Question Why rinse filter cartridge in aquarium water?

JettsPapa

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Hello,

I'm new to all this, and have a lot of questions (as some of you may have noticed). I know some people's personalities allow them to blindly take advice without explanation, but I'm not one of them, which leads me to today's question.

I've seen several posts here that recommend rinsing filter cartridges in the water that's been removed during a water change, but I haven't seem anyone explain why. I understand that exchanging a used cartridge for a new one will cause the loss of beneficial bacteria, but why not rinse the filter in clean water? Does that also cause a bacteria loss?
 

kallililly1973

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Not a scientist but rinsing and ringing your filter media out in tank water will allow less of a chance of losing your BB compared to cleaning it out in tap water which could contain chlorine and chlorimine which could kill off some of your BB... Again not a scientist. but its worked for me cleaning my media in tank water.
 
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JettsPapa

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Yes. chlorine will eradicate and slap that nitrogen cycle down the drain.
I hadn't thought of that until seeing your first post. I have well water so it's not an issue for me, which is probably why I didn't think of it sooner.
 
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JettsPapa

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Do you dechlorinate your well water? It could possibly contain heavy metals still.
No, I don't. My daughter-in-law has had success keeping fish for about a year using water from the same well, so I assume it's okay.
 
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JettsPapa

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Now that I've gotten all those great answers (and thank you), I have a related question. Is there any standard answer for how often I should rinse it? I assume it will vary from one tank to another, but can it be done too often?

I wouldn't think so, but there's much I don't know.
 

vyrille

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Hello,

I'm new to all this, and have a lot of questions (as some of you may have noticed). I know some people's personalities allow them to blindly take advice without explanation, but I'm not one of them, which leads me to today's question.

I've seen several posts here that recommend rinsing filter cartridges in the water that's been removed during a water change, but I haven't seem anyone explain why. I understand that exchanging a used cartridge for a new one will cause the loss of beneficial bacteria, but why not rinse the filter in clean water? Does that also cause a bacteria loss?
Chlorine is one of the reasons. But the thing with BB is, like fish, they are also sensitive to sudden water parameters changes, temperature included. By rinsing it in tank water, you dont subject them to the sudden changes.
 

kallililly1973

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Now that I've gotten all those great answers (and thank you), I have a related question. Is there any standard answer for how often I should rinse it? I assume it will vary from one tankto another, but can it be done too often?

I wouldn't think so, but there's much I don't know.
Depending on your stock and filtration you could usually go a month and give it a quick swish around in a bucket of old tank water and you will be good.
 

vyrille

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Now that I've gotten all those great answers (and thank you), I have a related question. Is there any standard answer for how often I should rinse it? I assume it will vary from one tankto another, but can it be done too often?

I wouldn't think so, but there's much I don't know.
It depends on how quickly gunk accumulates in your filters. Anywhere between once a week to once a month to twice in a year is not unheard of. The main problem is not the mulm buildup, but the loss of water flow and reduction of surface area for the bacteria to grow on. Now in filters with replaceable cartridges (or any filter actually), it is always a good idea to have redundancy. Meaning, don't rely on a single filter surface. I think you did mention you haf a sponge in the intake as well? That's good, you can alternate cleaning (pad this week, sponge next week) and so on. That way should you for some reason whack the BB in one, you'll still have enough in the other to hopefully take over.
 

Cichlidude

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Hello,

I'm new to all this, and have a lot of questions (as some of you may have noticed). I know some people's personalities allow them to blindly take advice without explanation, but I'm not one of them, which leads me to today's question.

I've seen several posts here that recommend rinsing filter cartridges in the water that's been removed during a water change, but I haven't seem anyone explain why. I understand that exchanging a used cartridge for a new one will cause the loss of beneficial bacteria, but why not rinse the filter in clean water? Does that also cause a bacteria loss?
Learn here on why rinsing your media in tap water will not kill your bacteria.

Rinsing Biomedia In Tap Water
 

StarGirl15

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Now that I've gotten all those great answers (and thank you), I have a related question. Is there any standard answer for how often I should rinse it? I assume it will vary from one tankto another, but can it be done too often?

I wouldn't think so, but there's much I don't know.
If you are rinsing it in tank water I don't think you can do it too much. Standard is when it's dirty and starting to clog
 
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JettsPapa

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It depends on how quickly gunk accumulates in your filters. Anywhere between once a week to once a month to twice in a year is not unheard of. The main problem is not the mulm buildup, but the loss of water flow and reduction of surface area for the bacteria to grow on. Now in filters with replaceable cartridges (or any filter actually), it is always a good idea to have redundancy. Meaning, don't rely on a single filter surface. I think you did mention you haf a sponge in the intake as well? That's good, you can alternate cleaning (pad this week, sponge next week) and so on. That way should you for some reason whack the BB in one, you'll still have enough in the other to hopefully take over.
That must have been someone else that said they have a sponge, though I might have one and don't know it. I have whatever came with this filter.
 

vyrille

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

Rinsing Biomedia In Tap Water
That's all well and good, but personally i just don't want to risk it. In dealing with live organisms some things you just can't predict. What works for one may not necessarily work for another. It could be (and im just wildly speculating here, don't quote me) that nitrospira is sensitive to chlorine, while nitrobacter is not (both process nitrite). What if your filters are predominantly nitrobacter? Tap water wouldn't touch them, while another dude has predominantly nitrospira and his BB is whacked. What I'm saying is, doesn't hurt to be cautious. What harm in rinsing with old tank water when you have the bucket beside you during water changes anyway?
 

vyrille

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That must have been someone else that said they have a sponge, though I might have one and don't know it. I have whatever came with this filter.
Oh! then i apologise! but the idea also holds true for you. You might want to attach a sponge on your filter intake. Aside from the abovementioned reason, and providing additional BB surfaces, it also prevents larger debris getting into your filter.
 
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