Cleaned Filter caused rapid breathing
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Cleaned Filter caused rapid breathing

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Cleaned Filter caused rapid breathing
Old 04-26-2011, 01:59 AM   #1
 
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Cleaned Filter caused rapid breathing

Did my monthly canister filter maintenance this afternoon, got off most of the built up nasty gunk that was reducing the flow.

Must have got rid of too much of the biological filtration .. 2nd time! now my angels/discus/corys are breathing quickly.

GRRRR. Had this happen before a long time ago. I just threw on one of my 55g rated HOBs with some mature filter media and this will level things out until the canister re-establishes itself. It worked last time, within a few hours everyone was breathing normally and happy again.


However
Anyone have better tips of cleaning the canister filter media?


i have 3 baskets

bottom is pre filter ceramic rings to capture large debris
top 2 are polyfill fiber material.




Cleaning
-The ceramic rings i make sure are really clean when i wash them and thats fine.
-but the poly fill, i usually take out all the baskets and then place the polyfill back into the canister water and just slosh it around to get off large debris then lay it evenly in the baskets again and pour out the gunk.

I will refill with dechlorinated water so it doesnt take an hour to use the priming pump on top.

OH also, I do my filter cleaning with 10-15% water change to help with all the junk that just got stirred up from the filter.


Then power it back up


Any suggestions on better ways to keep this from happening again?

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:28 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trit0n2003 View Post
Did my monthly canister filter maintenance this afternoon, got off most of the built up nasty gunk that was reducing the flow.

Must have got rid of too much of the biological filtration .. 2nd time! now my angels/discus/corys are breathing quickly.

GRRRR. Had this happen before a long time ago. I just threw on one of my 55g rated HOBs with some mature filter media and this will level things out until the canister re-establishes itself. It worked last time, within a few hours everyone was breathing normally and happy again.


However
Anyone have better tips of cleaning the canister filter media?

i have 3 baskets

bottom is pre filter ceramic rings to capture large debris
top 2 are polyfill fiber material.




Cleaning
-The ceramic rings i make sure are really clean when i wash them and thats fine.
-but the poly fill, i usually take out all the baskets and then place the polyfill back into the canister water and just slosh it around to get off large debris then lay it evenly in the baskets again and pour out the gunk.

I will refill with dechlorinated water so it doesnt take an hour to use the priming pump on top.

OH also, I do my filter cleaning with 10-15% water change to help with all the junk that just got stirred up from the filter.


Then power it back up


Any suggestions on better ways to keep this from happening again?

Thanks!
I never clean the biological media except to pour aquarium water over it a few times.
Normally I take the canister to the sink and drain the water from it into a plastic dishpan or shallow tub.
I then place another tub under the outlet that drains the canister and pour the water I drained into the first tub, through the canister filter a few times after removing the coarse pads.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:28 AM   #3
 
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Thanks for the info,

I am going to try to fine tune my cleanings to stop this from happening.

BUT. Running the HOB for the last few hours and i turned on my aerator full blast has helped everyone back to normal and now i can fall asleep lol
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
 
Think about this... even if you destroyed all the biology in your filter, or installed a completely new filter, it would take days or perhaps a week or more before there would be an ammonia spike causing fish distress.
You said you did a partial water change "to help with all the junk that just got stirred up from the filter."
A clean filter doesn't stir up junk?
Do you use a gravel siphon?
Often when we do a water change with a gravel siphon (which overall is a very good thing) we can reduce water quality temporarily as we stir up all of the crud that was down under, decaying in the gravel. This along with your actions disrupting their home can be upsetting to the stock.

So I'm thinking that the fish stress is not due to the filter biology, but a by product of the overall process.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Think about this... even if you destroyed all the biology in your filter, or installed a completely new filter, it would take days or perhaps a week or more before there would be an ammonia spike causing fish distress.
You said you did a partial water change "to help with all the junk that just got stirred up from the filter."
A clean filter doesn't stir up junk?
Do you use a gravel siphon?
Often when we do a water change with a gravel siphon (which overall is a very good thing) we can reduce water quality temporarily as we stir up all of the crud that was down under, decaying in the gravel. This along with your actions disrupting their home can be upsetting to the stock.

So I'm thinking that the fish stress is not due to the filter biology, but a by product of the overall process.


You hinted at your belief that ammonia levels would take days or weeks to become problematic in another thread and this in my view is dangerous thinking .Depending on number's of fish,ammonia levels can increase rapidly (hours). Ammonia is created as by-product of fish respiration,as the fish breathes,,it expells ammonia across the gills in very low concentrations.
If the tank is new,,the biological filter should not be disturbed for this reason if fish are present, and is also why we don't clean the filter material under tapwater containing chlorine that kills all forms of bacteria.Ammonia levels can rise much more quickly than bacteria (good kind) can re-populate.
Esablished tanks may or may not have sufficient bacteria population in first few centimeter's of substrate and or on decor to help in the event too much bacteria (good kind ) is lost but trust me,,It don't take long for ammonia levels to rise if too much biological filtration is lost,removed.
Would agree with your assessment as to possibly decaying material being drudged up during vaccuming and possible ammonia being released as a result.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:09 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
You hinted at your belief that ammonia levels would take days or weeks to become problematic in another thread and this in my view is dangerous thinking .Depending on number's of fish,ammonia levels can increase rapidly (hours). Ammonia is created as by-product of fish respiration,as the fish breathes,,it expells ammonia across the gills in very low concentrations.
If the tank is new,,the biological filter should not be disturbed for this reason if fish are present, and is also why we don't clean the filter material under tapwater containing chlorine that kills all forms of bacteria.Ammonia levels can rise much more quickly than bacteria (good kind) can re-populate.
Esablished tanks may or may not have sufficient bacteria population in first few centimeter's of substrate and or on decor to help in the event too much bacteria (good kind ) is lost but trust me,,It don't take long for ammonia levels to rise if too much biological filtration is lost,removed.
Would agree with your assessment as to possibly decaying material being drudged up during vaccuming and possible ammonia being released as a result.
In a 55g tank, unless it's wall to wall bio-load, cleaning the filter should not immediately cause an ammonia spike.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
In a 55g tank, unless it's wall to wall bio-load, cleaning the filter should not immediately cause an ammonia spike.

Can only respond to what has been posted. Original poster indicates Angelfish, Discus and cory's in 75 gallon tank according to aquariums under OP's aquariums.
Would agreee that less fish would present far fewer problems than more fish in a given volume of water ,but we are still talking about hours with regards to ammonia levels increasing IF as you indicated all biological filtration were lost at one time.
Would not take day's or weeks as you suggested above,Don't want folks to get the wrong perception .
Best not to clean all media at one time to prevent the loss of too much biological filtration regardless of numbers of fish or tank size in my view.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:42 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Think about this... even if you destroyed all the biology in your filter, or installed a completely new filter, it would take days or perhaps a week or more before there would be an ammonia spike causing fish distress.
You said you did a partial water change "to help with all the junk that just got stirred up from the filter."
A clean filter doesn't stir up junk?
Do you use a gravel siphon?
Often when we do a water change with a gravel siphon (which overall is a very good thing) we can reduce water quality temporarily as we stir up all of the crud that was down under, decaying in the gravel. This along with your actions disrupting their home can be upsetting to the stock.

So I'm thinking that the fish stress is not due to the filter biology, but a by product of the overall process.

When you restart the filter it doesnt come out crystal clear, pieces from the lining of the tubes are shot out, as well as all of the now floating left over particles due to agitating the filter media of large debris and decomposing things. This is the junk the filter stirs up and shoots out into the tank. Clean isnt 100% clean, just rinsed.

Yes i do light gravel vacuuming the best i can without sucking out plant my gravel.

The symptoms of heavy breathing appeared about 5 hours after the water change, immediately after the fish were happy and no symptoms. This isnt stress from a water change i am positive of that.

My test kit doesnt test for ammonia just
Chlorine, pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Hardness, and Alkalinity

all were in the right ranges that night so the only thing i couldn't test for was ammonia, which is what i am now assuming was the culprit. The symptoms of ammonia stress match what the fish were displaying.

I am just wondering how to keep this from happening again.


i am thinking i should just
-I will do more frequent gravel vacumming so less is left to decay in the gravel
-refill the canister with only tank water NOT treated tap water like i do (maybe the AmQuel Dechlorinator, needs more time to fully neutralize chlorines and chloramines. Although i would assume the neutralization is pretty fast and i always use a little more than a little less to ensure complete neutralization, still i can just refill with tank water and not deal with that situation at all)
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
 
I think yer on the right path :)
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trit0n2003 View Post
When you restart the filter it doesnt come out crystal clear, pieces from the lining of the tubes are shot out, as well as all of the now floating left over particles due to agitating the filter media of large debris and decomposing things. This is the junk the filter stirs up and shoots out into the tank. Clean isnt 100% clean, just rinsed.

Yes i do light gravel vacuuming the best i can without sucking out plant my gravel.

The symptoms of heavy breathing appeared about 5 hours after the water change, immediately after the fish were happy and no symptoms. This isnt stress from a water change i am positive of that.

My test kit doesnt test for ammonia just
Chlorine, pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Hardness, and Alkalinity

all were in the right ranges that night so the only thing i couldn't test for was ammonia, which is what i am now assuming was the culprit. The symptoms of ammonia stress match what the fish were displaying.

I am just wondering how to keep this from happening again.

i am thinking i should just
-I will do more frequent gravel vacumming so less is left to decay in the gravel
-refill the canister with only tank water NOT treated tap water like i do (maybe the AmQuel Dechlorinator, needs more time to fully neutralize chlorines and chloramines. Although i would assume the neutralization is pretty fast and i always use a little more than a little less to ensure complete neutralization, still i can just refill with tank water and not deal with that situation at all)
A couple of comments from my experience here.

1. In planted tanks, don't vacuum the substrate. There is a host of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria [not talking nitrifying bacteria here, though they are also present] down in there working with the plant roots and water flow to break down organics into nutrients. You will have better and more stable water conditions if it is left alone to do its job, nature knows best is the idea.

2. When I "clean" my canisters in my heavily-planted tanks (varies from 6 weeks to 12 weeks depending upon the tank) I rinse all media thoroughly in warm tap water. Always have, and never an issue. However, using a bucket of water from the tank will do no harm, and may be advisable as each tank is different and I don't know your plant load/fish load ratio to volume compared to my tanks. My point is, though, that even my drastic killing of any and all bacteria causes no issues; if you use tap water, neither should that.

3. "Stuff" blowing out from the filter tubes after a cleaning occurs in my tanks [don't clean the tubes every time], I just let it settle out. Fish have fun chasing it for food.

4. This could be poisoning from chlorine/chloramine, much more likely from your information than ammonia. Am-Quel should handle all this. For more than a decade I used Kordon's basic conditioner, it never failed me, and they make Am-Quel.

Byron.
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