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Disinfect Filter Cartridge?


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So I have been treating my goldfish for flukes/parasites and I read in the disease section of this website that sometimes flukes will live on the filter cartridge (that I removed before treatment) and once added back into the tank after treatment they might go after the fish again.

Is there any way I can disinfect the cartridge or do I have to buy a new one?

Can I boil it or dip in a bleach solution or something?

Thanks. :)

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What filter are you using ? How long has the cartridge been out of water ? Is it carbon that you have removed ? Boiling water should do the trick for normal filter media.

Edited by alistairw
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  • Regular Member

So I have been treating my goldfish for flukes/parasites and I read in the disease section of this website that sometimes flukes will live on the filter cartridge (that I removed before treatment) and once added back into the tank after treatment they might go after the fish again.

Is there any way I can disinfect the cartridge or do I have to buy a new one?

Can I boil it or dip in a bleach solution or something?

Thanks. :)

Nope. Never boil plastic or bleach cartridges.

First: Boiling causes the non toxic polymer coating to get destroyed, causing toxic plastic to expose. Some plastics are very toxic to aquatic organisms.

Second: If any bleach remains in the cartridge after washing, it is lethal.

You can disinfect with a 4-6% solution of potassium permanganate (found in medicine stores) or a fairly concentrated solution Methylene Blue (found in Rid All Anti Ich) and soak for 6 hours. That does it. Thanks.

EDIT: You can boil carbon or ceramic as alistairw has said. Drying in open sun also helps a lot as sun's UV destroys all bacteria.

Edited by bagho
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Like alistair said, what type of cartridge is it and what does it contain?

I personally would just buy a new cartridge. If it doesn't have carbon in it, I would leave the cartridge in during treatment, that would kill the parasites. It is always best to treat the tank 7 days after the initial treatment to prevent re-infestation.

Depending on the plastic used in your cartridge (some vary) you can boil it for around 10 minutes. Bleaching probably is not best for filter media, especially absorbent's, but can definitely be done.

If you did want to ever bleach, it is a solution of 1 parts bleach to 20 parts water. @Bagho, the bleach solution is dilute enough, as long as it is rinsed properly, no bleach will remain in the cartridge

EDIT: I agree with alistair, as long as you rinse and dechlorinate properly, you can bleach the cartridge

Edited by Narny105
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Cleaning filter media in a mild bleach solution is fine as long as you rinse well and most importantly dechlorinate it correctly. I clean my python in a mild bleach solution as it's used on multiple tanks. I rinse well and leave it in a large tub of water overnight with a double dose of prime.

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I have one of those Aqueon filters. It has a common slide in filter cartridge. It looks like these:

http://www.petco.com/product/102602/Aqueon-Replacement-Filter-Cartridges.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductListTopRated_Fish_3-_-Aqueon%20Replacement%20Filter%20Cartridges-102602

The filter cartridge has been out of the tank for about 9 days. But I have been letting it sit in tank water that I keep replacing with new tank water. (I thought I was suppose to try to keep the bacteria alive)

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