When I clean my aquaclear 30 and 50 I thoroughly clean all the parts with a brush and completely rinse the sponge all done in the sink. The bio I lightly rinse with tank water. Both filters are on a 29 gallon tank and get dirty in just 2-3 weeks. Am I cleaning away bb?
You might be, I almost never touch anything but my intake tube and the impeller/turbine thing to keep it clean of gunk. Buy squeezing out your sponge filled with bacteria then rinsing it with tap that probably contains clorine/chloramines then you are risking your bacteria being killed every time.