Cleaning filter sponges in tap water

EA James

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Hi all,
I have an FX4 and when (every 6 weeks) I clean it out I always feel cleaning the sponges in tank water isn’t really sufficient.
I’d love to give them a proper rinse under the tap but obviously don’t want to cause issues.
My filter has 4 sponges, two around the top tray and two around the bottom.
I’m wondering weather I could rinse the top sponges under the tap and then next time round do the bottom then alternate it like that. From what I’ve read the majority of ‘good’ bacteria live in the media anyway so would this be alright to do?
Also on the filter note I’m curious how often people clean their filter pipes. Mine are pretty difficult to remove and even harder to clean, I’ve only done it once in the 18 months it’s been running and it was an ar*e of a job!
cheers everyone
 

dean

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Hi
I will depend on the stocking levels in your setup
How many litres ?
Which fish species and quantities ?
Fully planted ?

There are setups running that have no filtration but use pumps just for circulation


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

EA James

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@dean here’s the tank, 330L stocked with about 20 rummynose, 6 honey gourami, 8 cherry barbs, 2 panda garra, 2 SAE, 8 kuhlis and some shrimp.
I run an eheim prefilter and do 60-70% weekly WC too
4E0E6F05-0FA4-4508-963D-CB4EDE0A2554.jpeg
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I’d love to give them a proper rinse under the tap but obviously don’t want to cause issues.
Should be all right, the UK supply is fairly lightly chlorinated (less than 0.5 ppm), so even a good rinse won't sterilise the sponge. In the USA they <"use a lot more chlorine">, because they don't have any environmental legislation, the rivers are open sewers, and it is cheaper for the water company to add a toxic dose of chlorine rather than actually try to treat the water to make it safe.
Also on the filter note I’m curious how often people clean their filter pipes.
I clean mine <"every couple of months">, they need a lot more cleaning than the filter media in the filter, but less frequently than the pre-filter sponge.

Edit: I've just seen the FTS and I wouldn't be worried at all about cleaning the sponges all in one go.

cheers Darrel
 

EA James

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@dw1305 ok that’s good to know re the chlorine levels and sponge cleaning. That’s gonna make life a lot easier!
so with regards to the pipe cleaning, last time I tied some string round a baby bottle cleaner and pulled it through the pipes. This didn’t really work that well and the wet string just stuck to the inside of the pipes and it was just a general disaster!
Any tips on making it less hassle and more effective?
Also Darrel did you notice that big beautiful Bolbitis in the middle of the tank?
Cheers
 

dw1305

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Last edited:

nigel bentley

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If you go on the Aquarium Gardens website they sell a brush kit which is brilliant. Comes with a flexible metal tube and a different size brush each end. It's quite inexpensive and Ive found it invaluable
 

Andrew Butler

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I use a <"laboratory burette brush">. "16mm" is about right for 13 mm hoses, but they come in other sizes as well
Hi Darrel
Am I correct to assume these are rigid and not suitable for use with glass lily pipes and the likes?

Anyone else reading this, I'm on the lookout for some rigid pipe brushes that are sprung or will work on glass inlets/outlets if anyone can give me some pointers.
I've got some but are just a little too snug on 12mm.
 

EA James

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Was that one of mine? I was more interested in the spiky, thin leaved, plant to the right of it?
Yeah that was the chunk you sent me last week! I wanted to split it but it was too entwined so i left it as i didn't want to damage it.
The thin leafed plant is Cyperus helferi, I bought it from my LFS which i never do but i hadn't seen one before so went for it. It's still in its pot though so i don't think its very happy, i put a peat ball in with it but it needs planting really.
Just ordered, thanks for the link :)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Hi Darrel
Am I correct to assume these are rigid and not suitable for use with glass lily pipes and the likes?

Anyone else reading this, I'm on the lookout for some rigid pipe brushes that are sprung or will work on glass inlets/outlets if anyone can give me some pointers.
I've got some but are just a little too snug on 12mm.
They have a twisted wire handle, it is bendable, but quite stiff, and I wouldn't trust one with thin glass.

Cheers Darrel
 

EA James

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@dw1305 just to let you know on saturday i thoroughly cleaned the filter, sponges had a good rinse under the tap ( strangely satisfying 🤣 ) and the pipes cleaned with the pipe cleaner brush you sent the link for. It was 10 times easier so just wanted to say thanks for the help and advice. Saved me a lot of time which is something i don't tend to have a lot of!!
Thanks again Darrel 👍
 

Ed Wiser

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Would never clean any sponge in any tap water whatever country. You never no what the local water supply is doing. As it will change at different times of the year. You can have a different PH between tap and tank water that will cause a bacteria die off.
I lean my Lilly pipes generally once a month. I use the ADA spring brushes because the brushes are cut to the inside diameter of the various Lilly pipes. Letting you clean the pipes without pulling hard to get the brush out.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Would never clean any sponge in any tap water whatever country. You never no what the local water supply is doing
That is <"definitely true for the USA">, your tap water can contain x10 as much chlorine as we get in the UK. You also have to factor in we have the "second filter effect" of the plants and their rhizosphere.
You can have a different PH between tap and tank water that will cause a bacteria die off.
I spoke to a colleague, who is a microbiologist, and he was pretty sure that a wash under a running tap was only going to have a minor effect on the microbial assemblage.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Ed Wiser

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Problem is this will change through out the year as the demands on thh he r filtration system changes. The town I live in Louisville has one of the best water treatment in the states. But we have a high calcium level in the water. Due this area was a coral reef millions of years ago.
 

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