Growth blocking flow in biofilter - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Growth blocking flow in biofilter

First I'll introduce my self since I just joined the forum, my name is sean miller, Im very much an amature when it comes to fish tanks and tank chem, so i thought I would join and try and to figure as much out as I can since I plan on going to a larger aquarium in a month or so.

Well, I just got my fish tank back from my old house since previously I had no means to transport it to the new city, after being under the care of an old room mate for about 5 months it was WRECKED.

The filter had never been changed, the water smelled horrible and was only about half full, there was a thick oatmeal looking alge/fungus covering all the gravel about 1/8 inch thick in most places. Somehow the fish were still alive, I was very suprised. Nitrate and nitrite were high, ph and alk were low (still are a little low).

Well I didn't want to completly devistate the fish by cleaning every thing since they managed to live in these conditions for so long.
-I bleached all decorations then rinsed and let dry frequently for a few days.
-I vacuumed the gravel and spent about two hours trying to get all the muck off the rocks as it had incased them so whole areas of gravel would be stuck together by whatever it was.
-Cleaned the glass
-Added conditioned watter back to the tank 1 cup at a time over the course of two days since I didn't want to shock the little guys
-cleaned the plumbing for filter, and of course changed filter

Now everything seems to be fine with the exception that something has started to grow in my bio filter and is blocking most of the flow, it is stringey and white-ish-green in color and grows from the filter down into the water, there is also some foggy film over the top of the water that runs into the tank. Im also getting that rust colored alge associated with new tanks, but im not too worried about that aspect. I was told to never replace the bio filter, Ive been using this one for 4 years.

Does anyone know what this might be or how I can fix it?

Current set up:
4 live plants
1 small pleco
1 corey cat
3 bleeding heart (I think) tetras
2 zebra danios
1 silver hatchet

Any help, comments, ideas, concerns, questions would be awesome! Thanks and sorry for the long post.
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-10-2010, 09:55 AM
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It's just algae.

If you want to rinse out the biofilter, do it into dirty TANK WATER when you change the water next.

This is totally off-subject, but if you could move around some fish when you get that new tank, most of your fish would be WAY happier. Tetras, danios, and hatchetfish need to be with their own kind- at least 6, and corys prefer to be in groups of 3 (or more).

Have you put much thought into the new aquarium? :)

BTW, you did the right thing. If you'd shocked them they would probably be dead.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2


Last edited by redchigh; 12-10-2010 at 09:59 AM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-10-2010, 10:27 AM
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That is one of the dirtiest filters i have ever seen. It's like your roommate used it as a toilet. Great save on your part though. The water seems pretty clear.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-14-2010, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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I rinsed the bio filter like you said redchigh, and it seems like the problem has gone away without any "new tank" problems. Thanks!

And thank you Hokyfish, I was really supprised I saved that disaster.

As far as the new tank, I have been throwing around a lot of ideas. But I've been really considering using my current tank as a refuge tank and adding the baffles and bio balls lengthways in the back and having the plants up front so it could still be decorative, but i think this is more of an idea and less of a reality right now as I am moving again in about 6 to 7 months. When I do, I plan on building a built in desk/drafting table/fishtank stand in my studio, plus I don't think 10g is large enough to fit everything. Ill probably build custom tanks for this on down the road.

For now I think I will just be getting a 30-50 gal tank and regular filter and adding most of the current fish I have to it plus a few more bleeding heart tetras and coreys with quite a few plants and drift wood. I dont want to add more zebra tetras as I don't see the current ones living much longer, they are a little over 4 years old and starting to look kinda deformed, not sure what to do about them.

As for the old 10 gal I might do a heavily planted setup and make it a guppy tank, (heavy cover is enough to keep the babies from being eaten, correct?)

What do yall think?
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