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Old 01-10-2016, 01:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cleaning bio media

So the Eheim substrat media I use in one of my filters looks more like Cocoa Puffs (or, if you prefer, medium breed dog food). I don't exactly know how effective it might be any more or how to clean it. Boiling? It's easy enough to squeeze out a sponge. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

We had a discussion about cleaning hard media a few months/years back as well. I tested some things after that and I now feel the best way to renew your media is chlorine (thin bleach). It eats away everything, including proteins and fat. Make sure you rinse it very well and to be safe, put it in a bowl with anti-bleach for 24 hours afterwards while stirring them from time to time to get all the bleach out the pores. Drying them afterwards should work as well
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

If you want to kill the bacteria in the media then bleach. This might be good if you are taking down the tank and want to store things for a while.
I just rinse in some water removed from the tank for a water change.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

I assumed he didn't wanted to safe any bacteria because he mentioned boiling.

Off course you don't want to bleach all your media at once if the tank is still running. You can do 25% every 2-4 weeks. This way after max 4 months, everything is as new again!
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

Hard to tell the intentions. The post could be read either way.
"It is easy to squeeze out a sponge" sounds like keeping the bacteria intact.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

My Eheim 2028 has a tray with the round bio media and one with the older 'chip' style. The chip style is older and is the top basket. My round/spherical media resembles light cocoa puffs (I got a chuckle out of that). Every month I put 3 gallons of tank water into a 5 gal pail and shake and swirl the media filled trays vigorously to clean them. I have never noticed any bad effects on the nitrogen cycle doing this. The media is almost as old as my teenage son. That being said, I suggest you start a thread in the Seachem Forum and ask them about the cocoa puffs.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

If it's just about rinsing them, take a bucket with tank water and shake indeed.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

But of course, if you think the bio media is getting clogged with stuck-on organic matter, like bio film, then bleaching will indeed remove this. But as suggested above, do this to no more than 25% at a time, so each portion has a chance to re-grow the bacteria before you bleach the next lot. I would soak in bleach (diluted?) overnight, then rinse, then soak in dechlor overnight, then rinse. If it still smells of bleach, then another soak with new dechlor.
Do not use the newer 'splashless' or scented bleaches.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

Oh, I've got plenty extra. I'm just assuming that the media is no good for its purpose if all the pores (and bacteria attachment sites) are clogged. Exactly how strong on the diluted bleach?
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning bio media

put it in a media bag and then in the dishwasher with no soap. that and the misses not home.
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