Yes, & I do it regularly [As does Hobbs as she mentioned] and it makes no difference whatsoever. - See below.
If you clean the sponge right under tap water, yes you will kill BB
You should do this when the sponges are dirty. It will make no difference to your bio filtration capacity provided you have colonized biomedia. [Yes the sponge can build up some BB but it's not it's main function and it needs to have good flow]
Originally Posted by ryann
The sponge is the mechanical filter in an AC - the biomax is the BIOfiltration and is the primary residence of the BB. They don't perform the same function..
Having a free flowing sponge is important and swishing them around doesn't effectively clean them nor does cleaning your sponges affect your BB colony in your Biomedia.
Last edited by Goes to 11!; 01-03-2013 at 01:14 PM.
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If you do rinse the sponge in tap water be sure to dip it in dechlorinated water before putting it back into the filter.
If it's called tourist season why can't I shoot them?
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I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.
There are a lot of reasons, or excuses for every option on filter sponges or media. Unless you soak them in chemical solutions, such as chlorinated water, you aren't going to kill off all the bacteria in one. Disgust with how the sponge feels while I'm cleaning it, determines my clean or replace decision.
When it's time to change your AC size sponges, or any you cut down from AC refills, check Big Al's or Amazon.com for generic options. I pad out my online orders with extra foam inserts so I always have spares. I use them in, as is or cut to fit, many different filters, and as replacements for air driven sponge filters.
I wasn't asking about my sponges, I was asking about the biomedia, but that has been answered and then some. Thanks all for the advice and suggestions, you've been a big help.
Originally Posted by blu
Porous biological media does need to be replaced periodically. The micro pores that make it so efficient, fill up over time and can not be flushed out.
Each manufacturer has their own recommendations, and most people ignore those completely and argue about it online.
What exactly happens when the pores in the biomax clog up? Does the BB begin to die at that time? And how would one tell, except for testing the parameters? If there's a sudden ammonia spike and no other reason for it to happen (good tank maintenance, no added stock, no overfeeding, etc.), would that be a clue that the biomax is clogged and needs replacing?
Originally Posted by dbosman
Or does clogging of the biomax pores simply result in a slower flow but not necessarily affecting the BB? Wouldn't some BB still survive on the outer surfaces of the ceramic beads?
How can one tell visually, just by looking at the beads, if the pores are clogged? Would the beads discolor, or is discoloring a harmless natural occurence over time? I know this happens with airstones, yet they still emit plenty of bubbles.
I'm asking so I can reasonably gauge when and if my own biomax would need replacing.
If the biomax has to be replaced, then it would be necessary to reseed the filter when new biomedia is introduced. Until that new media can grow its own colony, I would think another filter would have to be running with established media in it. Seachem's Stability should also help the reseeding process.
20 gal. high: planted; 1 zebra danio, 6 glofish, several snails, 2 (visible) RCS; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 4 rosy barbs, 6 glofish, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 zebra danios, 5 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.
Nothing "happens". A dirty sponge is just not effective or doing the job it should be doing. You can only rinse the debris out of them just so many times until you find they just aren't cleaning up as they should.
I replace the sponges in my canister filters, as well, and for the same reason. I find it no more unusual than replacing the filter floss or any other filter media. Bio-max never gets changed.....or hasn't yet. But once again........make sure you only do one filter at a time so you aren't causing any cycle set-backs.
I have never met anyone who said (with any authority )that bio media needs to be changed... ever... that being said,if you are using a sponge for bio ..it needs to be rinsed regularly
How anyone who has ever rinsed filter material, can say that the pores in ceramic or sintered glass media won't clog, is a mystery to me.
It's really a subject for another thread, but the heavier the bioload on a filter, the more often you'll need to change out ceramic or splintered glass biomedia. It does clog, the pores do becomes blocked and the media becomes less effective (efficient) over time.
Originally Posted by dbosman
But that's not necessarily the case with biomedia that has a light bioload on it. With a light bioload, the pores don't clog as easily and biomedia keeps its efficiency longer.
So it's really a question of how efficient the biomedia has become.
Does that make sense? I hope so because it makes perfect sense to me. But right now I'm the only one listening to me, unfortunately.....or fortunately for you as the case maybe.
When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"