Interesting proposal

Guyb93

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I listen to a monthly pod cast here in the Uk not sure weather it’s international but my guess would be it’s just here in the uk and it’s 3 experienced fish keepers talking about fish and tanks , And an unusual proposal got put out in this pod cast about filter cleaning , always a worrier about cleaning my filter I paid extra attention to this part and they seem to suggest that washing your filter sponges under tap water has its benefits.... shock horror I know but they way they explained it made perfect sense to me , apparently depending on you’re tank footprint and layout your better off washing your filter sponges under tap water as it will clean the sponges far better and won’t actually kill all the beneficial bacteria apparently here in the Uk there actually isn’t enough chlorine or chloramine in the water to actually fully destroy the bacteria and by rinsing your sponges under the tap removed dead and dying bacteria ready for when you place them back into the canister , apparently the tank size and footprint is a vital part of this as a small 100l under tank hasn’t got the footprint to hold enough bacteria ( made sense to me ) I have 60kg of sand plus 30kg of wood and stones that will be holding a lot of beneficial bacteria. My filter itself is just mechanical the biological media in there is almost redundant, does this sound correct to anyone else ? I can’t imagine cleaning my sponges under the tap but the argument for doing so actually got me thinking
 

xxBarneyxx

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I think it is going to be very dependant on your filter, stock load and tank setup.

Heavily planted tank, light stock load. Your filter is probably not doing much more than mechanical filtration anyway so why not.

Smaller tank with a HOB or internal filter that is mostly or exclusively sponges/foam. Doing this will, in my opinion, almost certainly cause a tank crash.

The majority of your bacteria are going to be in your filter, that's where the best conditions for them are. Even with lower "antibac" chemicals in the water there are still enough that I wouldn't expect many useful bacteria to survive.

Also I have never seen anyone have a tank crash from cleaning their filter media in tank water. I have seen many people have a tank crash after "cleaning" or replacing their filter though so I don't think there is any real benefit to it.
 

kribensis12

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The "smell test" says no. I won't pretend that out of desperation (using Marineland filter pads, which can't be cleaned traditionally - meh) that I have not just all out replaced the filter pad w/ no beneficial bacteria BUT... chlorinated water should not be put on bacteria that are necessary for your tanks survival. Simply put.

I think you'd be playing with fire and asking for trouble.
 
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Guyb93

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I think it is going to be very dependant on your filter, stock load and tank setup.

Heavily planted tank, light stock load. Your filter is probably not doing much more than mechanical filtration anyway so why not.

Smaller tank with a HOB or internal filter that is mostly or exclusively sponges/foam. Doing this will, in my opinion, almost certainly cause a tank crash.

The majority of your bacteria are going to be in your filter, that's where the best conditions for them are. Even with lower "antibac" chemicals in the water there are still enough that I wouldn't expect many useful bacteria to survive.

Also I have never seen anyone have a tank crash from cleaning their filter media in tank water. I have seen many people have a tank crash after "cleaning" or replacing their filter though so I don't think there is any real benefit to it.
To me it just sounded wrong , I couldn’t imagine cleaning sponges under the tap but it gets drilled into us from the being that tap water is bad it will destroy your bb and crash your tank , I’m assuming it’s drilled in so you can’t mess up but in the right circumstance you don’t need to waste time being so careful , I’m not going to try it .. to scared lol just wanted to know if this seems right to others
 
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Guyb93

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The "smell test" says no. I won't pretend that out of desperation (using Marineland filter pads, which can't be cleaned traditionally - meh) that I have not just all out replaced the filter pad w/ no beneficial bacteria BUT... chlorinated water should not be put on bacteria that are necessary for your tanks survival. Simply put.

I think you'd be playing with fire and asking for trouble.
I agree but my filter is graded for a tank twice my size , I could half the surface area of my filter and should be ok , there theory Is that by cleaning the sponges in tap water it clears the sponge of dead bacteria and unhealthy bacteria and far more effective clearing detritus , once you place the sponges back in the filter it’s going to take less than 24 hours for them to be back .. I’m not saying this as my knowledge cus I have no idea but these chaps are men that to have 30+ years each I just can’t seem to bring myself to trust the theory lol
 

kribensis12

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I agree but my filter is graded for a tank twice my size , I could half the surface area of my filter and should be ok , there theory Is that by cleaning the sponges in tap water it clears the sponge of dead bacteria and unhealthy bacteria and far more effective clearing detritus , once you place the sponges back in the filter it’s going to take less than 24 hours for them to be back .. I’m not saying this as my knowledge cus I have no idea but these chaps are men that to have 30+ years each I just can’t seem to bring myself to trust the theory lol

"If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true" would be my thought.

If most keepers use tank water and are very successful in husbandry, I don't think this change is even helpful. Conversely, I have seen topics on TFF where someone had a tank crash and/or fish die and it was presumed after more info was provided that it was related to using tap water to clear their filter. So it just seems like they are trying to solve a problem that does not exist.
 

wasmewasntit

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Keep it simple....why risk potential issues by rinsing anything in tap water when you always have a ready supply of aquarium water available to use....even if you hook a jug full of aquarium water specifically to rinse the media on a non water change day, as I do sometimes.

Tapwater gets messed with by the water supplier, often without warning, or it can be tainted by flooding from heavy rain etc. When you have fish you have a permanent supply of aquarium water to use......fishkeeping can be complicated enough without introducing unneccessary risks that are easily avoided.
 

Wills

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I think it depends on the make of the filter too - the oase biomaster pre filters are quite far away from the biological filtration and loads of people wash these sponges in tap water without issue it seems (I’m too scared too so use tank water but understand the logic). If I think of something like the fluval fx range the sponges are directly next to the bio baskets so good chance of problems.
 

Slaphppy7

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I stopped using sponges long ago; ceramic media rinses well in old tank water....sponges are gunky
 
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Guyb93

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I believe the point of the topic was everybody does things in different way as the 3 did not agree on this same as the water change itself it’s recommend you dose the whole tank not just the new entry of water ... why ? I don’t believe they were saying oh everyone clean your filters with tap water I believe what they were saying is that people think that the chlorine levels in water are high when by law they can only be 5ppm , over years of doing these things the time and money that could be saved by “ cutting corners” is worth the risk in there opinion
 

JennySolano

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I listen to a monthly pod cast here in the Uk not sure weather it’s international but my guess would be it’s just here in the uk and it’s 3 experienced fish keepers talking about fish and tanks , And an unusual proposal got put out in this pod cast about filter cleaning , always a worrier about cleaning my filter I paid extra attention to this part and they seem to suggest that washing your filter sponges under tap water has its benefits.... shock horror I know but they way they explained it made perfect sense to me , apparently depending on you’re tank footprint and layout your better off washing your filter sponges under tap water as it will clean the sponges far better and won’t actually kill all the beneficial bacteria apparently here in the Uk there actually isn’t enough chlorine or chloramine in the water to actually fully destroy the bacteria and by rinsing your sponges under the tap removed dead and dying bacteria ready for when you place them back into the canister , apparently the tank size and footprint is a vital part of this as a small 100l under tank hasn’t got the footprint to hold enough bacteria ( made sense to me ) I have 60kg of sand plus 30kg of wood and stones that will be holding a lot of beneficial bacteria. My filter itself is just mechanical the biological media in there is almost redundant, does this sound correct to anyone else ? I can’t imagine cleaning my sponges under the tap but the argument for doing so actually got me thinking
Very interesting. I’m new to the hobby & have only read about using old tank H2O, so I’m sticking with it. Probably tap works under some circumstances. But I’d condition the tap if I used it.
 

PheonixKingZ

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I rinse my course sponges under tap water just because they contain SO much debris and it would impossible to remove all of that just from swishing it in old tank water.

I never rinse my course media or my cartridges though.
 

wasmewasntit

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I rinse my course sponges under tap water just because they contain SO much debris and it would impossible to remove all of that just from swishing it in old tank water.

I never rinse my course media or my cartridges though.
Whenever I used sponges in the past, I have always thoroughly cleaned them in aquarium water...squeeze them out under water...if squeamish about fish poo or you have cuts or open wounds on hands/fingers, then use gloves (I use blue nitrile gloves when doing all maintenance, one pair per aquarium to prevent cross contamination)

Give the sponges a really good squeeze and squish and 90% of the poo etc will come off without losing anything that should stay put.
 
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Guyb93

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I rinse my course sponges under tap water just because they contain SO much debris and it would impossible to remove all of that just from swishing it in old tank water.

I never rinse my course media or my cartridges though.
That was the main benefit they said that the amount of crap and debris you remove out weighs the loss of bacteria
 

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