If you don’t regularly rinse the Seachem Matrix, then the microscopic pores on the pebbles will get clogged up. If this filter media gets clogged, then it will be less effective at biological filtration when it comes to keeping the ammonia, nitrates and nitrites concentration in your fish tank at safe levels.
You can take a look at this tutorial to see how you can recharge and regenerate Seachem Matrix.
Do you need to recharge or regenerate Matrix?
If the Seachem Matrix has completely dried out and was previously clogged with debris for a very long time, then you most likely need to recharge or regenerate the filter media before re-using it again.
If you don’t recharge or regenerate this filter media, then it will be less effective especially when it comes to keeping nitrate levels low.
Can you use an oven to recharge and regenerate Seachem Matrix?
While you can use an oven to recharge and regenerate Seachem Matrix, the excess heat could cause the pebbles to explode. Not only will this make the filter media less effective, it may also end up causing damage to the oven.
Instead, we recommend that you recharge and regenerate this filter media by using hot water.
Can you use bleach and Seachem Prime to recharge Seachem Matrix?
We don’t recommend soaking Seachem Matrix in a bleach solution and then a Seachem Prime to recharge or regenerate the pebbles. This is because you may be able to rinse off the bleach from the microscopic pores of Matrix. If the bleach gets into your tank, then it will cause major issues.
Thus, you need to avoid using bleach.
How to recharge and regenerate Matrix with boiled water
To safely recharge and regenerate Seachem Matrix, we recommend using hot water. In order to do so, you can take the following steps:
1. Place the Matrix pebbles in a ceramic bowl or stainless-steel pot.
2. Pour hot water into the same ceramic bowl or stainless-steel pot.
For the uninformed, hot water is better at removing debris than cooler water. The higher temperature will also help kill off any potentially harmful pathogens.
3. Using a clean chopstick, stir the pebbles around to knock debris off of the stones. This will also create water pressure that should help get hot water inside the microscopic holes to unclogged them.
4. Stir for at least several minutes to unclogged as much as the pores as possible.
5. Once you are done stirring,we recommend waiting for several minutes until the water cools down.
6. You can then pour out the dirty water.
7. Next, you may want to add more hot water and then re-stir the pebbles again if you didn’t think the initial cleaning cycle is enough. You can repeat Steps 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 over and over again until you are satisfied.
8. Once you are done cleaning, we recommend letting the Seachem Matrix pebbles cool down.
9. You should also wait until the pebbles are completely dry.
10. After letting the Matrix pebbles dried out, should be able to reuse the filter media at full capacity in your fish tank.
11. Keep in mind that it can take weeks or months for Seachem Matrix to help with your biological filtration. This is because the beneficial bacteria colonies will take some time to colonize on the surface and inside the microscopic pores of these pebbles.
To speed up the recharging or regeneration process for Matrix, we recommend adding live beneficial bacteria such as Seachem Stability. You can check out this helpful article to see how you can use Matrix together with Stability to quickly build up the biological filtration of your aquarium.