TopFin 10 Filter

  1. rjwenter Initiate Member

    Hello all. About a month ago my son got a TopFin starter kit aquarium for his birthday. The tank has been coming along quite well. I've never had a tank before and I think it's time to change the filter cartridge. I'm just wondering exactly how to do it. I'm afraid if I just change it out with a new cartridge I will lose a lot of the cycling work that's already been done. Can anyone please tell me how I should go about changing the cartridge so there is as little detrimental impact to the tank as possible? Thanks a lot! BTW - I think the filter cartridge needs changing because it looks like there are little dust particles coming into the tank. The water isn't cloudy, but it's not as crystal clear as it's been. Thanks again.
     
  2. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    welcome to fishlore! Is there carbon in the filter cartridge? If there is, cut out the carbon and throw it away. The rest of the cartridge can be rinsed in some tank water in a bucket, and then put back. don't use sink water, the chlorine will mess up the cycle. Just use discarded tank water.

    I hope this helps.
     

  3. rjwenter Initiate Member

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, it does have charcoal inside. Are you saying I should not replace the cartridge and just remove the charcoal from the old one? Or are you saying I should insert a new cartridge and leave the old filter cartridge (minus the charcoal) inside the basket along with it? Thanks again.
     
  4. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes, she is saying remove the charcoal from your cartridge, rinse in bucket of tank water and put back in filter. Charcoal only can absorb so much, then it has to be replaced, but doesn't have to be used. It's benefits are removes odars, discoloration, filters out meds, keeps water clear basically. It's a personnel preference really but has to be changed periodically or it will not work as well. If you want to continue to use it then you have to put another cartridge in and leave the old one in with it for 2 weeks then throw it away. That way you won't upset your tank. If that makes sense. I don't care for cartridges, I use Aquaclear filters that have a sponge and biomax pack which is another insert for bacteria colonies to establish. They are like small stones with pores.
     

  5. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    You don't want to replace the whole cartridge, as that will remove the beneficial bacteria from your tank. If you really want new cartidges in your tank, I would suggest adding another to the filter if it can fit, or just in the tank as discretely as possible. That way, the bacteria has more surface to grow. And when you change one cartridge, the other stays in. Then next time you change the other. That way, you always have at least 1 cartridge with beneficial bacteria established in it. But changing out the cartridges often will become VERY expensive, and shouldn't be necessary.

    The other thing is the carbon, it is good for about 3 weeks and then leaks all the nasties it has been removing back into the tank. Personally, I would cut out the carbon and see how the tank does without it. If you decide later you want it in the filter, you'll have some options. If this is the case, I think you should get another small filter. Keep one filter with no charcoal in it. In the other filter, have the coal. Then just replace that every 3 weeks, and you never have a time with all new filter media. Although you'll have to pay more up front, this option might actually be more cost-effective.

    By the way. you can use a cartidge (after the charcoal is removed) for a very long time When you do the water change, rinse it in the discarded water as necessary. It shouldn't have to be replaced until it is falling apart.
     
  6. Thunder Member Member

    With experience many years ago when I started my first tank, I had a similar filter. To my understanding, the good bacteria exist everywhere in the tank and inside the filter, not only on the cartilage. What I did was just exchange the cartilage (with black carbon inside) completely each month and the cycle was never affected. Altho, it does depend how long your tank has been established.
     
  7. rjwenter Initiate Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I will remove the charcoal today and keep my fingers crossed :)