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Old 02-03-2009, 12:11 AM   #1
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That's why you rinse filters in old tank water

OK, so I learne the hard way why you are supposed to rinse out build-up in your filter with "old" tank water from a PWC.

The bucket I normally drain into for PWC was being used for something else, so I just put the drainage tube directly in the bathtub.

But the filter also needed rinsing out, so I just did it with tab water thinking "what's the harm".

Well, 36 hours later, I notice several of the trumpit snails are uncharacteristicly climbing the glass. I check water quality, and sure enough Nitrite is at 0.25 to 0.5 ppm.

Dummy me forgets that tap water has chlorine in it killing off some of my good bacteria.

Fortunately after 48 hours, nitrite is back to zero. But now I understand WHY you are supposed to rinse your filters in old tank water. Next time I'm in the same position, I'll have to make sure to at least use tap water I've at least conditioned with some PRIME.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:04 AM   #2
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this is good to know thanks for the post
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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Yep, thanks for the post. One of the exact things I , as a newbie, hear and its good to get a little clarity on.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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This is more important in newer tanks as the beneificial bacteria counts aren't as high as in more established tanks. You are wiping out, percentage wise, many more than somebody that has had a tank set up for a year.

My tank has been estabalished for 3 years, and I wash my filter pads out in tap water. I do however only clean 2 of the 4 at any one time.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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keeping the same carbon filter is a bad idea. they should be changed every 2 months. so much dirt and poop builds up on them its disgusting. the bacteria live in your bio filter. by keeping the filter you just let the poop it sucked up before back in.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:19 AM   #6
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keeping the same carbon filter is a bad idea. they should be changed every 2 months. so much dirt and poop builds up on them its disgusting. the bacteria live in your bio filter. by keeping the filter you just let the poop it sucked up before back in.
???

Who said anything about carbon filters. I don't have a carbon filter. I have a FluVal2 with the extra polishing pads. If I didn't make it clear in my initial post, I'm talking about rinsing out the foam pads of the filter (basically the bio filter). Here's a copy-n-paste on instructions for this filter from www.aquariumguys.com (1st thing that popped up on a Google search for FluVal 2).
Instructions:
To clean the filter, first slide the filter out of the suction cup bracket, keeping it in the vertical position to avoid releasing the debris collected inside the debris reservior.Next, separate the filter body from the motor by squeezing the two release arms on the side of the filter body. Gently pull the filter media cartridge out of the filter body.Open the two halves of the filter cartridge and remove the two foam pads. Rinse the foam pads in water taken from the aquarium in a partial water change. After rinsing, put the foam back in the filter case. To clean the impeller, grasp the impeller fan and pull out the impeller. Rinse off any slimy buildup that has accumulated on the magnetic impeller and in the impeller well. Reassemble the filter and place it back into the aquarium.
In my case, I did NOT rinse the foam pads in water taken from the aquarium as instructed but rinsed in strait tap water.

While carbon pads are an optional additional filter that can be added to the FluVal (2-4 models), I instead use the optional polishing pads. They are way to fine to bother rinsing. However, because most of what is collected by the polishing pad is all catured in the top quarter of the pad, I do get extra life out of them by simply cutting off that dirty 25% of the filter and push the reaming filter to the top. That way, I can effectively reuse the same polishing pad at least three times.
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:28 AM   #7
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jcarlilesiu: why would you rinse anything in tap water? why not always use aquarium water? You're doing a PWC anyway...
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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Unless I am doing a gravel vac, I find it difficult to take water from my python and dump it into a bucket for the purpose of cleaning my filter.

I typically don't do much gravel vacs that necessitate the use of a bucket, plus, once water hits my bucket, I consider it "contaminated" since I don't know what else has been in the bucket.

I am only stating that washing out filter media in old tank water is more important to newer tanks than established older tanks. I find it unnecessarily difficult to wash out filter media in tank water and I haven't had any ill effects from doing so in tap water.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:46 PM   #9
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I have a biowheel(penguin 200) on my 46 fresh. I just use two of the rite-size cartridges and every 2 weeks switch the one from the back to the front and put a new one in. This keeps everything in check for me!
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:43 PM   #10
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...I find it difficult to take water from my python and dump it into a bucket for the purpose of cleaning my filter...
Assuming the python is connected to the sink, wouldn't you just have to stop up the drain for a breif period? Sure you would still get some tap water, but it would be diluted with tank water. Then rinse the filters in the sink.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:38 AM   #11
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People say test the water but how many people check their test their water everyday but they watch their tank everyday. Those little MTS serves so many purposes.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:16 AM   #12
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I didn't mean to cause a big debate.

I don't find that the concept filter media must be rinsed in tank water is that important in the maintenance routine FOR OLDER TANKS. Thats all I am saying.

How many people mix their de-clor water conditioner PRIOR to adding water to the aquarium? Not many I am willing to bet. Most people add it as water is being filled back into the aquarium. With that in mind, its pretty safe to say that chlorine and other tap water ingrediants are making contact with the bio-filtration organisms before the conditioner has time to bind them. Yet, this method of reintroducing new water to the water column is acceptable.

YMMV, and I don't take responsibility if you have problems cleaning your filter in tap water. I have been doing it for 5 years at the same time that I do a water change and add water conditioner and have never had a problem.

Every tank is different, and many tanks may hold most of their biological filtration in the filter itself. I am pretty confident that my water column contains enough biological filtration that I don't need to worry about the population contained in the canister.
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:35 PM   #13
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... How many people mix their de-clor water conditioner PRIOR to adding water to the aquarium? ...
That's not so bad.

When you're doing a PWC, the tap water is quickly diluted by the water that is already in the tank. If you then make sure you add your dechlorinator FIRST, then even some of that diluted tap water is going to get dechlorinated before it passes through the filter.

Of course jcarlilesiu over-all point is valid... a mature tank is basically more forgiving than a newly cycled tank.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:37 PM   #14
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how do u treat the water when using a python
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:40 PM   #15
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how do u treat the water when using a python
Add the dechlorinator to the tank just before you start refilling it.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:42 PM   #16
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Add the dechlorinator to the tank just before you start refilling it.

Anyone have cloudiness issues doing it this way?
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:48 PM   #17
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you see that's where I'm on the fence.... When I do a pwc in my 30g I pre-declorinate 5g and let it sit and after stirring and waiting I replace the water I have vacumed out. this means that I only treat the 5g going in instead of the enitre tank - which means using less chemical. Is this bad? should I use enough chemical to treat the entire tank (1 tspn per 10g) or should I continue what I am doing.... ps I dont use a python
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:58 PM   #18
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It's not recommended to add treatment directly to the tank because the chlorinated water still enters the tank and some will be consumed by the fish before it can react with the treatment, plus you run the risk of the fish absorbing massive doses of treatment before it can sufficiently dissolve into the tank water. Finally it will take much longer for the treatment to take effect because it's essentially highly dilluted.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:18 AM   #19
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you see that's where I'm on the fence.... When I do a pwc in my 30g I pre-declorinate 5g and let it sit and after stirring and waiting I replace the water I have vacumed out. this means that I only treat the 5g going in instead of the enitre tank - which means using less chemical. Is this bad? should I use enough chemical to treat the entire tank (1 tspn per 10g) or should I continue what I am doing.... ps I dont use a python
This is the idea way to do it (from the point of view of the fishes), and when you do so, you only have to treat the water you are going to add, not the volume of the whole tank.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:20 AM   #20
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It's not recommended to add treatment directly to the tank because the chlorinated water still enters the tank and some will be consumed by the fish before it can react with the treatment, plus you run the risk of the fish absorbing massive doses of treatment before it can sufficiently dissolve into the tank water. Finally it will take much longer for the treatment to take effect because it's essentially highly dilluted.
I take it to mean the you believe the right course to take is to fill the tank with chlorinated water (with the Python) and then add the dechlorinator to the whole tank? And how much?
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