Mr. Saltwater Tank

Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip #48: I’m a Little Brother and Don’t Forget About Me

Don’t overlook these guys.


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Comments for this article (5)

  • Pat Roberts says:

    Mark, great tip, I would just like to add for those who are new to the hobby, when you clean items that are designed to go back into your tank (like a sponge from an overflow or skimmer) be sure to use clean water from your tank to clean them. This way, you will not kill any of the beneficial bacteria that you have growing on your sponge.(which are a great place to grow beneficial bacteria!) I have seen far too many people rinse sponges, bubble traps and even live rock straight under chlorinated tap water! Bad for the beneficial bacteria!

  • Pat…there is a yes and a footnote to the washing of the sponge filter with tap water:

    Yes part: You are correct that these filters are colonized with beneficial bacteria and washing them under tap water (for long enough) can kill off the bacteria

    The footnote partThe amount of bacteria that is in the sponge filter compared the amount of bacteria in your tank is very small. Therefore, if you killed off all the bacteria on the sponge filter (lots will actually survive the rinsing) then the effect on your tank will be very little if any. Kinda like putting a 500 lb box on a loaded 18 wheeler (80,000 lbs loaded weight), the truck wouldn’t notice the added weight.

    Certainly if you had a small tank or a big sponge filter, the tables might be turned but the main source of bacteria in our tank is in the tank itself on the rocks.

  • Matt Allen says:

    Hold on Pat… In the type of system Mark uses you don’t want excess nitrifying bacteria… Your best best is to clean these items with RO/DI water which will leave them clean as a whistle with no nasty left overs… That way you don’t overload the live rock with nitrates… 😉

    Not a problem if folk don’t use the Berlin or modified Berlin method in their tank… If your using the more outdated bio-balls and rely on water changes then sure, rinse away in tank water… 🙂

    Top tip Mark… Easy to forget sometimes!

  • Mad Hatter Reef says:

    Good Tip Mark. Breaking the hobby down in to it’s simplest form. Good Stuff!

  • Devin says:

    This is a much debated thing…the beneficial bacteria in sponges…
    Is this why people dont care so much for canisters? Honestly ive had no problems with mine. I change half the sponges every 2-3 months and when i do w/c’s i rinse the sponges in the old water. People tell me these canisters are nitrate factorys which im having trouble buying into. I will though be sumping two of my tanks when i move! However i will still keep the canister on one of my tanks…. why fix it if it aint broke type rule or sayin i guess.

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