How do I clean aquarium filter bio media: bio balls & ceramic rings?

Bio media are used for cleaning toxic chemicals that can flow through the mechanical filter media. Mechanical filtration media such as foam or sponge can only trap solid particles so any chemicals in the water will be able to pass through it. In the biological chamber, there is some kind of bio media. Good bacteria growing on the bio media can be used for removing toxins from the water.

How to clean plastic bio balls in fish tank water:

It is easy to clean plastic bio balls. Split the plastic bio ball in half, & take out the inside sponge. Then gently wash plastic bio ball, & sponge in aquarium water. Gently clean your bio balls so that beneficial bacteria growing on the surface of bio balls is not removed. 

When washing plastic bio balls, do not scrub because beneficial bacteria will be lost in this process. Water will get murky when washing plastic bio balls & sponges. This shows that the debris from the plastic bio balls & sponges are coming out. Clean your bio balls & sponges until water no longer gets murky.

In case you wipe out the good bacteria, then your filter media needs more time to allow fresh good bacteria to cling to it. In the meantime, your fish are in danger because high levels of ammonia could kill them. Good bacteria are used for converting dangerous ammonia into less dangerous forms. The last product of the nitrogen cycle is nitrates which is less dangerous than ammonia.


How to clean ceramic rings in aquarium water?

For better bio filtration, you should allow water to simply flow over the ceramic noodles. If solid particles such as fish poop, uneaten food, & other debris are trapped in the ceramic noodles then they will stop water from flowing over the ceramic rings, & will make it difficult for water to flow through the aquarium filter.

If water can’t simply flow around the ceramic noodles, then good bacteria might not be able to efficiently wipe out ammonia byproducts from the water.

It is very simple to clean ceramic rings.

Add aquarium water to a clean container, & add ceramic noodles to the same container. Gently swish the water around to wipe out the extra dirt.

It is crucial to understand that your purpose is to wipe out the extra gunk from the ceramic rings that stops water from efficiently flowing through them. You should not scrub the ceramic noodles, or do not add detergents or soap, & do not use tap water because they contain chlorine that will kill all good bacteria growing on the ceramic rings.

While cleaning ceramic rings, if you wipe out all good bacteria then your aquarium will need another cycle.

If ceramic rings cannot be cleaned, then it is time to replace them with fresh rings.

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