09-09-2012, 04:12 AM
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Your bacteria might not die off in that canister but your gonna get anaerobic bacteria developing. The water should have smelled foul, like rotting eggs when you turned it back on. This is what I noticed when I used to use canister filters.
The main problem with bacteria when they die is that they release toxins into the water. When you have a cold and your body fights off and kills the bacteria in high numbers your body has to deal with the high levels of toxins being released. This die off is the reason you feel really crappy after you body has fought off a bad bacterial infection. So when your filter bacteria start to die off it is the toxins you have to be worried about. The filter will recover quickly and you should not notice any reduction in performance in most cases. The "Die-Off" - Toxins Released into the Body as Candida Organisms Are Destroyed
for a better explanation on bacteria die off.
I suggest rinsing off your filter in some tank water put in a bucket before restarting the filter next time. Also if your using a HOB you should take it out and dump all the water in the filter housing. For Marineland filters I suggest you pull out the impeller and housing and clean everything up. If you have problems its usually the impeller getting all fouled up with gunk, hair, plant material etc. I suggest you verify your impeller and its housing are clean so that the magnetic coil does not burn out if you have repeated stopping of the motor for long durations. I recommend you clean it every time you do a water change just to keep things flowing properly.