Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
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