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I clean filters every 3-4 months and filter hoses more often if necessary. A simple rinse at water-change time is all that's required. I think this contributes to maintaining good quality water which is eventually beneficial to both flora and fauna.

I was using a Fluval 304 and found it to be easy to disconnect and rinse. The on-off flow switch is well designed to make this process convenient.

The foam filter tends to get clogged and a rinse is beneficial. If you use the ribbed Fluval hoses, you would do well to run a brush through them and get rid of the gunk which builds up therein. I replaced the ribbed hoses with clear vinyl hose of the same diameter (5/8").

Andrew Cribb
 

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My wife has a bottle brush which is about 18" long. To clean long filter hoses I use an old length of airline (hose) and attach the brush to that. The airline is stiff enough to enable you to push the hose through the filter hose.

Andrew Cribb
 
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