecos Well Known Member Member

    It is a carbon cartridge. So you need to remove it. I would buy some aquarium sponge to stick in there while you are treating the tank.

  3. Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member

    You can also cut a slit in the top of the cartridge and dump the carbon. Then you don't have to lose your media.
  4. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    Could you please recommend a good sponge?

  5. goplecos Well Known Member Member

    A Marineland replacement sponge would work. You can usually find them at Petsmart. They are made for larger filters but you don't have to use the plastic frame and and can cut the sponge down to size. I like them because some other sponges will fall apart in a year, but mine has last for ages.
  6. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    That's a good idea. Because I don't want my fish using un-cycled media or an un-cycled sponge, especially if they're sick.
  7. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi there. I have a couple of favorite videos I like to share. I found them a few months ago when I was starting out. I learned a ton about filter media on YouTube.

    In addition I suggest adding a sponge filter to your tank. It is a sponge that attaches to an airpump, sort of like an airstone/bubbler but it helps with maintaining your cycle and gives you some backup media.

    Here are the videos:


  8. Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member

    You can also get the sponge and throw it in with the media that you dump the carbon from so it can get seeded while you're waiting and you will eventually be able to keep the sponge and throw out the cartridge. For now, I recommend keeping the cycled cartridge though for the lives of your fish.
  9. Blue Bea Member Member

    Just FYI, the filter bags actually open so you can dump out the carbon. Just take the clip off of the top and pull the two plastic pieces apart. Once the carbon is out, snap the black pieces back together and slide the clip back on.

    I agree about the sponge.
  10. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    Ok, more questions: If I save the carbon, can I put the same carbon back into the media after the medication is done affecting the water? If so, what should I hold the carbon in? And when is it ok to put carbon in the media again?

  11. Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't keep the carbon. Just buy some more if you want to replace it. They sell it at the pet store. You can restore the carbon in the filter when treatment is completely done and you're ready to return the tank to normal.
  12. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    But doesn't the carbon hold some of the cycle?

    Ok, I got all or almost all of the carbon out, but I think there are still little bits I couldn't get out. Is this good enough or do I need to get it all out?
  13. Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member


    I'm sure it will be fine. I wouldn't risk your bacteria on trying to get out the smallest piece of carbon. If it does manage to collect some of the meds it will fill up on those and be inactive in no time. Just don't leave more than you have to.
  14. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    Ok, I put the Tetra Parasite Guard tablet in the tank last night. How long do I keep the filter media carbon-free?
  15. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    I still need to know when I should put carbon in the media.
  16. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    What do you need carbon for? It's unnecessary IMO. Water changes will get rid of the meds if the treatment is complete.
  17. guppiesandpuppies Member Member

    Doesn't carbon soak up contaminants? I won't be using it while the meds are in effect as I know it will soak up meds, too, but don't I need it to soak up contaminants at some point after the meds are done? And do I need it at any time between doses? The box says to do three doses, at one-week intervals.
  18. toolman Well Known Member Member

    Many with planted tanks don't ever use carbon. As long as you keep up with water changes its unnecessary, but it's a personal preference. I never use it, I use Purigen instead takes excess tannins from water.
  19. Fish-whisper Member Member

    Let's be sensible about this. Your aquarium is "5.5 gallon Top Fin LED Aquarium Starter Kit" how long do you think it would take carbon to absorb the medication ? you could remove 50 % of the medication in a matter of minutes changing 2.75 gal. of water, is carbon faster than that ? Water changes are the answer, not buying carbon, not worrying about when to add the carbon.

    Water changes are mentioned a few times in this thread, why ? Because water changes are the fastest, cheapest, best way to remove pollution/contaminants from the aquarium. Not buying some super hypersorb product.
  20. goplecos Well Known Member Member

    Carbon is a must for removing meds. When I was treating a fish with ich in a 5 gallon with a sponge filter and no carbon it took me over a week to remove all the meds with daily 50% water changes. I would have done more but there was a fish in there. carbon will also remove many other contaminants. Just sponge is not anything near enough IMO.