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Author Topic: Cleaning filters  (Read 637 times)
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« on: January 10, 2017, 04:25:53 PM »

I was always told to rinse the filters in a bucket of tank water. Because the chlorine will kill off beneficial bacteria. But if you have well water then it should be OK to rinse in that right?
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 05:57:10 PM »

Whoa. Where did I put all my stuff?
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....

« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 08:59:50 PM »

Rinsing a filter media in tank change water is like washing your dishes in used dish water. If your tap water contains nothing that will kill off the good bacteria in the media, then use that.  happy

"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
(George Bernard Shaw)
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 09:28:55 AM »

The science is on the other side of this discussion, at least for the bacteria living inside their bio-film which is what attaches them to the solid surfaces.

There are only two things to worry about here chlorine and chloramine. The first if way more deadly as in the presence of any ammonia, chloramine only puts the bacteria to sleep. On the other hand chlorine penetrates the bio-film way, way slower than chloramine.

Next, the amount of residual chlorine or chloramine in one's tap water is very low. So, given the low levels of either of these chemicals in one's tap and the minimal contact time, there is minimal risk in using straight tap water. This is further aided by how little tap water will be in the media after being rinsed and then its being completely diluted in the tank. Finally, chlorine is a gas, its tendency is to dissipate from water into the air. The biggest potential danger here is not to one's bacteria, but to one's fish or inverts. I am not sure if one rinses their media in raw chlorinated tap and returns it to the filter and then waits about 10 minutes to test the tank water that home test kits will be able to detect any level of chlorine or chloramine in the water.

All that said, it is best to be safer rather sorry. I also have well water and never use dechlor, despite that I do use tank water in a bucket to rinse media. It is simply easier and it is waste water anyway. Because, municipal water systems sometimes do a high level system flush with chlorine etc., it is prudent to use dechlor, especially for those who cannot quickly identify a chlorine/chloramine issue and be able to deal with in, jik. When I travel to events to sell fish, I always have a bottle of AmQuel and one of Prime with me.

I picked up this information from a couple of scientific papers. If you are so inclined, you can read this one for yourself:

Monochloramine penetrated fully into nitrifying biofilms within 24 hours when fed at a 4:1 Cl2:N ratio, showing a cessation of aerobic activity via DO penetration following
application of monochloramine. However, monochloramine penetration did not necessarily equate to a loss in viability, and the presence of excess ammonia in the water system prevented microbial inactivation. Biofilm recovery occurred when disinfection stopped........ Monochloramine showed greater penetration compared to chlorine. Monochloramine penetrated into the biofilm surface layer 49 times faster than chlorine within the nitrifying biofilm and 39 times faster in the multi-species biofilm than did chlorine. Phosphate was found to act positively on biofilm development and nitrification
Full PhD Thesis here


“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2017, 09:47:49 AM »

Well water is perfectly safe for rinsing filters in. Even if you had municipal water source, you would have to let the filters soak for a while to kill off the good bacteria.

I always use my city tap water to clean the filters and then put them back in right away. The vegetable sprayer on my kitchen sink seems to be the best method to clean them out. I don't rinse the filters till they are perfectly clean. Just clean enough that water can flow through them without any blockage.
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