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Cleaning filter best way

aquagenetics

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7 Oct 2021
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33
Location
Netherlands
Hey People,

I was wondering what you guys clean your filter with i usually try to do it with aquarium water(because i heard its the best to keep the filter bacteria alive.) but after the first sponges its so dirty i am thinking is it still beneficial to do so ? it looks like black water
i have attached a picture of the bucket with dirty water from the first 2 sponges, so you guys can see what i mean. i usually clean the filter every month, but i had to do it now quicker because i took out all the bags with volcanic rocks that i had underneath the soil because i couldnt plant deep enough anymore.

20211124_200402.jpg
 

rebel

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4 Aug 2015
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2,247
I am sure this has been discussed to the death.

I just clean my filter with rain water because I have access via a tank and it's free. I used to clean it with tap water in the past. I don't think you can kill all the bacteria with a quick rinse like that. Others opinions may differ....
 
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I used to use tank water but tap doesn’t seem to have done the media any harm. It might depend on how good or bad your local tap water is though?
 

Angus

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29 Aug 2008
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Vauxhall, London.
I just squeeze out my sponges inside the canister tub, empty that and refill, then i do my waterchange afterwards to get rid of anything that kicks out of the filter.

Not sure i would trust washing my filter sponges in thames water tap.
 

aquagenetics

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Netherlands
I used to use tank water but tap doesn’t seem to have done the media any harm. It might depend on how good or bad your local tap water is though?
Well the tap water here in the Netherlands is quite good, but i always thought if i just squeeze the sponges in tap water, it would destroy the beneficial bacteria.
 

Corbie

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22 Oct 2021
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Aberdeenshire
The chlorine in tap water is put there specifically to kill bacteria (among other things). Since all that is required is to improve the flow through the filter, I don't really clean them as such- just give them a swirl in a bucket of old tank water to get rid of the worst muck, when I do a water change.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Well the tap water here in the Netherlands is quite good, but i always thought if i just squeeze the sponges in tap water, it would destroy the beneficial bacteria.
I used to use tank water but tap doesn’t seem to have done the media any harm.
I think you are pretty safe doing <"this is in Europe">. I think in the Netherlands they don't use chlorine? but use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The USA would be <"slightly different"> and I wouldn't <"use their tap water"> for sponge cleaning (or drinking).

cheers Darrel
 

aquagenetics

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Hi all,


I think you are pretty safe doing <"this is in Europe">. I think in the Netherlands they don't use chlorine? but use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The USA would be <"slightly different"> and I wouldn't <"use their tap water"> for sponge cleaning (or drinking).

cheers Darrel

Yea we dont use chlorine in our tap water, so does this also mean i would be fine cleaning the sponges with tapwater ? sometimes i feel i need to coz theyre really dirty, and so as you can see in above image the bucket gets dark quick.
 

Angus

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Vauxhall, London.
Yea we dont use chlorine in our tap water, so does this also mean i would be fine cleaning the sponges with tapwater ? sometimes i feel i need to coz theyre really dirty, and so as you can see in above image the bucket gets dark quick.
The real issue for me and why i don't do rinsing in tap, is chloramine dosing because of pipe works in London, you can never trust thames water they will just use the stuff willy nilly, i sent an email to their "PR department" and they replied informing me it was fine to use aerated water as chloramine dosing is minimal, but then on the other hand ive spoken to a few lads on site now that were doing pipe works, and they say they just pump the stuff in all the time when there are dirty pipe installs, so basically the london pipe network is full of chloramines for most of the year, i believe the boots on the ground more than the PR guys, but i will let you all make up your own mind, or even change mine possibly if you know better than me.
 

aquagenetics

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The real issue for me and why i don't do rinsing in tap, is chloramine dosing because of pipe works in London, you can never trust thames water they will just use the stuff willy nilly, i sent an email to their "PR department" and they replied informing me it was fine to use aerated water as chloramine dosing is minimal, but then on the other hand ive spoken to a few lads on site now that were doing pipe works, and they say they just pump the stuff in all the time when there are dirty pipe installs, so basically the london pipe network is full of chloramines for most of the year, i believe the boots on the ground more than the PR guys, but i will let you all make up your own mind, or even change mine possibly if you know better than me.
i'am from The Netherlands, we dont use that stuff.
 

Angus

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i'am from The Netherlands, we dont use that stuff.
Us londoners can only dream... i am very jealous.

should imagine being in NL you will be fine, but could you maybe just take a couple buckets extra out the tank on filter cleaning day? i mean it makes sense to me to use "used" water for the environments sake, rather than using tap, and just changing X% of your tank into the drain anyway, when you could have used it for rinsing sponges.

Regards, Gus.
 

Wolf6

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Yea we dont use chlorine in our tap water, so does this also mean i would be fine cleaning the sponges with tapwater ? sometimes i feel i need to coz theyre really dirty, and so as you can see in above image the bucket gets dark quick.
Also Dutch, I always just rinse with lukewarm tapwater. Pretty thourough rinsing too sometimes as the spunges can hold insane amounts of dirt :)
 

hypnogogia

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I just clean the pre filters in a bucket of tank water when I do a water change. It gets rid of the grime that blocks the pre filters well enough. I clean the biological media about every 6 months, but there's hardly ever any real grime in that. Again I I=use tank water for that.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
is chloramine dosing because of pipe works in London,
This is a <"real issue"> and one of the reasons I'm not keen on using tap water in the tanks.
you can never trust thames water they will just use the stuff willy nilly, i sent an email to their "PR department" and they replied informing me it was fine to use aerated water as chloramine dosing is minimal, but then on the other hand ive spoken to a few lads on site now that were doing pipe works, and they say they just pump the stuff in all the time when there are dirty pipe installs,
We have a few of <"these threads">. My understanding is that as soon as there is any threat to the <"integrity of the water supply"> system chloramine is deployed, whatever the <"water company may say">.
I clean the biological media about every 6 months, but there's hardly ever any real grime in that. Again I I=use tank water for that.
I've found the same, often when I've opened the canister there hasn't been any real sign of <"microbial biofilm"> and the only waste has been small, black "pellets".

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Angus

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I've found the same, often when I've opened the canister there hasn't been any real sign of <"microbial biofilm"> and the only waste has been small, black "pellets".

cheers Darrel
Mine are always full of tiny particles of wood and nerite poop, pretty sure they eat the wood in my mind, always smells like cold tea inside my canister...
 

Matti

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I clean with tap water, no way it would kill all the bacteria. Think this way, you have something you have to sterilise, would you think that putting some tap water on it would kill all the bacteria, no!
 

Angus

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I clean with tap water, no way it would kill all the bacteria. Think this way, you have something you have to sterilise, would you think that putting some tap water on it would kill all the bacteria, no!
From the articles i have been reading relating to nitrifying bacteria/archaea and chlorination/chloramination, there may be more to it.

These bacteria are actually quite sensitive to low concentrations of chlorine.

But it may be the case that the colony in your filter has vast capacity for recovery, and post chlorination you are actually creating a diversity boom in the filter sponges by upsetting the status quo of Ammonia oxidizing archaea, Ammonia oxidizing bacteria and Nitrospira, with other types of bacteriums coming into play and potentially "picking up slack", which over time resets itself back to the colony levels you were originally at before chlorinating the sponges.

This is by no means definite and i recommend doing some reading yourselves, this is just the conclusion i have come to from reading a few articles about sewage treatment and chlorine burn studies, not saying it's gospel.
 

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