Bleach to wash filter and media?

  1. DanB80TTS Well Known Member Member

    Alarming title I know, but here's the deal. I run several aquariums and i broke one down a few weeks ago when I redid the tank. I removed the canister filter and it sat dormant for a few weeks in the garage (still full of old tank water and media etc) I've just got around to starting to clean it after having a bunch of other aquarium projects going on.

    So I cracked open the top to begin cleaning it out, to say it stinks is a huge understatement. Most of the media within is very very dirty, i rinsed through everything a couple of times. I'm not planning on using the filter or media any time soon but want to get this thing cleaned. My main concern is the biomedia. What are you thoughts on using a water bleach mixture to clean everything up the rest of the way? Also what ratio will be best? I was thinking, bleach:water 1:10. I only have a tiny amount of white vinegar on hand and I don't think vinegar will cut it here not to mention it doesn't need to be immediately aquarium safe as i wont be using this stuff for weeks, months, years, ever who knows.
     
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I would think you could soak the biomedia in bleach water and then Prime water.
     

  3. Jsigmo Well Known Member Member

    Yeah. I don't think the bleach is a problem as long as you either let it dry out completely for a few weeks and/or use something like Prime to sequester any remaining chlorine.

    Actually, if the media is ceramic or stone, etc., you could bake it at a relatively low temperature to dry it and force the chlorine to offgas. Or set it out in the bright sunshine for a few days, etc.

    I have a canister filter and a HOB in one aquarium. I installed some floss "pre filters" over the intakes for both of these filters. That was mainly to keep the filters from sucking in baby crayfish (they're so tiny!). But at one point, I didn't attend to the pre-filters soon enough, and the one for the canister choked off the inlet water almost completely. When I opened that canister, man did it stink! So I think I know that smell. :)

    I just rinsed it all out, and it was good to go. But if you're not going to be using any of it for quite some time, I don't see the harm in a bit of bleach.

    Actually, what I prefer, though, for that sort of thing, is hydrogen peroxide. It gets-er-done, yet leaves nothing harmful once you rinse it out and let it air dry.

    In some tests my son did, it was far more effective at killing various bacteria species than bleach was. And it's what's recommended for killing mold and mold spores, too. Better than bleach, they say.
     

  4. DanB80TTS Well Known Member Member

    Everything is nice and clean, had a few rinses and is all sitting in buckets of prime water.