Cleaning sponges in tap water v aquarium water

The science behind successful fishkeeping.
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Lo1
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Really interesting video on whether cleaning filter sponges in tap water will kill of all the beneficial bacteria:

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plankton
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There is no way I would ever suggest using tapwater here - I've done it when I first kept fish and wondered why I had such big losses.
I always understood that it probably doesn't kill ALL the "munchers", but it will lower the ability of the colonies to cope with the bioload....
I don't suggest anyone follows that routine. I'd rather keep my fish as safely as possible.
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Prime Time Aquatics are demonstrating that a short period of time exposed to tap water has very little effect on the beneficial bacteria.
The science is based on a US science paper that shows that all beneficial bacteria is killed if exposed to tap water for around one hour, therefore exposure to tap water for only 2-3 minutes has minimal effect.
Prime Time Aquatics also state that the sponge filters are not really dirty in the first place.
I understand what they are saying and the science behind the claims. However ....
plankton wrote: Thu Aug 03, 2023 8:23 am There is no way I would ever suggest using tapwater here - I've done it when I first kept fish and wondered why I had such big losses.
I always understood that it probably doesn't kill ALL the "munchers", but it will lower the ability of the colonies to cope with the bioload....
I don't suggest anyone follows that routine. I'd rather keep my fish as safely as possible.
I agree with @plankton .
I use two external filters (no sponge filters) and clean my external filters on rotation to protect the precious beneficial bacteria.
I also use dechorinated water (tank water) when cleaning as the cleaning is done after (or during) water changes.
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I have three filters running on our Aquarium, two Eheim Pro 4+ 600's and a Fluval FX6, all filters have the Eheim pre-filters attached, even the FX6, the pre-filters are round sponges, i would never dream of cleaning them under a tap, they get rinsed out in the last bucket of tank water, and are cleaned in a rotation.

So i think cleaning any filter media with water straight from the tap should be a no no. JMO..

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SPACKlick
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I clean my prefilters in Tap water because they're not intended as biofiltration, just mechanical. I don't mind cleaning the ceramic rings at the bottom of my filters in tap water because they're meant for flow adjustment, not biofiltration.

Knowing the contents of the video above I have in a pinch rinsed my main sponges in tap water when I made a mistake during a tank clean and noticed no effect on my cycle. It's nice to know it's not likely to have a huge effect but I wouldn't want to rely on it. Especially as the amount of chlorine in Tap Water varies over time depending on what your provider is doing.
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The bottom line is every filter is different. There are wars being waged between different bacteria and archaea species. Populations grow and contract. They all have different tolerances to chlorine and other toxins.
Cleaning media quickly under the tap usually won’t be a problem, but as already said chlorine concentrations in tapwater can vary from day to day (and there’s usually more at weekends), so it can kill a filter, or enough of it to cause problems, so why risk it? It’s only a matter of time…
I don't keep fish, I keep water. Water keeps fish.
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This will be probably be disagreed with, but IMO you shouldn’t be relying on sponges for BB, I clean mine monthly, like rinse and squeeze in warm water. You BB in my opinion should be enough in ur mechanical filter. Sponges are their to filter water/waste not for a BB store, I’m not judging anyone btw just my opinion.
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FishyMcFishFace
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I also boil my filter floss probably once a month. If ur using a clarifier/buffer u need too they work as a like a binder and all the small particles get bound together and then the filter floss collects them. If u don’t replace or clean ur floss it will become saturated, and won’t work propoerly.
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