Can I (pls) wash my filter sponges this way?

KribensisLover1

Member
Hello!

So I put new sponges in my filters a few months back. It's a 40 Breeder with an Aquaclear 70 and an Aquaclear 30.

I have a light that has blue running whenever I have the lights on--thereby--tons of brown algae.

My tank water never gets super clear. Yesterday I cleaned my sponge from the 70 in tank water and it STILL did this when I pushed it back into the filter (see pics). Today is water change. I would like to:

A.) scrub the large wooden piece to remove algae. Is this okay or will it ruin the cycle Bc I've never moved it and it's nasty underneath.

B.) MORE IMPORTANTLY--When I empty my tank I use a python. The water takes a while to all go down the drain, so I have a bunch of tank water coming out of the python with lots of pressure, and then this same water sitting in the sink for a few moments. CAN I put my filter sponges in the sink, while emptying the tank water with the python, and let that water clean the sponges? By using this method, I'll have them getting the strong water pressure from the tank water coming out of the python, and the benefit of soaking as well. THE PROBLEM is that (as those with a python system know) regular SINK water also comes out of the faucet at the same time. So I'll have mostly tank water--but also some fresh water. Just soaking my sponges in tank water like I did yesterday isn't enough (as seeen in pic below). Can I clean the sponges in the sink as described above or is it too risky Bc of the faucet water rhat also comes out. [

ATTACH]755785[/ATTACH]
 

A201

Member
Likely soap residue in the sink. Probably not a good idea to soak the filter sponges in it.
I squeeze my AC sponges out in a 5 gal. bucket full of aged tank water when they clog up. Never a problem.
 

shrimpyay

Member
My technique for cleaning nasty sponges is to get a vessel (cup, pitcher, whatever) filled with some discard water, toss the sponge in and squeeze it over and over until most of the nasty comes out, then put it back in the filter when the tank's clean. (The houseplants love the resulting sludge-water.) I think leaving it to soak without any squeezing action probably wouldn't get any gunk out, even with the python blowing water through it. (I can't speak to your worries over fresh water, sorry!)
 
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KribensisLover1

Member
A201 said:
Likely soap residue in the sink. Probably not a good idea to soak the filter sponges in it.
I squeeze my AC sponges out in a 5 gal. bucket full of aged tank water when they clog up. Never a problem.
Very true. Look how nasty it still was though? What's that about? DEF need a new light clearly. Can't decide if I should do the aqueoon optibright plus I have on my other tank Bc look at the difference. The only question is if I get a larger tank which I will soon can I get bracket extenders to make a 36" a 48"? Bc I would just buy a 48" but that won't fit this tank.
 

coralbandit

Member
I clean my sponge filters in my tap water . I run a lot of sponge filters driven by air .They are my main filter on many tanks .
It is cold and squeeze ,bang and ring them till they are pretty clear .I spray gunk off my bio media with tap water also ..
I have never had a problem .
You can clean the wood as well no problem.
Vacuum when you remove it ..
 
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KribensisLover1

Member
coralbandit said:
I clean my sponge filters in my tap water . I run a lot of sponge filters driven by air .They are my main filter on many tanks .
It is cold and squeeze ,bang and ring them till they are pretty clear .I spray gunk off my bio media with tap water also ..
I have never had a problem .
You can clean the wood as well no problem.
Vacuum when you remove it ..
Cool! Thank you! Didn't see this before so I cleaned sponges in tank water but scrubbed wood in regular water.
Can't wait for a new light. Don't want to post another thread so perhaps you can answer--if I get a new light--can I get extenders later on so it will fit a longer tank? I know I can't get a longer light now.
 

coralbandit

Member
I am not sure about extenders but with glass tops the size of light doesn't matter much ..
A lot of my lights are hung so they don't touch the tank anyways .
 
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KribensisLover1

Member
coralbandit said:
I am not sure about extenders but with glass tops the size of light doesn't matter much ..
A lot of my lights are hung so they don't touch the tank anyways .
It would be acrylic but you're so right. Wow I'm a genius huh Lolol. The reason that didn't occur to me is Bc the piece of plastic that came with my current acrylic is so cruddy that it wouldn't support any light no matter how light. I am in the VERY long process of having a custom lid made for the acrylic flatback hex but never realized I can sit it on the lid (Bc the acrylics don't come with one!) thank you!
 

coralbandit

Member
I feel obligated to share this from Dr. Stephen Tanner of Swiss Tropical [possibly the best sponge filters on earth ] so people don't think I am passing along my own personal opinion on rinsing in tap ..
I have been doing this for years now ..

: how do rinse Poret® foam sheets?

A: the easiest way is outside in the yard or driveway using a garden hose. Simply bang the sheet flat on the ground several times (Note: I recommend not wearing your best outfit doing this) to shake out the filter sludge, then rinse with the hose; repeat until the water coming out is relatively clean. Don’t overdo it! Sufficient microorganisms will survive this procedure to quickly re-establish the biology of the filter. It does not matter if you use cold or chlorine-treated water! The often repeated notion that this process would kill all the filter organisms is complete nonsense, because the residual chlorine concentration in drinking water is way too low to kill them.
This about Stephen Tanner ;
 

StarGirl

Member
Do you squeeze it out really good? It looks like a lot of debris in the water.
 
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KribensisLover1

Member
StarGirl said:
Do you squeeze it out really good? It looks like a lot of debris in the water.
No but the next day I did water change and this time I did. I hadn't seen the posts about washing with tap water so I used tank and washed it quite well. Here's the tank after.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
I am so confused.....brown algae...?

Seems like just diatoms/bacteria to me....All my filter medias are filled with this and if I squeeze their contents into my tank they will cloud my water as well. So just... don't squeeze them in your tank water

Not sure where this practice originated from, but I see no reason to clean my sponges. Maybe if theres poop on them I can mechanically remove it by rinsing it outside my tank...but other than that I don't clean them
 
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KribensisLover1

Member
Cherryshrimp420 said:
I am so confused.....brown algae...?

Seems like just diatoms/bacteria to me....All my filter medias are filled with this and if I squeeze their contents into my tank they will cloud my water as well. So just... don't squeeze them in your tank water

Not sure where this practice originated from, but I see no reason to clean my sponges. Maybe if theres poop on them I can mechanically remove it by rinsing it outside my tank...but other than that I don't clean them
Ha Ha Ha Ha! Well I didn't squeeze in the water. I washed it outside of the tank, and when I put it BACK into the filter and had to push it down, it released the nastiness in the pic at the top. However I cleaned it better the next day, and then took out the entire filter box and put it back in (so I didn't have to push anything down) and of course that helped. I just get so much nastiness in my tank. I am not an expert on algae so I shouldn't give a name to what I think I have! It looks brown and grows on the edges beginning on the lowest spots of the tank and extending upwards over time. It doesn't grow very quickly though. It DOES grow heavily on the plants and decor and it's gross. The main nastiness, though, is probably diatoms that grew on my wood, and I scrubbed that clean, so I think perhaps I was confusing the algae on the walls and ornaments etc etc. with the diatoms on the wood that can easily float around when moved or hit with water when refilling.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
KribensisLover1 said:
Ha Ha Ha Ha! Well I didn't squeeze in the water. I washed it outside of the tank, and when I put it BACK into the filter and had to push it down, it released the nastiness in the pic at the top. However I cleaned it better the next day, and then took out the entire filter box and put it back in (so I didn't have to push anything down) and of course that helped. I just get so much nastiness in my tank. I am not an expert on algae so I shouldn't give a name to what I think I have! It looks brown and grows on the edges beginning on the lowest spots of the tank and extending upwards over time. It doesn't grow very quickly though. It DOES grow heavily on the plants and decor and it's gross. The main nastiness, though, is probably diatoms that grew on my wood, and I scrubbed that clean, so I think perhaps I was confusing the algae on the walls and ornaments etc etc. with the diatoms on the wood that can easily float around when moved or hit with water when refilling.
Ah lol. I would suggest to just...not touch the sponge at all and leave it be My sump is filled with these brown stuff I think they are partially diatoms and nitrifying bacteria.

Your tank looks familiar....I think I may have suggested before to add some real plants. They will help a lot!
 
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KribensisLover1

Member
Cherryshrimp420 said:
Ah lol. I would suggest to just...not touch the sponge at all and leave it be My sump is filled with these brown stuff I think they are partially diatoms and nitrifying bacteria.

Your tank looks familiar....I think I may have suggested before to add some real plants. They will help a lot!
Hahahaha agreed! I was just talking about that in another thread. Here's the link if you're interested! And thank you! Lighting help | Lighting Forum | 483547
 

noobscaper

Member
KribensisLover1 said:
Hello!

So I put new sponges in my filters a few months back. It's a 40 Breeder with an Aquaclear 70 and an Aquaclear 30.

I have a light that has blue running whenever I have the lights on--thereby--tons of brown algae.

My tank water never gets super clear. Yesterday I cleaned my sponge from the 70 in tank water and it STILL did this when I pushed it back into the filter (see pics). Today is water change. I would like to:

A.) scrub the large wooden piece to remove algae. Is this okay or will it ruin the cycle Bc I've never moved it and it's nasty underneath.

B.) MORE IMPORTANTLY--When I empty my tank I use a python. The water takes a while to all go down the drain, so I have a bunch of tank water coming out of the python with lots of pressure, and then this same water sitting in the sink for a few moments. CAN I put my filter sponges in the sink, while emptying the tank water with the python, and let that water clean the sponges? By using this method, I'll have them getting the strong water pressure from the tank water coming out of the python, and the benefit of soaking as well. THE PROBLEM is that (as those with a python system know) regular SINK water also comes out of the faucet at the same time. So I'll have mostly tank water--but also some fresh water. Just soaking my sponges in tank water like I did yesterday isn't enough (as seeen in pic below). Can I clean the sponges in the sink as described above or is it too risky Bc of the faucet water rhat also comes out. [

ATTACH]755785[/ATTACH]
Do you have any bio media that isn't the sponges? I use mine for mechanical filtration only, so just blast them with the garden hose when filter maintenance day comes. Saves me a heck of a lot of time.
 
  • Thread Starter

KribensisLover1

Member
noobscaper said:
Do you have any bio media that isn't the sponges? I use mine for mechanical filtration only, so just blast them with the garden hose when filter maintenance day comes. Saves me a heck of a lot of time.
Good call Bc I have ceramic rings. I will! Thank you'
 

Phormist

Member
This is what I do with my Aquaclear HOB's:

I start by turning off both of the filters.

Get my bucket and start siphoning out water and debris in the tank.

After I have filled the bucket about 3/4 of the way, I will take out the filter basket and put the basket and all the media in the bucket and rinse off any big particles and squeeze out the sponge filtration.

I do this for both filters, both with their own buckets or the same bucket just after doing the 1st cleaning.
I then just dump the water outside or into the toilet.

Before putting the filter media and basket back into the tank I pour out the water that is remaining in the HOB so it does not go into the tank.

Setup the HOB and you should be ready to go with very minimal debris in the water!
You will of course have some debris leftover but not nearly as much as you're saying and I see. Plus, the Aquaclears are pretty good at cycling water and will clear it in no time providing you properly cleaned the tank.

I only do this kind of filter change either once a month or every other water change so that it does not disrupt the beneficial bacteria too much.

Also, unless you have well water or RO water chlorinated water will destroy your beneficial bacteria that has worked hard to build up in the sponges if you rinse with tap water. I would always rinse your filtration with the aquarium water or appropriate water.
 

Flyfisha

Member
Hi all
coralbandit I have seen your set up on video and acknowledge your skill and experience.
While I completely agree with the methods possible for cleaning sponge filters that you suggest and have this old video that also suggest a break away from the “ standard practice “ of using old tank water.
I feel we need to be careful of giving a beginner or anyone the wrong impression .
From what I have seen many beginners are wrongly focused on having everything in the tank CLEANED and often over clean them far to often. The issue of a little brown water floating in a tank from a sponge filter rinse is a problem only in the eyes of the beginner. A little brown water will do no harm and soon be filtered out of sight again.

KribensisLover1 I am reminded of a saying from one of the long timers in my club.
quote “ a dirty filter is a working filter “

Each time you watch U tube or visit a persons fish room check out how dirty the outside of their sponge filter actually are in a real world situation.

A link to one of many videos to come out this week.
 
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KribensisLover1

Member
Thank you all!
 

Phormist

Member
  • Thread Starter

KribensisLover1

Member

dMog

Member
if you take anything from this...know this,never to use tap water ...it kills your beneficial bacteria...and over cleaning kills your cycle. brown algae by the way is diatoms...google how to get rid of them in an aquarium. researching yourself will allow you to retain the knowledge better then deciphering 25 posts that some actually had wrong information in them
 

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