Can You Rinse Filter Out With Treated Water?

Mackenziecromie

Member
Can you do this?? If you use prime in small doses with a dropper and treat the water could you use that to rinse it so it won't kill the bacteria?
 

Repolie

Member
Yes you can do that or just use the old water from water changes.
 
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jdhef

Moderator
Member
Personally I would never risk rinsing my media in untreated tap water. The reason chlorine or chloramine is put into tap water is to kill bacteria.
 

richiep

Member
Although I agree with jdhef I have new read the article in its entirety that GlennO attached and now wonder if it's ok to rinse in tap water, being sort of old school what's sticking in my mind is different companies and your wells produce water some with high chemicals in like chlorine/chloramine so where it's ok for some it may not be for others, so until I read a scientific report on it I think I'll stick with tank water, it will be interesting to see hoe others clean the filters
 

kallililly1973

Member
98% of the time I clean my AC media in tank water but sometimes I will take the square sponge and really give it a heavy cleaning under the tap. But all my tanks have more than 1 filter so that is why my cycle isn't ever affected. Don't clean the ceramic or biological media under the tap always rinse that in the old tank water in a bucket.
 

richiep

Member
kallililly1973 said:
98% of the time I clean my AC media in tank water but sometimes I will take the square sponge and really give it a heavy cleaning under the tap. But all my tanks have more than 1 filter so that is why my cycle isn't ever affected. Don't clean the ceramic or biological media under the tap always rinse that in the old tank water in a bucket.
I suppose cleaning and alternating cleaning your sponge under the tap is no different to replacing the sponge I'd still do a final rinse with prime though
 

Tol

Member
I rinse media in tank water. When I clean the actual HOB filter I use tap water, dry it and put the media basket back in.
 

Andy S

Member
You probably could rinse out your filter in treated tap water, my question would be why would you want to? If you are doing regular water changes you should have plenty of old aquarium water to use - why use fresh?
 

kallililly1973

Member
Andy S said:
You probably could rinse out your filter in treated tap water, my question would be why would you want to? If you are doing regular water changes you should have plenty of old aquarium water to use - why use fresh?
The only reason I sometimes do the sponge is cause it gets very mucked up so the pressure of the tap cleans it out better than just wringing it out. Personal preference I guess
 

e_watson09

Member
Personally, I'd never clean it in just plain tap water if you have chlorine in your water. It will kill off some of your beneficial bacteria which is never a good thing. You can treat the water then rinse the media in it but most just use tank water from a water change. Regular water changes and rinsing your sponges in the tank water should mean you shouldn't have THAT much built up.
 

Marinus

Member
I'm going to be completely honest here. For many years I've rinsed my filter media with just tap water and I never had any issues. I am also of the mind that using tap water will not wipe out your bacteria colonies and personal experiences seems to support this, for me at least. I also find it interesting to note that Swiss Tropicals, who supplies Poret foam for mattenfilters and the like, also says in his FAQ about cleaning that it doesn't matter about using de-chlor water. Snippet from his website: "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." FAQ - SWISSTROPICALS

That said I think that this idea about needing to clean your filter media with old tank water is probably going to persist and honestly if you don't know or trust what is in your water then it's probably the way to go.
 

Cichlidude

Member
Marinus said:
I'm going to be completely honest here. For many years I've rinsed my filter media with just tap water and I never had any issues. I am also of the mind that using tap water will not wipe out your bacteria colonies and personal experiences seems to support this, for me at least. I also find it interesting to note that Swiss Tropicals, who supplies Poret foam for mattenfilters and the like, also says in his FAQ about cleaning that it doesn't matter about using de-chlor water. Snippet from his website: "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." FAQ - SWISSTROPICALS

That said I think that this idea about needing to clean your filter media with old tank water is probably going to persist and honestly if you don't know or trust what is in your water then it's probably the way to go.
Yes, again for those who missed it.

Read here on why rinsing your media in tap water will not kill your bacteria.

Rinsing Biomedia In Tap Water
 

yukondog

Member
I do the same thing, but I have two sponges in each tank also that never sees tap water.
 

mattgirl

Member
Many many years ago I cleaned my filter media with tap water each time they needed to be cleaned. The thing is, we had our own well. I knew there was nothing in the water that would hurt my bacteria.

Fast forward to today. We are now hooked up to a municipal but rural water line. I can actually smell the chlorine in my tap water. My untreated tap water never touches my filter media. It gets cleaned with water I have pulled from my tank. I do wash my filter housings at the kitchen sink with water straight from the faucet.

To answer the OP question. Yes, you can clean your filter media with water that has had water conditioner added to it if you don't have a container of water you have pulled from your tank.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
I clean my sponges aso with water I syphoned from the tank some minutes before.
 

JayH

Member
richie.p said:
Although I agree with jdhef I have new read the article in its entirety that GlennO attached and now wonder if it's ok to rinse in tap water, being sort of old school what's sticking in my mind is different companies and your wells produce water some with high chemicals in like chlorine/chloramine so where it's ok for some it may not be for others, so until I read a scientific report on it I think I'll stick with tank water, it will be interesting to see hoe others clean the filters
Chlorine/chloramine costs money, so water companies don't add more than needed to bring the bacteria in the water to a safe level. They most certainly do not add so much that your tap water can be used as a disinfectant.

I don't think there's any question that rinsing your filter media in tap water is going to remove a lot of the bacteria from the media. But the same can be said for rinsing it in old tank water. You're flushing out loads of muck so lots of bacteria are bound to come along with it. Will using tap water result in less bacteria in your media after cleaning? Probably, but not by much. You're probably flushing away half or more of the bacteria in the filter no matter what you clean it in. Does it really matter if it's 52% rather than 50%?

I'd say use whatever is convenient and you're comfortable with. Unless you're rinsing the media in alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, it's not going to matter all that much.
 

mossman

Member
You probably could rinse out your filter in treated tap water, my question would be why would you want to? If you are doing regular water changes you should have plenty of old aquarium water to use - why use fresh?
Not if you use a python.
 
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jdhef

Moderator
Member
I have a Python, and if I need to use old tank water, I just scoop some out and put it into a bucket, then use my Python.
 

NYCGOLD4

Member
I use a python that requires two people I’m cleaning and my husband is at the bathtub. I’m lucky enough he will help me do that. To ask him to also put some of the yucky water in a bucket is too much. I use some treated water.to clean a sponge from the aqua clear and don’t clean the filters at the same time. I have a whisper came with the setup and sponge also. So far so good. Water changes are a big deal. I’m glad he can help. Drying out the python is my worry. Just started to use it since I upgraded to a 55 gallon from a 20.
 
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jdhef

Moderator
Member
NYCGOLD4 said:
I use some treated water.to clean a sponge from the aqua clear and don’t clean the filters at the same time.
With the AquaClear, technically the bacteria lives in the ceramic media so you may be able to get away with washing the sponge in tap water. You may loose a little bacteria initially, but if you wash it out weekly, the additional needed bacteria should set up camp in your ceramic media pretty quickly. I have a Fluval canister filter and always wash my sponges in tap water with no ill effects.
 

Blaze

Member
I don’t usually have time to use old water or to treat the water I’m rinsing media with so I’ve always used tap water to rinse with no problems.
What I do is I have a 5gal bucket or two and fill that up with tap water then I shake and scrub the media of all tanks in the same bucket considering the water is now filled with BB and the tanks have the same water, or if I’m doing a water change I use that water.
 

uNeverCantrill

Member
Hey guys, I just thought I give you my 2 cents on this. I clean my aquariums biweekly, which includes giving the filter media a rinse. Since I use a python I don't have a bucket full of old aquarium water, so I just fill a small bowl with water from the tank. I use this to rinse my bio media, but that's it, my zeo-carb, sponges, polishing pads, and peat are all rinsed under untreated tap water. The sponges and polishing pads are what trap 90% of the stuff that goes into the filter. I personally think it's best to clean these under a fresh flow of tap water and not a bucket full of murky water. I have 2 planted aquariums, 2 African cichlid ones and a goldfish tank, all of which are doing great, with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at 0. The one think you should never do though is use soaps or detergents to clean anything, but I'm pretty sure you all know that.
 

tjander

Member
Funny to come across this. I used to rinse under tap water. Then I read I should not do that, so I stopped. But TBT I never have seen a difference in either method.
The biggest problem I have in rinsing in tank water is in a 5 g bucket, one pre filter sponge gunks up the water after about 2 squeezes. After that I am just rinsing in dirty water. Suspend particles just get pulled back into the sponge.
I think going forward, it’s the Tap for sponges and tank water for the bio rings and more then likely tap for the filter media from the canister. Also I think I will use tank water to rinse out the canister. Interesting thread for sure.
 

uNeverCantrill

Member
tjander said:
Funny to come across this. I used to rinse under tap water. Then I read I should not do that, so I stopped. But TBT I never have seen a difference in either method.
The biggest problem I have in rinsing in tank water is in a 5 g bucket, one pre filter sponge gunks up the water after about 2 squeezes. After that I am just rinsing in dirty water. Suspend particles just get pulled back into the sponge.
I think going forward, it’s the Tap for sponges and tank water for the bio rings and more then likely tap for the filter media from the canister. Also I think I will use tank water to rinse out the canister. Interesting thread for sure.
Exactly, I have fluval 406 canisters on all my tanks and if I was rinsing the sponges and poly pads in a bucket full of tank water, with plant debris and dirt from the substrate than I'd be there all day. A couple squeezes of the sponge and the bucket is super murky, so than I'd need to dump that out and refill agian, and again, and again.....

I'm not doing that lol
 
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