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Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. Default Help! Did I kill my filter bacteria?

    0 Not allowed!
    I have a 5g tank with only 5 loaches.

    Two Aquael Fan-mini filters. (One brand new is mine; other partly cycled loaned from pet store; long story why needed 2 filters---not worth explain!)

    Turned 2 filters off last night while did something in their tank. (planned only 5 min).

    Problem? Forgot to turn the filter back on before went to bed! Didn't discover until about 10 hours later! (Fortunately their air bubbler was plugged in to different extension and they had air.)

    Loaches seem okay. Swimming. Ate the food left b4 going to bed. Today water test: Ammonia = .25; Nitrites = 0; nitrates = 0 - 5ppm

    Did the bacteria in the filter die during that time filter was off?
    50 gal - finally fish! 11 pangio kuhli loaches, 10 neon tetras, 4 zebra danios, 3 cherry barbs, 3 guppies
    10 gal - temporarily closed
    5 gal - temporarily closed

    Proverbs 11:14 & 15:22 -- Thanks for your help!

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    The bacteria were impinged by the time without Oxygen, but as long as they are in water, they should be OK. May take a day or two for them to recover fully to metabolize that Ammonia down to zero.

    When a finger points to the moon, the imbecile looks at the finger.

    Omnia mutantur nihil interit.

    The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks Dave. Good to know the filter bacteria is not completely destroyed.

    But man Oh man! I am devastated! Seriously doubting if fishkeeping is for me and if best to quit before more emotion, time and money invested.

    Past few days filter has not been working correctly. + Ammonia. + Nitrites + Nitrates. Assumed cause 1 filter is borrowed, old, very dirty, needed the sponge cleaned or partially changed.

    3 hours after posting this thread, checked again water parameters and how filter is working. Still low outflow. Ammonia rising. Last night was very little outflow, like clogged. Tried to clean it. But still clogged. At some point, forgot to turn the filter back on. Hence, this post.

    This time risked breaking filter (not mine---borrowed!) but took apart the top part where the rotary is---obviously not meant to come off since nearly broke it to get it off. Found one dead loach. My littlest. I am terrible devastated. I love my loaches! Even my husband calls them under-water kittens!

    Decided to do PWC, clean tank and filters, put nylons on the filters, remove decor and do head count. Can only find three loaches--the biggest ones. Looks like 2 small loaches died in the last couple days.

    I know loaches have rep to get into filter intakes. So protected huge filter intake in 50g with nylon stocking. But since moved loaches to 5g to start fishless cycling, no nylons on the filters. Why? These mini filters in small 5gal have such thin in-take slats that could barely slip a butter knife into it, let alone a loach! Never thought loaches were in danger. As it was, it does not appear loaches went into the filter through the intake valves. Instead, seems output flow was so low, they were able to fight water current and go directly into the outflow where the rotary motor is, which is where found one.

    To be frank, I bought almond leaves here in Lithuania (3 days wage!) and put them in the tank a few days ago. The loaches loved them. Squirming everywhere, hiding under them, foraging for food. But now hard to see all 5 of them at one time. Since already 3 weeks in isolated quarantine away from the Ick fish and still no symptoms, several days ago stopped doing a daily head-count and examing them with magnifying glass to look for illness. Just left them alone to play, squirm, hide, eat, lounge in the trees like hammocks.

    Now both filters cleaned and working good. This time have a nylon stocking wrapped around in-take AND out-take valves.

    Thanks for your post Dave. At least comfort to know the filter bacteria will recover from leaving turned off all night.
    50 gal - finally fish! 11 pangio kuhli loaches, 10 neon tetras, 4 zebra danios, 3 cherry barbs, 3 guppies
    10 gal - temporarily closed
    5 gal - temporarily closed

    Proverbs 11:14 & 15:22 -- Thanks for your help!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Glen Arm. MD

    Awards Showcase

    Happy Christmas - MuckyFish thanks for advising on vegetables for my kribs! so here is a discus - ScottishFish You help a lot - PhillipOrigami For the bank account, and thx for the rep - Cliff beautiful discus! - Crispy 
    I know this doesn't help but it's all I can do! - chrisfraser05 for all the wise advice you've given me - fishmommie Congrats on 2000th post! - andreahp Merry Christmas! - fishmommie Merry Christmas - Cliff 
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    0 Not allowed!
    Hopefully, when you cleaned the filters you didn't remove the filter media with new. If you did, you lost all the good bacteria.
    Knowledge is fun(damental)

    A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.

    For Fishless cycling:

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    +1 - "cleaning" a filter involves swishing the media in used tank water or dechlorinated water and putting it right back into the filter - not replacing it - hope you didn't do that.

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Well, one thing I did right. Current success score? - 99 mistakes + 1 right thing = still losing the battle to be a good fishkeeper.

    Left all filter media. Just swished it a bit in the removed tank water. And used Q-tip to dig out the gunky, sticky, slimey, clay-like dirt, that's been stuck in there since the pet store loaned it to me few weeks ago. Cut a piece of new sponge to ADD to the existing sponge sort of squeezed in there rather tightly, but outflow is MUCH better now. Hopefully the small piece of new sponge will start getting some seeded bacteria. Will eventually remove an equal sized piece of the old, original sponge.

    I was freaked that had killed the bacteria in the filter after leaving it off all night. Now really depressed that had done worse ------ 2 loaches died. At this rate, won't have any fish left to put in the 50 gallon tank when it is finished cycling.
    50 gal - finally fish! 11 pangio kuhli loaches, 10 neon tetras, 4 zebra danios, 3 cherry barbs, 3 guppies
    10 gal - temporarily closed
    5 gal - temporarily closed

    Proverbs 11:14 & 15:22 -- Thanks for your help!

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Why not just put them in the 10 gallon that is cycled?

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
    Why not just put them in the 10 gallon that is cycled?
    Are you serious!?? Can I?? I would LOOOOOVE to!! But I've been sooooo afraid there is Ick still in there or some other illness because of that crazy, insane guppy glancing like a red, rubber ball and one fat, grumpy, territorial, male cherry barb listlessly hiding in the fake plants--he glances also....but very, very rarely.

    Several on the forum and my own research said loaches don't do well with salt for very long, and definitely not the ick meds I have available to use. Was very cautiously, slightly, giving consideration to putting the loaches back into the 10 gallon until had to add the salt again out of fear of Ick returning. If not Ick, still not sure it is safe for the loaches since don't know what is making that guppy glance. But seriously.....please!!! If you think it is safe to remove the salt and lower the temp, then I would love to put the loaches in that 10 gallon tank. That tank is very stable, filter works like a dream, and more room to swim. I've been so heartbroken all day about finding the little loach in the filter and knowing another probably died the same way. It's just too small a tank for their crazy swimming antics.

    I am SURE that the 10 gallon tank would handle the bio load of the 3 loaches. Someone already wrote my 10 gallon is overstocked. But under the circumstances didn't have any other option, and still feel pushed to put the loaches back in there.

    If you really think the 10 gallon is safe, then I have questions how to do it since there is still 2T salt in there. And could I, should I move Rubber-Ball Guppy to the 5 gallon then and watch him closer there??
    50 gal - finally fish! 11 pangio kuhli loaches, 10 neon tetras, 4 zebra danios, 3 cherry barbs, 3 guppies
    10 gal - temporarily closed
    5 gal - temporarily closed

    Proverbs 11:14 & 15:22 -- Thanks for your help!

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Wendy, I am not there. Only you can make some of these decisions for yourself.

    You treated the tank for ick and seen no more spots for how long? You then continued to use salt in that tank for another week after the medicating was finished. If you are seeing no ick, then I would assume you have no ick?

    But I'm leery of saying much on the slight chance the loaches do end up with it. I don't really want to be responsible for that but from all I have read here, I believe the ick is behind you.

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I agree. Ick likely no longer a threat. But now----the cherry barb died from ......probably dropsy. The guppy is still bouncing like a rubber ball off the sand substrate. Something not right.

    I watch my fish like a hawk. Seriously....unreasonably observant enough to interfere with normal life. Had noticed the cherry barb isolating himself over a week ago, yet had MANY reasonable explanations why he might do that. Then several days ago, thought, just maybe his abdomen looked swollen...but not sure. Few days later, pretty sure not imagination, but looked he was getting fatter. Husband joked I was confused it was a female and it was pregnant or feeding them too much. Again.... dismissed my own concerns with some possible explanations and thought he's right, I'm just overly worried. Yesterday morning fish looked same as every day before. But by bedtime he was the "pinecone" effect, unable to swim, eat.

    No. Will not move the loaches to the 10 gallon since the cherry barb died. Want to move the loaches to the 10gallon very much. But won't until figure out what I'm doing wrong in there.

    Need to figure out NOW before move everyone to the 52 gallon and make the same mistakes on a larger scale which will be more difficult to identify, more complicated to fix.
    50 gal - finally fish! 11 pangio kuhli loaches, 10 neon tetras, 4 zebra danios, 3 cherry barbs, 3 guppies
    10 gal - temporarily closed
    5 gal - temporarily closed

    Proverbs 11:14 & 15:22 -- Thanks for your help!

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