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Thread: Filter Sponges

  1. #11

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    2 Not allowed!
    Always use tank water. I siphon into a 2 gallon bucket prior to a water change and rinse and squish the sponge in the bucket. It removes a ton of debris. And as Sheamurai said, I also believe there is a great deal of BB in the substrate. I once capped my substrate to deepen it (without thought) and ended up with a slight ammonia spike.

  2. #12

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    1 Not allowed!
    Since I use a python for water changes for most of my tanks, I always use tap water in a bucket with a little bit of Prime in it to clean the sponges and biomedia.

  3. #13

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by gronlaura View Post
    I rinse my sponges in tap water, then do a thorough, final rinse & squeeze in tap water treated with Prime. I always gently rinse my biomedia in tank water.
    I do the same and never had an issue. But I would like to add your filter and tank should be mature before you use untreated tap water because even though most of the bacteria is in the ceramic media you will still lose some from the sponge.

    If you are concerned why not clean your sponges in dechlorinated tap water.
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  4. #14

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by mommy1 View Post

    If you are concerned why not clean your sponges in dechlorinated tap water.
    Because it would seem so much easier, faster, and cleaner running it under a medium flow from the tap, very warm temp, while squeezing and rinsing the filth from it...then letting it air dry

    But that will certainly remove at least some of the BB from the tank

    A significant enough amount to cause any problem?...THAT is my question, all things considered
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  5. #15

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    3 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    Because it would seem so much easier, faster, and cleaner running it under a medium flow from the tap, very warm temp, while squeezing and rinsing the filth from it...then letting it air dry

    But that will certainly remove at least some of the BB from the tank

    A significant enough amount to cause any problem?...THAT is my question, all things considered
    It is so much easier, faster and cleaner...

    I use tap water and have for a long time now (even when I didn't have a whole home filter). When I did this, I would squeeze my sponges under the tub faucet until it would completely run clear. I don't rinse it in dechlorinated water, but I do wring it out as much as I can and re-add it to the filter. I've had no problems with this method in the year+ that I've practiced this method. All tanks would retain the majority of their nitrifying bacteria, which was enough to handle the current bioload. Params would consistently and still are consistently am: 0, nitrite: 0 & nitrate: variable.

    My belief is that when you rinse the sponges enough times, the bacteria will consistently grow on the biological media and other surfaces in the tank. Then you needn't depend on sponges to retain any extension of your BB colonies and they're purely for mechanical filtration. Of course, now my sponges are gone and I'm relying purely on biological media. Though, I do still have prefilter sponges, which I have and will continue to treat the same way (rinse in the tap).
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  6. #16

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    3 Not allowed!
    I think why waste any xtra Prime?.. and just clean them (sponges) in tank water that is pretty dang clear already, and safe to clean with?
    AC sponges are coarse enough in my experience to come very clean if vigorously squeezed several times. Other filter media (pads) can come fairly clean, but will not hold up to repeated cleanings like firmer sponges.

    Its been said that only enough BB exist to be fed by the stock of fish we have. Where those BB exist is important to know, but how sure are we were they are - in rings, filter sponge, prefilter sponge, gravel, all above.
    If there are enough BB in the rings alone, one should be able to clean a sponge or Pfs without causing a spike I think, tho the BB may be evenly dispersed among all the bio-media we have in our filters,etc.

    (I've was pondering these questions and doing some water tests and moving some media and cleaning of late)

  7. #17

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by sheamurai View Post
    The sponge never really got clean, and when you clean something, you want it to look clean, lol.
    I keep thinking about this comment, I can't tell if you're joking. Assuming that you're not, why does something that's going inside your filter need to look clean? I don't want it to look clean at all, I only want to improve water flow through it and rinse out the loose crud. My thinking is why remove any more BB than you have to? The cleaner it looks, the less BB there's going to be in it.

    -S

  8. #18

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    1 Not allowed!
    Agree with Stingray: please change your "cleaning-expectations"!!! Better for your tank and fish I think. Cleaning in our hobby shouldn't be the same cleaning as a toilet aso. Bright and shining is a sin !!
    No Cory, No Glory !!

  9. #19

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    3 Not allowed!
    I disagree. Why should the aquarium have different standards of clean than the ecosystem you live in? There's "clean" and then there's clean. If you haven't rinsed out your sponges or floss in tap water, yet, then you really have no idea how dirty your sponges/floss get. You're not getting everything when you dip it in tank water, swish it around and ring it out. It's just not possible to get it that clean by this method. And when you use this method, you're just allowing the finer particles of dirt/poop to remain trapped in the sponge/floss. Your bio media, where the majority of your bb colonies live, if you've ever looked at it, remains relatively clean... ceramic, rocks, etc. doesn't/can't get that dirty in running water.

    So, with that acknowledgement, the argument that "dirty equals more BB" falls flat on its face. I have disproved this theory time and time again, by getting my equipment in the filter as clean as possible. I shake my BB media around in tank water (which removes loos particulate matter) and I run warm water over my sponges to get them clean as possible, while ringing them out, yet I consistently have enough BB in my tank/filter to compensate for my bio-load, and let me tell you... my 40B has a pretty hefty bio-load. 4 BN plecos, 12 sterbai corys and 3 angelfish + 5 assassin snails, however many ramshorn/pond snails and RCS.

    I follow the same practice in all of my tanks with the same results. Each type of filter media you have has a purpose. Why have so much BB media if you're going to rely on sponges to host colonies?
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  10. #20

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    2 Not allowed!
    Thanks guys, great points/counterpoints here, that's how we learn and grow!
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