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Old 01-13-2016, 08:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

Why not try a few different dilutions and tell us:
Straight out of the bottle. (might work pretty fast- an hour or so??)
50/50 with RO or distilled (or reasonably low TDS tap water) (still should work pretty fast)
10:1 water:bleach (overnight)
20:1 water:bleach (overnight? 24 hours?)

I do not know how to test how well it worked, though.
Water flows around each bead a lot faster than any flow through the beads, no matter how clean they are.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

You do not need any chemicals. Just use your hand and stir up the media really good in tank water in an appropriate size bucket. Every 6mo or so I clean my ehiem 2217. I do this on a water change day. I fill a 5g bucket about half way then I break down the filter, put media in the bucket give it a good mix with my hand. Then I pour the water in my garden. Then add more of my tank water and stir again. I repeat this until it's fairly clear after stirring it up. Hope this helps.

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Old 11-11-2016, 03:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

I would never ever bleach it, unless you want to nuke it and store it dry for future use later one. Just stir it up lightly until it rinses clear.

If you feel you have to use some sort of chemical, oxidize embedded organic matter with some diluted KMnO4 or maybe add a bottle enzymatic product instead. But I wouldn't do any of that.....
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

I am not sure I understand why you would want to kill the bacteria that you have worked so hard to build up. Put in a bag use the tank water from a water change and give it a good shake. This should dislodge the outer build up and leave most of your bio filtration intact.
Only reason I could see bleach would be for storage. If you bleach it and put it back in an existing tank you are going to start your cycle over again.
I know this is a old thread but just wanted to put my 2 cents in.

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Old 12-11-2016, 05:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

On the Swiss tropicals site, they recommend cleaning a clogged mattenfilter by simply washing it with normal chlorinated tap water from a hose. According to the site, you can do this without killing all the bacteria, and what is left will quickly recolonize the filter.

I have always wondered about the "rinse it in tank water" advice. Brief exposure to the very small amounts of chloramines in tap water seems very unlikely to completely sterilize the media. I have cleaned biomedia in my hang on back and cannister filters in this way with no ill effects. Perhaps in over-stocked fish-only tanks this could make a difference, but in my densely planted tanks is doesn't seem to.
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

If I am re-using the media immediately I rinse is a bucket of tank water.
Use a small pump I have in the bucket to apply some pressure.
It is amazing the brown and slime that gets knocked off.
Between of unknown levels of chloramine that could be present in tap water I steer clear of it for these purposes.

For storage purposes, bleach and then dry it out.

Interesting recent dealings with substrate though.
We can assume all substrate is covered in bacteria, snails(very small), and many other living organisms.
I washed some inert substrate from one tank to place in a shrimp tank.
Being on the cautious side after rinsing I placed in a bucket for 24 hours.
NH3 readings over 2.0ppm now repeated rinsing and such are taking place.
Been a week so far and still not ready.
Always remain on the side of caution, apparently I killed lots of "stuff" in the substrate.

Old thread revival?
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

I usually do what the others do, I put the old biomedia in the sink and pour a gallon of tank water over it to loosen and rid anything that I want to rinse off. If it's a typical tank where the filter is small compared to the actual tank volume and it's reasonably well planted I don't think the bacteria in the actual filter is all that important. I think what's in the tank has far greater value than the actual bio-media housed in the filter.
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