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How to clean long filter tubing


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  • Regular Member

So I have been stumped for a while as to how to clean the tubing on my canister filter. I tried everything from paper towels to rags tied together to plain water ... nothing worked because the tubes are so darn long. Plain water didn't work, I think because water conditioner (or bacterial film, or something) coats the inside of the tubes and traps debris in it, making a slimy mess that can't simply be rinsed away. I also looked for a cleaning brush, but again, I couldn't find anything long enough. (My tubes are about 2 feet.) Of course, the filter manufacturer said the best solution would be to buy new tubes whenever the old ones got dirty ... but that seemed like such a waste of money. [emoji6]

My mom found these Penn Plax filter cleaning brushes for $10 at the LFS: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0002565LQ?pc_redir=1403846897&robot_redir=1

They looked perfect width-wise, but STILL left about 6 inches of space I couldn't clean in the middle of the tube! I had a water lettuce problem several weeks ago, and the roots got into my tubes, sticking to the sides and obstructing the water flow. I decided I just HAD to clean the tubes all the way, so here is what I did:

I took this wire (about $3 from Ace Hardware):


And stuck the brush of one cleaning brush through the loop on the other before wrapping the wire around it (I had to compress the loop afterward so that it wouldn't stretch the tubes):


And voila! With the two brushes together, I was able to reach the elusive center area:


It only took me two passes to fully clean each tube, then I rinsed each tube with water for good measure. For some perspective, here are the before and after photos:



I would highly recommend this brush set. The clear brush is great for cleaning filter intakes and outlets, as well as other hard-to-reach places. [emoji1]

Edited by *Amanda*
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  • Regular Member

Yeah that is a great idea! I have brushes like that and I never thought of wiring them together like that. :goodjob

Then I bought something similar to this product to clean my fish filter tubes with because my brushes were short also:


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  • 5 months later...
  • Regular Member

Wow can't believe I never thought of this.. My hoses are an absolute mess, so much so that I think it's slowing down the flow alot! But never got a start on cleaning cause I couldn't find something to do it with... 


This makes sense..! Cheers! 

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  • Regular Member

Another clever way to clean long tubes is to tie something heavy (that fits in the tube) to one end of a robe or wire. Lower it via gravity through the hose, tie the other end of the wire/rope to the brushes. Ive done this with some success.


You can also use two magnets - one inside the tube and one outside the tube. Then just tie the magnet to the brushes and drag it through the hose.

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