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About Me

Found 9 results

  1. Well I done did goofed, forgetting to plug my canister filter back in after a water change, making it go anoxic for over a week. I thought I'd share my experience in case anyone else runs into the same or similar problem. I'll explain what happened, what I did to get out of it, and what I'd recommend for anyone with canister filters to do to prevent this. I'm not here to litigate whether or not canister filters are good or bad. This situation was 100% user error and can be easily avoided. Background: The aquarium in question is a 40 gallon breeder with a Fluval 206 canister filter with spray bar and intake sponge, as well as three sponge filters for additional flow and surface agitation. This is my fish-for-profit tank and is HEAVILY stocked with guppies and bristlenose plecos. I do water changes about once or twice a week and have a dense growth of hornwort and pothos to help me with water quality. It's a utilitarian tank, not a display tank, and I don't bat an eye when the water goes cloudy as long as the fish look healthy. The Event: I start my water change. As a pump withdraws water, I go underneath to unplug the canister filter, and I find that it's already unplugged. To make sure I'm not just having a forgetful episode, I feel the side of the canister filter to see if it's still warm; it's cold. I recall that the last water change I did was 8 days prior. Fortunately, I already know what that meant for the state of the canister filter. The Problem: Beneficial bacteria in your filters need oxygen from the water to process ammonia and nitrite. When you cut the flow of oxygenated water to them, they die after a few hours. Leaving your canister without water flow for a few hours won't kill your colony, but once you start looking at days without flow, there will be no oxygen left in the enclosed system. I knew that after 8 days, all beneficial bacteria in there would be dead. It'd be no use to plug this filter back in. I also knew that between all the fish waste trapped in the sponges in the canister, the now-dead snails that lived in the filter, and the dead beneficial bacteria and the anoxic conditions, it was highly likely I had a strong colony of anaerobic bacteria going in there, feasting on rotting organic material. I have a degree in civil engineering, and my senior design project was building a small scale anaerobic digester to process solid organic waste into useable methane. It was a fun but stinky project, and an experience that really helped me deal with this situation. I knew that the canister filter was now full of dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas (aka sewer gas) and other nasties. I definitely didn't want to plug the filter back in and have it dump that gas and decaying organic matter into my money-making aquarium. The Solution I Used: I disconnected the 206 from its hoses. It's really nice that Fluval's canister design makes this easy. Already I could smell the hydrogen sulfide gas from the filter. I then took a bucket, placed it underneath the detached hoses, and opened up the shutoff valve to back-siphon all the stagnant water out if the hoses. I did this until the water ran clear. This water also stunk of hydrogen sulfide. I started to attempt to clean the filter indoors....that was a very bad idea. That gas will stink up your home, make you want to puke, and it's very hard to dissipate. I've smelled open sewer manholes and wastewater treatment plants that were more pleasant. My advice is just take it outside asap. I'll post a follow up on how I cleaned up the filter and dissipated the gas from my home if people are interested. My Recommendations For Prevention: 1. Place your canister filter on a Kasa Wifi Timer. Schedule an "on" to recur every night at 1 am (or whatever works for you so it doesn't kick on while you're in the middle of working on the tank). That way, when you change water and turn it off, you can hit a button on your phone. If you forget to turn it back on, the Kasa will always kick it on at the time you set and you're not looking at days without power and flow. 2. If you're experiencing a prolonged power outage, take your canister filter media out and either place it in your tank or a bucket of water to keep it from experiencing anoxic conditions. 3. If you do notice your filter has been without power for a long while, don't immediately restart it. Assess the state of its contents (your nose will tell you if it's as bad as mine got). 4. Redundancy in your filter systems can save you headaches. My 300+guppies and 6 plecos appeared to have thrived despite the big canister filter being out of commission for 8 days. The sponge filters and plants in the tank kept it so I only had a small .25 ppm ammonia spike as opposed to something catastrophic. It also kept me from noticing that there even was a problem so there is that to consider.
  2. I know the rule is put your air pump above your tank, but I've never done that. It is below the electrical socket, however. Was doing a water exchange so turned everything off, including the air pump. I took a bit longer than usual (got interrupted) there was enough time for the water to slowly leak back down the air hose in the pump. Needless to say, I soon had a puddle of water leaking out of my air pump. BTW, an air pump isn't strong enough to push all that water back up the tube. Neither is a human blowing into the tube as hard a he can. Fortunately I had a backup air pump so I cleared the hose, hooked up the new one, and threw away the old one cause it finally croaked soon after. And, luckily, wifey wasn't home so she is none the wiser of the giant puddle of aquarium water I had on the floor! Seriously, though, lesson learned. Keep the air pump running since you're not draining the rank entirely. Or pinch off the hose or disconnect it. Ideally the pump should literally be above your tank so water can't somehow run down into it and possibly cause an electrical fire. Second dumbest was moving to a different apartment in my college days. Was carrying my 10 gallon down the stairs with fish still in it an turned into the stair rail and broke the side. Fortunately I tilted it quick enough to keep fish and enough water in the tank and dumped the whole thing in a cooler to keep them alive. Bought new aquarium the next day and moved all the gravel and remaining water to the new tank so I didn't have try and do a whole new cycle. And somehow the fish all survived despite all the stress. Worst water change ever!
  3. Originally posted this in the introductions, but I'm not sure if that's the right place to put it. HI! From near Fall City in Washington! I found your video's last night. I thought the video on ammonia buildup was great! I explained it to my kids this morning using a similar method. Really easy to understand. I got a "new to us" 29 Gallon tank last Monday. Monday the 11th. I tested the tank to make sure it didn't leak on Tuesday and then filled it up in the house Wednesday. We live off a pristine well. I let the water sit in the tank until Saturday when we received fish as a gift. 6 Guppies, 6 Neon Tetra's, 2 Cory Catfish, and 1 mystery snail. Also we received NEW filter parts and I changed everything out in the filter. NOW, I know this was all a mistake, but it's a little late to undo everything. The first fish died right away and we got a replacement fish from Denny's before we knew what was happening. That fish also died by Monday the 18th. We went back to Denny's, and they said they would not replace the fish because the tank needed to fully cycle. At that point I bought a test kit, and Stability additive. It says to put three capfuls in based on the size of the tank for the first day then one capful each day after. I fed the fish Monday. Tuesday no fish died. I fed the fish Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday a neon tetra died. (Also missing, another Neon Tetra, and one of the catfish.) So I started watching videos last night and watched Cory's video. I tested the water last night at 11pm and the ammonia was between .5 and 1ppm I put more of the stability in because I could not change the water at that point. This morning I changed out 50% of the water, careful to make sure that the water temp was ok. I put in 3 more capfuls of stability in. I did not feed the fish this morning.Now when I changed the water out, there was a lot of particulates that were floating in the water after. A LOT. Am I supposed to try and capture those particulates. Or will they get pulled into the filter? I finished the water change 10 minutes to 10 and going to do another test after an hour. Do I do another water change today? The fish are clearly stressed. One of the male guppies is swimming at the top and just looks so stressed out. I feel terrible. I'd love to know if there's anything else I can add to help the fish. I've learned a lot the last few days and know that adding the fish in right away was not right. If I add live plants would that help? Here is a picture of our set up.29 Gallon tank.Fluval 206 FilterAqueaon HeaterBubble LED thing (Not on in picture) Really Cool LED light bar on top. Update: Tested the water after an hour and still in the .5ppm range. Update 2: Spoke to my dad, and he said to pull out the large formations in the tank and find the missing catfish. Did that and found the decomposing catfish. Removed the catfish. Also removed the Guppy that was clearly struggling, he was bloated and had been near the top of the tank, but was now at the bottom on the rocks, still alive but not moving. Update: Tested the water after the removal and still at or between .25 and .5 for the ammonia. Last Question: Should I perform another water change TODAY??? Pic of Tank before removing the large rock and chest.
  4. The worst that I can remember receiving is when I had my first betta and it came home with fin rot. I had looked for treatments and seen that aquarium salt was recommended for initial treatment and started to do that. When he didn't improve, I went to a forum (not here) for advice. The recommendation that I received was to do a full water change to get the salt out of the system and use ONLY Seachem Stressguard as treatment, because salt and meds are harmful. That betta died within weeks because the fin rot continued advancing to the point where it affected his body. I'm not mad at the people who gave me that advice because it probably worked on their fish that came home with a less advanced disease. I'm upset that I let misinformation get the best of me and I killed a fish because of it. I believe that every hobbyist will make every mistake but it doesn't sting any less that I messed up with treating disease.
  5. I left my frozen blood worms out for a couple hours in my fish room. I think I know the answer but is it safe to refreeze and continue to feed or should I toss the package? Its a shame I just bought the package on Monday.
  6. I was just about to add my new hillstream loaches into my tank when I dropped a few drops (4-5) of API master test kit ph test solution. Will it hurt my fish, especially my hillstream loaches? I am worried because they don't have scales.
  7. . . . you go to put your container of fish food on your tank lid, except you forgot you just took the lid off? I just dumped about half a container of Xtreme flake into a 29 gallon. Looked like a snow globe full of red snow!
  8. Made huge mistake - failed to quarantine new fish in new tank set up, ich showed up. I used Ich X for 5-6 days per instructions, ich on 3-4 peacock cichlids disappeared in 3-4 days. Lost some fish. Water parameters within appropriate limits during process. My question is are there any steps after treating a display tank, that should be taken, ie. disinfect entire tank, prior to purchasing additional fish in future (and of course, after learning the hardway, will be using your med trio in quarantine tank before they go into display tank). Carbon media already removed before treating, do I remove all other media and disinfect or replace ? Is the ich in the main tank considered treated, no longer an issue per se, unless ich is re introduced ? I am not sure how to address the main tank after treatment, what to do with the media (bacteria affected vs start over with cycling process), remove remaining fish to quarantine, treat there, and disinfect the main tank. Please provide some steps to follow post ich treatment to display tank. Thank you !!!!
  9. You guys, I'm so silly (not willing to say I'm an idiot quite yet lol) I was previously freaking out because my bamboo shrimp were not filtering and I couldn't figure out why. I looked at everything I had recently changes and just couldn't find the problem. I started overfeeding in an effort to entice them to filter, but it wasn't working. I asked for help online in various forums and of course folks said, "well, do you have good flow going in there?" And I immediately wrote it off because "Duh! I didn't change anything with the filter orr flow, the can't be it!" Whelp I was doing some tank maintenance today and I looked at my HOB and thought... gee, that seems a lot slower than it should be. I messed with it a bit and I would say it had been at like 10% of maximum (which is what I usually use.) What a silly oversight! I had even been thinking, "Man, my hornwort is really accumulating a lot of dirt and mulm, how irritating." Duh, because the filter was running slow for some reason! Just goes to show you that the simplest things can be the biggest issue. The simple things you ASSUME are fine. Hopefully the shrimp will be happily filtering soon. I love when the answer to a problem makes so much senss. Anyone else have a silly oversight to share?
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