i usually rinse everthing atleast two maybe three times before changing you can usually tell if it comes clean or not i change the filter sponge at different times as carbon & amonia to keep some benifical bacteria active :smile:
I've never used carbon or ammonia bags other than what came with my A/C 500 and 300.I think I've replaced the foam only once in over 3 years,
I rinse it thoroughly in between water changes.I've never had a problem .
Maybe if someone gives me a good reason,I'll change my ways.
In my ac300 i rinse both sponges and the carbon once a week when i do my water change. every 3 weeks i throw away the old carbon and rinse a new carbon and put it into the filter. I've never changed my 2 sponges yet.
I clean the biomedia in my canister once every 3 months (and replace about a third of it). When I do that, I also rince the filter pads, ceramic pipes, and cotton wool, and replace it if necessary.
With my internal filters (only used for mech. filtration), I rince them and the cotton balls inside once a week, and replace the cotton every 4th or 5th time...
some have replacealbe catridges that i replace when water flow begins to become restricted. otehr i clean the sponges, and then for the powerhead... if it becomes slightly clogged which only happened once when fooling around with it, just unclog it.