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Kingfisher
04-15-2010, 05:44 PM
Just out of curiosity, when I clean my filter, should I not use water straight from the tap? If I did, will it kill the bacteria growing on there?

gr8nguyen1
04-15-2010, 05:51 PM
unfortunately most tap water contain chlorine or chloramine of some kind to kill the bacteria and make it suitable for human consumption. so yes it will kill the bacteria in a thriving filter media. i learned this out the hard way and messed up my whole nit. cycle. had to start all over, it was a disaster. just rinse it with the water that your going to change during wc

Chad Hughes
04-15-2010, 06:01 PM
Just out of curiosity, when I clean my filter, should I not use water straight from the tap? If I did, will it kill the bacteria growing on there?

What kind of filter do you have?

waters10
04-15-2010, 06:02 PM
Just out of curiosity, when I clean my filter, should I not use water straight from the tap? If I did, will it kill the bacteria growing on there?
Yep. Rinse with water + conditioner (primer, safe, amquel, etc) or like most do, tank water in a bucket.

Kingfisher
04-15-2010, 06:13 PM
What kind of filter do you have?

I have a Rena XP2 cannister and a AquaClear 70 HOB. I don't clean both at the same time. I always clean my filters in a bucket of dechlorinize water but did it because I was being cautious. Now at least I know I have to. Thanks!

BTW, im upgrading to a 112 gallon acrylic tank. The tank comes with a sump, should I used that for my filtering needs? Or should should I stick with the HOB's and the cannisters?

Yboat
04-15-2010, 07:00 PM
I've always used water change water to rinse in.

ifixoldhouses
04-15-2010, 07:15 PM
I wash my sponge filters under tap all the time, it says on the instructions to do it. It may kill some of it, but just do it once a week.

gr8nguyen1
04-15-2010, 07:21 PM
everytime i do a wc, i turn off my eheim canister because i don't want it to suck up all the sand that is kicked up when i siphon the gravel. i know that the bacteria in the canister need oxygen. how long can i have the filter turned off before the bacteria die? is it ok to constantly turn on and off the filter

waters10
04-15-2010, 08:11 PM
I wash my sponge filters under tap all the time, it says on the instructions to do it. It may kill some of it, but just do it once a week.
And you never had ammonia/nitrite spikes? Did you keep track of that right after you do that?

If you don't get spikes, it might be because you're overfiltering. Either way, if the instructions say that, it's definitely wrong ...

dwilder
04-15-2010, 09:18 PM
in general there is not enough chlorine in tap water to kill much more than a small amount of bb when cleaning a filter usually not enough to do much harm any ways

Eddie
04-15-2010, 09:25 PM
As mentioned, a good bacteria colony on the media will not be set back by rinsing under tap water.

Eddie

gr8nguyen1
04-15-2010, 09:33 PM
most municipal tap water has to have a certain level of chlorine to kill water borne pathogens. but some contain other chemicals like ( not sure of the name i think is flouride) to prevent the water pipes from eroding too quickly. most people when they clean their filters don't just wipe with tap water. we usually run it under a faucet. so the constant flow and exposure to the chemicals can't be too good for any biological filtration i mean if its strong enough to kill water borne bacteria in drinking water and bb is a water borne bacteria. you get the idea

Eddie
04-15-2010, 09:39 PM
most municipal tap water has to have a certain level of chlorine to kill water borne pathogens. but some contain other chemicals like ( not sure of the name i think is flouride) to prevent the water pipes from eroding too quickly. most people when they clean their filters don't just wipe with tap water. we usually run it under a faucet. so the constant flow and exposure to the chemicals can't be too good for any biological filtration i mean if its strong enough to kill water borne bacteria in drinking water and bb is a water borne bacteria. you get the idea

Not really, the amount is so minimal, it won't kill the bacteria. Been doing this for ages. ;)

fishhead123
04-15-2010, 09:42 PM
Why risk it anyways? Just use aged water or water from your tank.

Darrell Ward
04-15-2010, 09:48 PM
Why risk it anyways? Just use aged water or water from your tank.

I agree. It's no big deal to rinse them in a bucket of tank water if you're doing a water change anyway. I've been doing it for decades just out of habit.

Eddie
04-15-2010, 09:57 PM
Why risk it anyways? Just use aged water or water from your tank.

Risk what?

scottishbloke
04-15-2010, 10:17 PM
I regularly rinse the crud off of my Eheim canister filter pads under the running faucet, especially the coarse and prefilter ones, as they bear the brunt of the waste load. To clean the filter media itself (Substrat Pro, Ehfimech etc) I simply put it in a big colander and pour a large bucket or two of w/c old tank water through it, refill the baskets, and put it all back together again- and the quick disconnect hose assemblies make it very easy. Doing "poop scoops" in between w/c's also greatly cuts down the amount of waste getting into the canisters, as do sponge prefilters on the intake tubes, which can also be removed easily for rinsing.

Colin

srusso
04-15-2010, 11:17 PM
Risk what?

Eddie, if you WC 50% a day and have a BB... then I guess there really is no issue... why even have a filter?

but you cant say there is no risk for others... this doesn't apply to most discus tanks but it matters a lot in a balanced planted tanks... and yes I would go as far to say that you should be doing it with WC water... not a fresh treated bucket. Quick changes in temp, pH etc.. can kill off bacteria. It just simply matters. :o

Eddie
04-15-2010, 11:46 PM
Eddie, if you WC 50% a day and have a BB... then I guess there really is no issue... why even have a filter?

but you cant say there is no risk for others... this doesn't apply to most discus tanks but it matters a lot in a balanced planted tanks... and yes I would go as far to say that you should be doing it with WC water... not a fresh treated bucket. Quick changes in temp, pH etc.. can kill off bacteria. It just simply matters. :o

No, it doesn't but you can rely on whatever information you want, this isn't something new.

Regardless of how much water I change, there is a huge bio colony established on all my filters. I can leave for weeks to a month and nothing will build but nitrates. Many many breeders perform multiple 100% water changes throughout the day and yet, still have sponge filters.

Its good to have a strong bacteria bed established and it appears that some don't. ;)

Eddie

Darrell Ward
04-15-2010, 11:57 PM
I always have way more bio than needed for all my tanks. I think it's just good insurance against problems no matter how water you change. I've seen pictures of discus on the forums with ammonia burns, and it ain't pretty.

Eddie
04-16-2010, 12:10 AM
I always have way more bio than needed for all my tanks. I think it's just good insurance against problems no matter how water you change. I've seen pictures of discus on the forums with ammonia burns, and it ain't pretty.

Yeah me too and they ain't mine! :D

waters10
04-16-2010, 12:45 AM
To be honest, I'm very surprised by some of the answers, specially Eddie's, somebody that knows his stuff from personal experineice. I fully admit that I was going with what I read here before.

So the question is, does rinsing with tap water ok, no matter where you are? Meaning, levels of chlorine/chloramine varies per location globally, so even worst case does that still hold true?

fishhead123
04-16-2010, 02:51 AM
To be honest, I'm very surprised by some of the answers, specially Eddie's, somebody that knows his stuff from personal experineice. I fully admit that I was going with what I read here before.

So the question is, does rinsing with tap water ok, no matter where you are? Meaning, levels of chlorine/chloramine varies per location globally, so even worst case does that still hold true?

You have your answer in Eddie's post...

Unless you have a "huge bio colony established on all filters" and "a strong bacteria bed established" then don't do it.

And even with that, I doubt anyone would run all their bio media that they have in their wet/dry, canister, HOBs, etc under tap water at the same time. Isn't that the reason we all use water conditioners?

Eddie
04-16-2010, 07:36 AM
To be honest, I'm very surprised by some of the answers, specially Eddie's, somebody that knows his stuff from personal experineice. I fully admit that I was going with what I read here before.

So the question is, does rinsing with tap water ok, no matter where you are? Meaning, levels of chlorine/chloramine varies per location globally, so even worst case does that still hold true?

People do what works for them. I would imagine that a higher level of chlorine would affect the colony more but its not going to nuke it completely. Even rinsing/squeezing media under tank water or dechlorinated water, removes the bio film. Most of that dirty/cloudy water left behind, is good bio that has been dislodged from the media. Its natural, one way or another, it will need to re-establish itself. ;)

Eddie

acroken
04-16-2010, 09:03 AM
I have been washing sponges out under my tap for many years and never experienced any ammonia spike.I do not use buckets because i do not want to cross contaminate. If you only have a few tanks i could see using buckets to clean filter and keeping that bucket just for that tank, but if you are running many tanks it seems ridiculous to have 15 or 20+ buckets around just to clean filters. IMO it is best to have more then one type of bio filter in each tank and rotate your cleanings, do not clean both filters in the same week. I do clean my breeders sponges in small 1 gal buckets but mostly because i like to see how much waste is washing out.

Kenny

waters10
04-16-2010, 10:45 AM
People do what works for them. I would imagine that a higher level of chlorine would affect the colony more but its not going to nuke it completely. Even rinsing/squeezing media under tank water or dechlorinated water, removes the bio film. Most of that dirty/cloudy water left behind, is good bio that has been dislodged from the media. Its natural, one way or another, it will need to re-establish itself. ;)

Eddie
I think this might be one of those things that people just start repeating so much, that it became a fact. Like how brine shrimp is considered a terrible food, when in reality it's not bad, just not as good as others. The difference is I've read plenty people challenging the notion that brine shrimp is terrible, while I don't remember reading anyone challenging tap water would wipe bio filter before ...

Anyway, good to know it's not gonna nuke your bio, assuming your filter is well stablished. I hope when somebody searches this topic in the future, they find this one.

Darrell Ward
04-16-2010, 05:11 PM
I have been washing sponges out under my tap for many years and never experienced any ammonia spike.I do not use buckets because i do not want to cross contaminate. If you only have a few tanks i could see using buckets to clean filter and keeping that bucket just for that tank, but if you are running many tanks it seems ridiculous to have 15 or 20+ buckets around just to clean filters. IMO it is best to have more then one type of bio filter in each tank and rotate your cleanings, do not clean both filters in the same week. I do clean my breeders sponges in small 1 gal buckets but mostly because i like to see how much waste is washing out.

Kenny

It would be ridiculous to use a different bucket, or a different this or that for each tank if you've had all you fish for a long time in the same place. The only way this cross contamination theory makes sense is if you are quarantining fish, or regularly get new fish from different sources IMO. These fish are not that fragile. If you use common sense, I don't think you need to be as sterile as a hospital. When I get new fish, they get their own tank for a few months, if they do well, I consider them as healthy as the rest of them.

Eddie
04-16-2010, 08:10 PM
It would be ridiculous to use a different bucket, or a different this or that for each tank if you've had all you fish for a long time in the same place. The only way this cross contamination theory makes sense is if you are quarantining fish, or regularly get new fish from different sources IMO. These fish are not that fragile. If you use common sense, I don't think you need to be as sterile as a hospital. When I get new fish, they get their own tank for a few months, if they do well, I consider them as healthy as the rest of them.

Wow, not me. Even utilizing the same equipment isn't a fail safe. I've had discus in 2 separate tanks for 6 months at least, used all the same equipment, cleaned filters at the same time and then swap fish around and BAM. Its the host fish that can carry something into one system and not affect another. All fish have different immunities and react different to new diseases. Guess time will tell.....


Eddie

Darrell Ward
04-16-2010, 08:46 PM
Wow, not me. Even utilizing the same equipment isn't a fail safe. I've had discus in 2 separate tanks for 6 months at least, used all the same equipment, cleaned filters at the same time and then swap fish around and BAM. Its the host fish that can carry something into one system and not affect another. All fish have different immunities and react different to new diseases. Guess time will tell.....


Eddie

I think what you may have experienced was a freak thing out of the norm. I've moved many fish around over the years without such problems. Heck, our good friend Hans uses central filtration systems without problems. He has several such systems where a whole rack of tanks are tied to a central sump. Strange things do happen, but it's not the norm I think, and even when they do, one can never know for sure what went wrong in the first place.

Eddie
04-17-2010, 12:54 AM
I think what you may have experienced was a freak thing out of the norm. I've moved many fish around over the years without such problems. Heck, our good friend Hans uses central filtration systems without problems. He has several such systems where a whole rack of tanks are tied to a central sump. Strange things do happen, but it's not the norm I think, and even when they do, one can never know for sure what went wrong in the first place.

I guess I am the lucky one....lol. Hans fish are strictly Stendker aside from the wilds. Not sure if those wilds are thrown into the main system as all the thousands of other gallons.

My point is the individual fish can carry something that has nothing to do with the water. ;)

Eddie

RodneyL001
05-03-2010, 03:16 AM
This is an interesting thread. What has worked for me for years is never using tap water to clean my filter media. That comes from an experience that I had years ago, where I cleaned my media with tap water and got an immediate spike. For those of us that have been at this for awhile, we tend to do what works for us, if using tao water has worked for you Eddie, that is very good. Using tank water to clean my media has worked well for me, and most of the literature out there that i read would discourage using tap water, but if it works for you, I say, you can't argue against a winning game. In conclusion, I would say, if there is a greater chance of killing your good bacteria using tap water, why not go with the safest alternative?

ifixoldhouses
05-03-2010, 07:50 AM
ATI says to rinse under cool runing water, running water is tap water isn't it?

http://atisponge.com/Products/HydroSponge/tabid/77/Default.aspx

Eddie
05-03-2010, 07:58 AM
This is an interesting thread. What has worked for me for years is never using tap water to clean my filter media. That comes from an experience that I had years ago, where I cleaned my media with tap water and got an immediate spike. For those of us that have been at this for awhile, we tend to do what works for us, if using tao water has worked for you Eddie, that is very good. Using tank water to clean my media has worked well for me, and most of the literature out there that i read would discourage using tap water, but if it works for you, I say, you can't argue against a winning game. In conclusion, I would say, if there is a greater chance of killing your good bacteria using tap water, why not go with the safest alternative?


Hey, if it makes you feel safe, you got to do what you got to do. I'm glad you've had success in your methods. ;)

And yes Brian, you are right.

RodneyL001
05-03-2010, 09:52 AM
ATI says to rinse under cool runing water, running water is tap water isn't it?

http://atisponge.com/Products/HydroS...7/Default.aspx
__________________
Brian

I do appreciate the responses in this thread. It is good to know that some people have had success rinsing their media off with tap water. And although, ifixoldhouses had at least one quote that appears to contradict my position. I will stand behind my statement that "most of the literature," discourages using tap water. I think that is one of the strengths of this forum, you get varying opinions on many subjects, and then it is up to you to make the best choice. I would imagine it might be a little confusing to someone who is really new to the hobby.

acroken
05-03-2010, 11:33 AM
It would be ridiculous to use a different bucket, or a different this or that for each tank if you've had all you fish for a long time in the same place. The only way this cross contamination theory makes sense is if you are quarantining fish, or regularly get new fish from different sources IMO. These fish are not that fragile. If you use common sense, I don't think you need to be as sterile as a hospital. When I get new fish, they get their own tank for a few months, if they do well, I consider them as healthy as the rest of them.Darrell,
i am only saying what i do. if people want to play Russian roulette with their fish it is their decision. I have "common sense" and that is why i do not mix equipment. If you are only running a few tanks the risk is not so great, still i would not, but that is just me. in my case i would never risk it. Years ago i thought that if the fish were well conditioned and long past the QT stage it would be safe to use the same equipment. i lost almost all of them... 30+ tanks. Granted this was before the internet and information was hard to come by. My point is, these fish become tolerant and can fight off most of the parasitic load but when you start to introducing new pathogen to their environment things can spiral out of control very quickly. This is just my opinion.

Kenny

ExReefer
05-03-2010, 12:10 PM
If you rinse your sponge under tap water to the point that clear water is being squeezed out, then you have rinsed the majority of the bacteria colony in that sponge. I do this all time. Rinse, squeeze, repeat until only clean water comes out of the sponge. Itís no big deal because I have an established tank with bacteria growing all over the sand, tank walls, and live plants. I also do lots of water changes, but nothing compared Eddie :). My discus are spawning and thriving in Chicago tap water. I donít even age the tap water.

In a small tank with a large bioload and infrequent water changes, your tank may experience a small mini-cycle from this practice. Particularly if that sponge was on the only filter in the tank.

RodneyL001
05-03-2010, 01:22 PM
I would like to put the original question in context. Remember,we are in the thread entitled, "Discus Basic for Beginners." Although some of theses practices are successful for you, do you feel comfortable with saying that these practices are the most sound advise to give someone new in he hobby? Please address it from that point of view for a bit.

Exreefer, I must admit, I am a little jealous, I am a transplant from the South Side of Chicago, living in Asheville NC for about 20 years. Have you ever been to a lfs called Old Town Aquarium. I won't start an argument now, but I bought two of my acrylic tanks from there almost 30 years ago, and they are still going strong, but sorry I digress.

ExReefer
05-03-2010, 01:55 PM
I would like to put the original question in context. Remember,we are in the thread entitled, "Discus Basic for Beginners." Although some of theses practices are successful for you, do you feel comfortable with saying that these practices are the most sound advise to give someone new in he hobby? Please address it from that point of view for a bit.

I feel comfortable because a "beginner" in the context of keeping discus should mean the individual is already an experienced hobbyist (just not with discus). At least I hope so.

TankWatcher
05-03-2010, 06:45 PM
I usually don't rinse my filter sponges under running water, but I would do so without worrying, because I have so much other cycled media in my canister & on tank decor/surfaces that the if anything did die off, it wouldn't matter. Plus, manufacturers instructions are to throw the fine sponges out fortnightly anyway, so I'd have no bacteria on a new sponge.

The reason I don't tend to wash them in running water is a) habit and b) it's so easy to rinse them in old tank water at the same time as a water change - saves me walking over to the sink (lazy)

I do rinse the pre filter sponges on the filter intake under running water. Because they are often washed in between a wc, it's easier to walk across to the sink for that task, rather than removing a bucket of water specially.

But I wouldn't feel comfortable rinsing the eheim hard media (Substrat Pro, Ehfimech) etc in water from the tap. I only have 7 tanks and they are not always all in use (4 of them are QT's). A plastic bucket only costs around $1 and they store easily, one inside the other. If you store one bucket, 7 buckets takes up hardly any extra space. A permanent texta labels them so I know which is which, same as each gravel vac is labelled. But 30+ tanks, well that would be a whole different ball game. Storing 30 buckets would be beyond me (but so would storing 60 gravel vacs, as each of my tanks has 2 of different sizes).

Whether or not I need to wash it in old tank water, I don't know? Before this thread, I always thought I did have to? It's what "everyone" told me to do and just about everything I read said the same - so I just accepted this is what I must do. Yes, I've read the odd instruction on a package saying to rinse under running water, but that has always seemed the exception to general advice, rather than the rule and so paid it no mind. The same as I paid no mind to my filter's instruction to throw out the sponge each fortnight (I do replace it after a while though, when it starts to break down).

Obviously rinsing under tap water works for some, as Eddie's tanks are full of younguns. Those sensitive wrigglers wouldn't make it there was a problem.

My water comes out of the tap with both ammonia & nitrate, so I feel that even my used aquarium water is better for tank cleaning than "clean" water from my tank would be.

reefenthusiast
05-06-2010, 11:46 AM
I rinsed mine under running tap water as well and never had problem with it. I say do what you are comfortable with.

James

Eddie
05-06-2010, 08:39 PM
I rinsed mine under running tap water as well and never had problem with it. I say do what you are comfortable with.

James

Ditto!

alpine
05-06-2010, 09:21 PM
I have rinsed under Tap water , I have rinsed under tank water , I have heard expert discus keeper talk about rinsing under Tap water . An expert in biology will sort things out for all of us . I have heard of hydro filters idle for months dry and put back to work and still have bacteria present for biological filtration !!!

Roberto.

tcyiu
05-07-2010, 02:35 AM
Not all tap water is the same.

Telling new hobbyists that they can use tap water, without qualifying that statement is potentially harmful. Especially to those who may live in areas like mine where you can gag at the smell of chloramine coming out of the tap.

My advice to anyone looking to use tap water, test the water for chloramine/chlorine BEFOREHAND.

Tim

Eddie
05-07-2010, 04:31 AM
Especially to those who may live in areas like mine where you can gag at the smell of chloramine coming out of the tap.

Tim


Actually Tim, mine is probably alot higher than yours. The whole house smells like bleach when you turn on the faucet. :o

RodneyL001
05-09-2010, 10:03 PM
Not all tap water is the same.

Telling new hobbyists that they can use tap water, without qualifying that statement is potentially harmful. Especially to those who may live in areas like mine where you can gag at the smell of chloramine coming out of the tap.

My advice to anyone looking to use tap water, test the water for chloramine/chlorine BEFOREHAND.

Tim


Thanks for summing this one up quite well Tim!!!

Kingfisher, what did you decide to do?

DerekFF
05-10-2010, 03:00 AM
And you never had ammonia/nitrite spikes? Did you keep track of that right after you do that?

If you don't get spikes, it might be because you're overfiltering. Either way, if the instructions say that, it's definitely wrong ...

I wash mine in tap water too, but usually only 2/3 filter pads so as to keep at least 1 pad full of bacteria. Never get ammonia spikes either, and i am overfiltering a little bit.