03-27-2012, 10:21 AM
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As the subject of rinsing filter media has come up, I'll just point out that I have always rinsed mine under the tap. I don't recommend this for a new tank, but once a tank is established, there really is no point in fussing over this.
Many forget that bacteria colonize and live on every surface covered by water. There is tons more bacteria in the substrate than any filter.
Live plants also factor into this; with plants you are not bothered with increasing nitrifying bacteria, as the plants are doing this task and better, since when they use ammonia there is no nitrite resulting.
Another point is that in a dirty filter, the anaerobic and facultative bacteria have likely killed off much of the nitrifying bacteria anyway, and using tap water will get rid of these too. Which leaves the filter media in a better state. You can check out my article on bacteria for more info on this.