Two part cleaning aquarium question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Two part cleaning aquarium question

Question 1
I have two main questions that are concerned with cleaning of tanks. For my quarantine system, I have fish who cleared quarantine (3 weeks) with know illness symptoms. I usually do a nice bleach clean on the tank after fish have cleared quarantine. However this time around I had plants sitting in the tank as the fish were extremely skittish and upon adding the plants it helped them to be bold and active and eat more readily. I threw in a clump of java fern as well as the smaller plantlets I have been pruning from my main tanks, as well as some extra frogbit. My question is how should I clean the plants I f intend to keep them in the quarantine tank. I have a betta that I would like to put in there on his own as he recovers from some fin rot.

Question 2
Recently I have been thinking about how I clean my canister filter. Is it detrimental to use tap water compared to old tank water? what are the benefits of using the tank water instead of tap water? I never looked into why you should do that way. I just followed what it seemed like most were saying and that being to use old tank water. Anyone just use tap water instead of old tank water?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:03 AM
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Best to have artificial plants in quarantine in my view so that one does not have to worry bout effect's on plant's of possible medication's sometimes needed.
Also makes cleaning the artificial plants easy.Fishes still get feeling of secure surrounding's.
Live plants can help with water quality but perhaps not if they are doing poorly for any number of reason's up to and including medication's for fin rot.
Plants that aren't doing well can pollute the system, and given that most quarantine tanks are small affair's,the water chemistry can be affected more quickly to negative side due to smaller volume of water.
Cleaning filter material Under chlorinated tap water will kill portion of bacteria for that's why they treat the water from your tap with it(kills bacteria).
If you have biomedia in the filter, and do not clean this under tap water ,you might get away with cleaning the foam or mechanical media under tap water depending on how much bacteria may be present elsewhere in the tank (ie) glass,substrate,filter,plant leaves,filter hoses,etc.(newer tanks may be an issue)
You just don't want to clean all of the filter material under tap water and is why many just swish/squeeze it out in bucket of old tank water you are removing.
If you run two filters on larger tanks,you can clean the filter material from one under the tap with out much worry, and clean the material from the other filter the next week.
Lot's of and's if's,or but's but safe bet is to clean all materials from the filter in dechlorinated water or old tank water IMHO
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 01:39 PM
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- good advice on plastic plants for a quarantine system.

- as for filter cleaning, it's generally held that the chlorine/chloramine in tap water will kill the beneficial bacteria. Although potentially true, it likely won't kill all of the BB and if you have a planted tank, the plants will likely handle the ammonia until BB levels are back. Besides, some get hung up on the filter being the only place BB lives. Although it's a great place, BB lives elsewhere in the tank, especially in the substrate. So if your tank is established and planted, you can be more thorough in cleaning the filter media. Still, always better safe then sorry!

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 01:40 PM
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Ditto. I usually use plastic or silk plants for QT because I can sterilize them afterwards. A few times I have used live plants but they are always extras I don't mind throwing away after- hornwort trimmings or duckweed floaters for extra security. One time I put bolbitis fern thru quarantine with the fish who didn't end up needing meds, so then I felt safe to put that plant back in the tank. might do a bleach dip one part bleach to ten or twenty parts water is what I've done, or fifty fifty hydrogen peroxide and water spray, then rinse well in tap water and again in tank water, if I'm afraid of some disease or algae contamination.

Rinse filter media in tank water because chlorine in tap will kill the good bacteria. However if you have set aside all the media to rinse out the canister housing and clean inside of hoses, impeller, etc I would think tap is ok for that.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 12:48 PM
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Will an R/O unit remove chlorine?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 02:08 PM
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Best practice for cleaning can and does vary a lot and part of the question is how bold your user as well as how old the tank. Some are far more the risk taker and do it in tap all the time, other are more careful. If there is a lot of bacteria in/on all the parts of the tank, a risk taker can kill all the bacteria in the filter and still get by. I favor being a bit more careful and just don't try to press the limits and get a problem started.
I think of much of the tank work we do as rocking the boat a bit on bacteria count. So when I rock the boat and know I'm killing some, I try not to rock the boat too hard nor too often.
Since chlorine is a pretty easy item to deal with an RO should do it . Just letting bleach set out without the cap will remove the chlorine as it does return to gas and blow away. One of the problems with storing chlorine that is used for pool treatment is that it will gas off and rust everything nearby.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Would a bucket of dechlorinated water work? On my smalls tanks I cant drain enough water out for a water change and water to rinse media.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chungbohts View Post
Would a bucket of dechlorinated water work? On my smalls tanks I cant drain enough water out for a water change and water to rinse media.
Yes.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chungbohts View Post
Would a bucket of dechlorinated water work? On my smalls tanks I cant drain enough water out for a water change and water to rinse media.
Definite YES on this!
I think there is often a bit of sloppiness to what we read and recommend. since the whole idea of using water without chlorine is to reduce the amount of bacteria killed, it doesn't matter at all if we use old tank water or water we have treated to lock up the chlorine.
I think where we get into the sloppy part is that we are kind of assuming there will be old tank water we are draining so we say use it to rinse the media.
It would probably be more accurate to say we should use water without active chlorine. We are not at all good at this communications stuff at times.
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