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A maintenance question. How should I wash the filter? I heard that the sponge in the filter harbors the good bacteria that break down the ammonia in the water. So washing the filter may upset the nitrogen cycle. Should I wash the sponge inside the filter at all? If yes, how? Like what process to avoid and what is a must. If no, why? Please explain your answers.

If you see my previous posting, I am thinking about filling the sponge filter canister with gravel instead of a sponge. Will the washing routine stay the same for gravel instead of the sponge?
 

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When i wash my sponge filter i just take it out and rinse it in the sink squeezing out all the nastiness that i can. Basically i just wash it like i would a dish sponge just not with soap
 

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The problem is that everyone wash their dish sponge differently. I wash mine very thoroughly, I even microwave my dish sponge for a minute every night, because if I don't do so, it smells the next morning.

I worry that squeezing the filter sponge too thoroughly would flush away all the good bacteria. But if not, I worry the gunk inside it would cause contamination when they turn foul. I never know where the balance is. Do you think flushing the surface only to get rid of the debris is good enough. If squeezing is required, what is the sign to tell when to stop. Is lukewarm water okay? I hate to get my hand under cold water.
 

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if you are just doing maintenance on the sponge and plan on reintroducing it in your established tank.
it is best to rinse the sponge in old tank water.
simply remove a couple gallons into a water change bucket during a water change.
use this water to rinse the sponge. usually 3-4 good wrings should do it.

you are correct.. the bacteria fixes itself to the sponge rinsing in old tank water reduces die off.
if you are going to store the sponge for future use..you can sterilize if you wish.
 

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*i/a*

Rinse in tank water to minimize die off.
 
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Hi Star :) I just joined this forum, mainly because I saw many familiar names!
 
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