Is declorinated tap water okay to use for cleaning?

RonDarcy
Member
Hello fish hobbyists! I quite often hear people say they clean their filters and sponges with old tank water. Any water I remove from my tank has been through gravel vacuuming, and I think its dirty. So I have always filled a big bucket with tap water and Prime, 1 degree warmer than the tank, and keep pouring it in a smaller pale to rinse my filter and media with that water. When done, I dump out any left over water. Any reason you think I shouldn't do this?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
 
mattgirl
Member
There is no problem doing it this way but I think your bacteria would be happier if it were cleaned with the water you removed from the tank. You don't want to over clean your filter media.
 
  • Thread Starter
RonDarcy
Member
mattgirl said:
There is no problem doing it this way but I think your bacteria would be happier if it were cleaned with the water you removed from the tank. You don't want to over clean your filter media.
Thank you for your advice.
 
mattgirl
Member
RonDarcy said:
Thank you for your advice.
You are very welcome. Our tanks are the one thing in our homes we don't want to keep spotlessly clean. We can keep them looking clean but we want to let the bacteria live comfortably in there. Our filter media shouldn't ever look clean. Cleaning a build up off it in already dirty water will get it as clean as it needs to be.
 
YellowGuppy
Member
RonDarcy said:
Hello fish hobbyists! I quite often hear people say they clean their filters and sponges with old tank water. Any water I remove from my tank has been through gravel vacuuming, and I think its dirty. So I have always filled a big bucket with tap water and Prime, 1 degree warmer than the tank, and keep pouring it in a smaller pale to rinse my filter and media with that water. When done, I dump out any left over water. Any reason you think I shouldn't do this?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
That's definitely perfectly safe. The only reason not to do this is that it's wasting water, but not very much.
 
  • Thread Starter
RonDarcy
Member
YellowGuppy said:
That's definitely perfectly safe. The only reason not to do this is that it's wasting water, but not very much.
Thanks.
 
JettsPapa
Member
I recently saw a video on YouTube about rinsing filter media in untreated tap water. I'd be skeptical about some of the people posting there, but I trust this one.

 
  • Thread Starter
RonDarcy
Member
JettsPapa said:
I recently saw a video on YouTube about rinsing filter media in untreated tap water. I'd be skeptical about some of the people posting there, but I trust this one.
Thanks for you input. Yes, I saw that video and do trust its source. However, I would not rinse any biological filter media in straight tap water, but I do rinse my sponges quickly in warm tap water and then quickly put them in declorinated water. Nothing cleans poop out of a sponge like a jet of running taps water.
 
mattgirl
Member
I've never admitted this here before now but I have been known to clean my filter media under running tap water. I normally don't admit this simply because so many folks here are brand new to the hobby. They have just started up their tanks so they are not well established. They may think since she does it I should be able to do so too. I would hate for someone to do it before their tank has had time to get firmly established and they remove too much bacteria.

Bacteria is going to grow on everything in our tanks so what's lost when cleaning sponge type media this way shouldn't crash a cycle. Washing in straight tap water has never affected my tanks. The tank has to be firmly established though so I normally keep this to myself.
 
Betta'sAnonymous
Member
mattgirl said:
I've never admitted this here before now but I have been known to clean my filter media under running tap water. I normally don't admit this simply because so many folks here are brand new to the hobby. They have just started up their tanks so they are not well established. They may think since she does it I should be able to do so too. I would hate for someone to do it before their tank has had time to get firmly established and they remove too much bacteria.

Bacteria is going to grow on everything in our tanks so what's lost when cleaning sponge type media this way shouldn't crash a cycle. Washing in straight tap water has never affected my tanks. The tank has to be firmly established though so I normally keep this to myself.
I have seen the science behind it and all that. Probably won't happen for me just because it is so far out of my routine, which i have learned with other things in life, if i break my routine, i forget to do a lot of the other important stuff.
 
Donthemon
Member
Get a pitcher and scoop out the tank water. Rinse the filters in it. That way it’s just the water and not the vacuumed stuff.
 
Betta'sAnonymous
Member
Donthemon said:
Get a pitcher and scoop out the tank water. Rinse the filters in it. That way it’s just the water and not the vacuumed stuff.
I am kind of mad now i didn't think about this!
 
  • Thread Starter
RonDarcy
Member
Donthemon said:
Get a pitcher and scoop out the tank water. Rinse the filters in it. That way it’s just the water and not the vacuumed stuff.
Thank you. I know that would definitely work, but I would rather use declorinated water. I just want to hear if it would have any detrimental affects by doing it. That way, I can clean out the filter contents without disturbing the fishes environment at all. I try to keep their conditions as consistent as possible for them. Thank you for your good advice.
 
  • Thread Starter
RonDarcy
Member
mattgirl said:
I've never admitted this here before now but I have been known to clean my filter media under running tap water. I normally don't admit this simply because so many folks here are brand new to the hobby. They have just started up their tanks so they are not well established. They may think since she does it I should be able to do so too. I would hate for someone to do it before their tank has had time to get firmly established and they remove too much bacteria.

Bacteria is going to grow on everything in our tanks so what's lost when cleaning sponge type media this way shouldn't crash a cycle. Washing in straight tap water has never affected my tanks. The tank has to be firmly established though so I normally keep this to myself.
Yes great advice. A tanks less than 6 months old have a more fragile ecosystem. I think I feel safe now about cleaning my intake sponge with a quick rinse in tap water, and cleaning the bio media in declorinated water.
 
erinw347
Member
mattgirl said:
I've never admitted this here before now but I have been known to clean my filter media under running tap water. I normally don't admit this simply because so many folks here are brand new to the hobby. They have just started up their tanks so they are not well established. They may think since she does it I should be able to do so too. I would hate for someone to do it before their tank has had time to get firmly established and they remove too much bacteria.

Bacteria is going to grow on everything in our tanks so what's lost when cleaning sponge type media this way shouldn't crash a cycle. Washing in straight tap water has never affected my tanks. The tank has to be firmly established though so I normally keep this to myself.
I saw a video from Girl Talks Fish about it. She tried it and said there werent parameter swings but she could see a bacterial bloom in the water.
 
  • Thread Starter
RonDarcy
Member
I
erinw347 said:
I saw a video from Girl Talks Fish about it. She tried it and said there werent parameter swings but she could see a bacterial bloom in the water.
Think if I saw a bacterial bloom afterwards, I would stop doing it. But so far, my routeen seems to work well. Thanks.
 
Noroomforshoe
Member
So, is there any method that you guys have used to avoid a hang on the back filter backwashing a mess into the tank when you turn it of, or when you change/clean the cartridges? And what about sponge filters? Doesnt all the detritous fall into the tank water when you go to clean it?
 
GlennO
Member
Noroomforshoe said:
And what about sponge filters? Doesnt all the detritous fall into the tank water when you go to clean it?
I don't notice that happening. A little bit might dislodge in the process of removing the filter but 99% of the grunge stays in the sponge until it's squeezed out.
 
Flyfisha
Member
I have not read all of this post.
Many people asking questions on this site do not have an established tank that is OLD . We should be careful how we advise others?.
As bacteria is one of the main parts of the life support system in our tanks I continue to use conditioned water at the same temperature to rinse regardless of how algae covered 3 panels of glass and all hard surfaces are in my tanks.
 
Orion0220
Member
JettsPapa said:
I recently saw a video on YouTube about rinsing filter media in untreated tap water. I'd be skeptical about some of the people posting there, but I trust this one.
Yes! Primetime aquatics has degrees in biology, chemical science and aquaculture, and was literally a professor at a college teaching it. I trust his word

Noroomforshoe said:
So, is there any method that you guys have used to avoid a hang on the back filter backwashing a mess into the tank when you turn it of, or when you change/clean the cartridges? And what about sponge filters? Doesnt all the detritous fall into the tank water when you go to clean it?
Also sponge filters, you can use a ziplock bag, slowly lift them by the tube or airline and carefully put them in the bag under water. very little falls off into your water column, then use a bucket of dechlorinated water to squeeze it out a few times and Job done.
 
JettsPapa
Member
Noroomforshoe said:
So, is there any method that you guys have used to avoid a hang on the back filter backwashing a mess into the tank when you turn it of, or when you change/clean the cartridges? And what about sponge filters? Doesnt all the detritous fall into the tank water when you go to clean it?
I turn my HOB's off before pulling the filter media. By doing that not much gunk will go into the water.

Orion0220 answered the part about sponge filters.
 
  • Thread Starter
RonDarcy
Member
Noroomforshoe said:
So, is there any method that you guys have used to avoid a hang on the back filter backwashing a mess into the tank when you turn it of, or when you change/clean the cartridges? And what about sponge filters? Doesnt all the detritous fall into the tank water when you go to clean it?
If you have an established tank of 8 months or older, just keep it clean, then there is not much build up to backwash in the tank. Every week I clean my Tidal55 hob filter media. I turn down the water flow, then unplug it (very little water flows back). I take out the filter media, syphon the water out of the filter box, then remove the sponge I have over the intake tube. I replace the filter floss, rinse out the sponges, and give the biological media bag a quick swish in declorinated water same temperature as the tank water. Once per month, I pull the whole assembly out of the tank and clean it and the pump Impeller. Weekly water changes are always done by gravel vacuuming, so I am catching alot of the poop before the filter has to do it.
 
YellowGuppy
Member
Noroomforshoe said:
So, is there any method that you guys have used to avoid a hang on the back filter backwashing a mess into the tank when you turn it of, or when you change/clean the cartridges? And what about sponge filters? Doesnt all the detritous fall into the tank water when you go to clean it?
A bit of syphoning is inevitable whenever you have one elevated body of water (the container of your HOB) that's contiguous with a lower body of water (your tank). You could probably come up with some sort of stopper to cut off the connection, but it'll likely be more work and mess than you'll save.

Adding a pre-filter sponge REALLY cuts down on the amount of gunk in the filter box, as all of the bigger chunks get caught in that, so that might help of your tank can accommodate it. (Not all can - I tried one on the goldfish tank at work, but it ended up needing to be squeezed out every couple days, so I gave up!)

It also helps when you realize that ALL of the detritus and crud is IN your system. If it gets kicked up a bit, it's still all in your water until you remove some of it. Causing a bit of disturbance while you're cleaning makes it look dirtier, but if you're removing any of the grossness, it's actually a significant improvement. Your filter or gravel will gradually reclaim anything you've missed until next time.
 
Noroomforshoe
Member
Yes, I try to emphasis the issue, "if its in your filter, its in your tank" to people. I am just try to find a way to remove it better. I somtimes stick the python in there to remove floating stuff.

Prefilters look like a good idea thanks!, But why in 25 years is this the first im hearing about this?! LOL
 

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