How to Clean Felt Filter Socks: Easy Guideline

A healthy aquarium needs various maintenance tools to function. These tools vary with the types and sizes of the aquarium. One of the various types of aquariums is the reef aquarium, which is used to showcase marine fishes and vibrant corals.

Reef aquariums need a standard environment, depending on the different types of corals as some corals and fishes prefer the water quality to be perfect while others, not so much.
Also, the water of a reef tank needs to have a perfect set of trace elements, pH levels, lighting and etc. All in all, it requires thorough monitoring on a regular basis.

Knowing About Filter Socks

Filter socks are pouch-like tools that are essential for maintaining the water quality of a reef aquarium. Filter socks are white in color, with a plastic ring around the top. The standard socks are 4-7 inches long. They are used in both saltwater and freshwater water tanks.

These are made from mesh or felt material and usually consist of 200-800 microns. The two types of filter socks vary in size and thickness. The material of the felt filter socks is thicker than that of the mesh filter socks so the former is able to remove the debris quicker in comparison.
But, they also clog faster and require regular cleaning sessions. You have to choose which type works best for you.

Courtesy of the filter socks, the water of the aquarium goes through an automatic filtration process. The socks trap various floating particles, including organic debris, extra food and unwanted insects (sand crab and snail).

They also extend the longevity of filter pumps by removing large particles.
Filter socks collect waste quicker than the aquarium filter. They are excellent at trapping microscopic matter, which dictates the water quality of an aquarium.

Why It Requires Regular Cleaning

Now, you may be wondering why is it important to clean the filter socks?

Filter socks become dirty over time. The collected debris decomposes into toxic components like nitrates and phosphates, wreaking havoc in the tank. The water quality of the aquarium changes significantly with an increase of these components.

This waste build-up can quickly harm the marine fishes and corals of the tank. If you let the clogged up socks remain dirty, the corals and fishes will most likely die. So, it is important to clean the filter socks on a regular basis.

If not maintained regularly, they can have harmful effects on your aquarium.

Filter Socks Cleaning Guideline For Beginners 

Many people are unaware of the cleaning process of filter socks. Some find the process tedious, so they replace the clogged filter sock with a new one. But this may prove to be costly in the long run. Others use a sink to hand-wash them. But this is not an effective way of cleaning them.

With the right techniques, you can thoroughly clean the filter socks in no time. This will save your money and also improve the water quality of your aquarium.

If you notice the water level is rising in the filter socks, you’ll know it’s time to give them a thorough clean. The cleaning process only requires a few tools (which are easily available).
Without further ado, here are a few techniques you can follow to clean your filter socks and hence, extend their durability. 

1. Washing Machine Method

If you own a washing machine, this technique will be easy for you as all you need is some hot water and bleach. Make sure the bleach is fragrance-free. Also, do not use any soap products to wash the socks, as the soap residue will change the water quality of your tank.

First, heat up the water and pour it in the washing machine. Turn the filter socks inside out and throw them in the washer.

Next, add a few teaspoons of bleach and turn the machine on. After washing them, let them dry off naturally. If they have a strong smell of bleach, wash them again with hot water.
Please, make sure to clean the washing machine properly before reusing it.

2. Bucket Method

In case you don’t have a washing machine, you may opt for this technique. You will find this easy, as it requires only a bucket. Fill the bucket with some hot water and put the filter socks in it.

Leave them for several hours, until they seem clean. You may also leave them overnight. After taking them out, rinse them in the sink. If there’s still some bleach left behind, you can soak them in water one more time.

A concentrated conditioner will help remove any chlorine or ammonia. Afterwards, leave them to dry.

3. High Pressure Water Hose Method

This technique is quick and easy if you have a high-pressure water hose. The instructions are simple. Rinse the filter socks with a high-pressure water hose or a power washer.

Continue the process until they appear to be clean. As an additional measure, make sure to check if the filter socks are dry enough before reusing them.

Give any of these techniques a try and you will notice a significant change in your aquarium.

Some Added Tips

To ensure the best and most efficient use of your filter socks, here are some added tips that you can follow.

  • You should clean the filter socks every 4-5 days in order to maintain a healthy aquarium.
  • Always remember to remove any large particles (worms, crabs, snails and etc.) from the filter socks before washing them.
  • The washing process does not take much time. Since it takes about 48 hours to dry, you can use another filter sock during that time.
  • If you only have one filter sock, you can use a dryer machine to dry it off quickly. But, make sure to use it on low heat, as this will prevent damage to the socks.
  • There’s no need to be concerned if the filter socks start to look brown over time. You should only replace it when you see holes and stitching coming out from them.

Conclusion

Now you know all about how to clean filter socks. The socks are an important part of reef aquariums. So, for proper maintenance of the tank, you have to take care this tool regularly.
Keep your filter socks clean with these techniques to ensure yourself a healthy water tank.

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