I believe the vinegar works by cleaning off the oily residue that comes from the manufacturing process. The bubbles need something to climb up to get into the collection cup, but the oils keep the bubbles from being able to grab on and climb.
As for the ceramic rings - I've heard of them before, but wouldn't they be similar to bio-balls, in that they would eventually become a nitrate factory if not maintained.
I know the reason is to give more surface for BB, but just wondering. Don't have any experience or knowlege of them.
Answer: Yes run it in regular RO
or saltwater after the vinegar bath.