How to clean filter without killing bacteria? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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How to clean filter without killing bacteria?

I have a fluval edge, it comes with the Aquaclear 20.

What's the proper way, if any, to clean the filter? Do I rinse the Biomax on top? The sponge? Or is this detrimental to the beneficial bacteria?

Please let me know, thanks.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 02:06 PM
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Just squeeze and rinse the sponge and bio max in water change tank water. Replace fine media and your good to go!


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh. LOADS of algae or some other brown material came out of my filter after cleaning the Biomax. My water is completely brown now with things floating in it. I'm afraid everything will die.

Someone please give me advice on cleaning filters.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mott View Post
Just squeeze and rinse the sponge and bio max in water change tank water. Replace fine media and your good to go!
I can take out the catridge from the filter without worrying about killing the beneficial bacteria? Do I leave the filter running while doing so?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rgr555 View Post
I can take out the catridge from the filter without worrying about killing the beneficial bacteria? Do I leave the filter running while doing so?
Just dont wash it in tap water, the chlorine will kill the bacteria.


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 02:16 PM
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Ok so first off. That brown junk in your tank will be nothing to fear. It will eventually clear up and it will not hurt your fish. They might eat it but it won't kill them.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 02:54 PM
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Here's how i clean my aqua clear filter media. I set aside about 2 gallons of the water from my tank as I'm doing a water change. I then turn off the filter, and then take out the media from the filter and rinse it off in the tank water i had set aside. You can shake the biomax around pretty good to get all the crap out of it. I also take the sponge and I squeeze it in and out several times to get all the crap out of it. You dont really have to be that gentle, just shake it around squeeze it out until it looks clean. There will be all kinds of brown stuff and debris floating in the water you cleaned it in. The main thing is you dont want to leave the media out of the water for too long. As soon as your done cleaning, put it all back in the filter and get the filter going again. You will have no problems with loss of bacteria. Be sure to fill the reservoir part of the filter with tank water before you start your filter back up so it doesnt burn out the impeller. Its not really as scary as youd think. Those bacteria are pretty tough.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hassan_ars View Post
Here's how i clean my aqua clear filter media. I set aside about 2 gallons of the water from my tank as I'm doing a water change. I then turn off the filter, and then take out the media from the filter and rinse it off in the tank water i had set aside. You can shake the biomax around pretty good to get all the crap out of it. I also take the sponge and I squeeze it in and out several times to get all the crap out of it. You dont really have to be that gentle, just shake it around squeeze it out until it looks clean. There will be all kinds of brown stuff and debris floating in the water you cleaned it in. The main thing is you dont want to leave the media out of the water for too long. As soon as your done cleaning, put it all back in the filter and get the filter going again. You will have no problems with loss of bacteria. Be sure to fill the reservoir part of the filter with tank water before you start your filter back up so it doesnt burn out the impeller. Its not really as scary as youd think. Those bacteria are pretty tough.
I wish I read this before doing what I did.

Haha, I just spent 1 hour doing everything weird. Even my galaxy rasbora got sucked up in the filter after cleaning it (the current was so much stronger after cleaning).

Thanks for the help guys.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by iKine View Post
Just dont wash it in tap water, the chlorine will kill the bacteria.
Wish I read this earlier. Too late..

I added some bacteria supplement after the water change to make up for it. Hopefully my fish will be ok.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 03:20 PM
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i rinse my canisters in room temp tap (chlorine and chloramine) everytime...a quick rinse may kill some, but it wont destroy your colony


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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 03:29 PM
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I always have 2 filters, either (in the past) 2 HOBs or 2 Canisters.

Clean one COMPLETELY, change media and everything, and leave the other alone. In about 2 months CLEAN the other one COMPLETELY.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 05:13 PM
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Even if you did kill 90% of the bacteria it is still in the tank and will recolonize very quickly.


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 05:34 PM
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i have a few 5 gallon buckets.. my method every month now is...
siphon my normal 50% into five gallon buckets

that tank water is safe to rinse ur media with. i have 4 trays in my cannister
i have 4 5 gallon buckets with 4 gallons of water in them (roughly 50%)

one tray per bucket.. dip, squeeze, shake, squeeze put media back in tray
fill cannister back with media
fill tank i used to rinse it all with one bucket.. my filter floss is the one that needs rinsing the most.. it gets full of brown dissolved organics

ceramic media and coarse pads just get a rinse and quick squeeze

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrodg View Post
Even if you did kill 90% of the bacteria it is still in the tank and will recolonize very quickly.


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Someone correct me if I am wrong but beneifitial bacteria is not in the water column.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optix View Post
i rinse my canisters in room temp tap (chlorine and chloramine) everytime...a quick rinse may kill some, but it wont destroy your colony
THIS. Personally I use RODI water to rinse out my filters, but a little tap water won't kill off all the bacteria. The bacteria are more resilient than most people give them credit for, and a quick rinse in tap water won't kill them all.
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