How often do you clean artificial plants/decorations?
tanks been running a couple a months and starting to see lots of brown spots on plants/decorations. Is this bad for the fish? How often is recommended to clean these items.
I have never cleaned any of my decorations.
Because of the beneficial bacteria you would lose?
Thats not really any reason to. However if you feel they are unsightly feel free to take them out and wash them off with tap water. The bacteria on them isn't really that big a deal. Just dont change the filter, wash the gravel and the decorations at the same time :)
If you do wash them, I'd suggest rinsing them in tank water during a water change rather than tap water, because they do have some beneficial bacteria on them.
i just took everything out and scrubbed it off with a stiff bristle brush, because i didnt like the way it looked.
no adverse effects. just make sure you dont use soap, and if you use a very lgith bleach solution make sure you soak them in dechlorinator (a large dose) before you put them back in.
I don't do it often any more, but when they need it, I use the dishwasher - being careful to remove all gravel, the plastics go on the top rack, rocks on the bottom. I add about two cups of white vinegar and run a regular or short wash. Works great!
To answer the question, clean only if/when you need to to maintain appearance - I agree that some 'aging' makes them look more natural, but if you have a nitrate/algae problem, they can get a little 'cruddy looking' in which case, a cleaning would be a good thing.
Note: With bio-media in my bio-filter, I don't worry about any bio-loss on decor - filter and substrate will have more than enough biology. ;-)
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