canister filter accidentally left off. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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canister filter accidentally left off.

So, i couldn't figure out why the water was looking cloudy. Started to look around and found the filter unplugged. Didn't think much of it and plugged it back in. Then i pulled off the top to move some things around and i noticed a smell, like rotten eggs. About a minute later one of my larger fish started going berserk, when i checked him out i noticed all the fish were at the top sucking air. Now i'm panicking, unplugged filter and turned on air pump and started a water change. Drained the water down a few inches and started filling with the outside water hose spraying it in to help agitate the water. Did that a few minutes, then decided to use the water hose to drain also. Figured I would drain with both hoses to get it down faster and get it filled with fresh faster. Then i smelled something burning, realized i never turned off the heater now its busted and there is crap from inside the heater all in the tank because the glass broke from being too hot. Now I'm completely mad, so i count to ten.... With the siphon hose I start to suck out the grit from the heater. I get the tank all filled up and treat the water and the fish calm down. Dead loss is 3 flying fox and a red tail shark. now to the filter, I pull it down and inside the canister every thing is covered in a black soot type film. the filter media rinsed off fine but the walls of the can i had to wipe with a paper towel and it still did not all come off. Put it all back together and filled and put back in service and seems to be OK. The only thing in the filter besides filter pads is ceramic rings and some of seachem's de-nitrate. My question is does this make sense? What could have built up in the filter to cause so much of a problem?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:53 AM
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canister filter accidentally left off.

How long was it off?

If it was a few days it makes sense.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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unfortunately it was about 3 weeks. i know stupid me. there is a sponge filter in the tank too that was keeping it going. i really have no idea how i over looked it so long.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 02:41 AM
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canister filter accidentally left off.

I would think the canister went anaerobic. Filled with all the nasty gasses that go along with it. Then blew all that into the tank.

But, you now know you can go three weeks without a canister.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 04:18 AM
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Prepare for an algae bloom. I'd be willing to bet you may see an algae bloom as new bacteria grow on your canister filter media.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:57 AM
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Keep smelling the tank air every so often for that rotten egg gas smell as your filter becomes operational with bacteria again. I have had this happen and needed to completely bleach the filter and all parts, throw away all media as it could not seem to get over the problem.

You probably will have to get rid of the "de-nitrate" use new or it will put everything it has soaked up back into the tank, unless it was almost new then you might get away with it.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:19 PM
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What happened in the filter without water circulation and O2 is way beyond anaerobic conditions. All the bacteria died, all of it and then it decomposed along with all the rotting mum in the canister. Toxic ammonia soup was what it discharged into the tank when you started it back up after three weeks. Doing the large water change saved the rest of your fish. Do not clean the glass or anything else in the tank for several weeks to allow the bacteria time to rebuild in your filter. Right now it's surface bacteria coating the walls, plants and everything else in the tank standing between you and the whole new tank cycle process happening all over again.

Feed critters only lightly (what's eaten right away) and allow the filter media time to build the bio film back.

HTH


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
What happened in the filter without water circulation and O2 is way beyond anaerobic conditions. All the bacteria died, all of it and then it decomposed along with all the rotting mum in the canister. Toxic ammonia soup was what it discharged into the tank when you started it back up after three weeks. Doing the large water change saved the rest of your fish. Do not clean the glass or anything else in the tank for several weeks to allow the bacteria time to rebuild in your filter. Right now it's surface bacteria coating the walls, plants and everything else in the tank standing between you and the whole new tank cycle process happening all over again.

Feed critters only lightly (what's eaten right away) and allow the filter media time to build the bio film back.

HTH

+10million

thats exactly what i was going to warn you of.

myself personally i would go out and buy all new filter media. and remember there will be a ammonia cycle as the bacteria rebuilds.

don't worry you are not the only one who has done this. i went on a 10day vacation, i did a 50% water change on my tank. upon getting home i noticed a nasty film on the surface of my tank. went through my check list to learn that i had forgotten to plug in my canister after the water change.

i lost 2 hillstream loachs, and one bamboo shrimp.

Will
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: canister filter accidentally left off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
What happened in the filter without water circulation and O2 is way beyond anaerobic conditions. All the bacteria died, all of it and then it decomposed along with all the rotting mum in the canister. Toxic ammonia soup was what it discharged into the tank when you started it back up after three weeks. Doing the large water change saved the rest of your fish. Do not clean the glass or anything else in the tank for several weeks to allow the bacteria time to rebuild in your filter. Right now it's surface bacteria coating the walls, plants and everything else in the tank standing between you and the whole new tank cycle process happening all over again.

Feed critters only lightly (what's eaten right away) and allow the filter media time to build the bio film back.

HTH
This is what I figured. Thanks for the help. There is a UV built into the filter should that be on or leave it off a while?

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 04:02 PM
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I left mine canister unplug because a clamp on it was broken.... when I check back on it. and was able to fix it..I was like you.. ( I wait for a replacement part in the mail)

it smell awful and rotten egg...I clean the whole thing with tank water before turning it on...this is what you should have done..

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hammerhead View Post
This is what I figured. Thanks for the help. There is a UV built into the filter should that be on or leave it off a while?

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Your welcome, and as others have posted many have done the same at one time or another so don't feel alone on making a foobar.
(plz don't ask how many RO tank heaters I've burned up )

The UV unit is your call. I believe they have real value for a number of valid reasons. It "might" help reduce the waterborne algae growth that might start right now but it will also do in any dislodged bacteria so personally I would shut it off in the current situation for a week or so. In the original post you said you rinsed the media and it should recycle just fine (imo) so I wouldn't replace it.

Also another thought, algae shouldn't be considered the enemy right now either because simple plants (algae) will help handle the ammonia as things settle back in.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Your welcome, and as others have posted many have done the same at one time or another so don't feel alone on making a foobar.
(plz don't ask how many RO tank heaters I've burned up )

The UV unit is your call. I believe they have real value for a number of valid reasons. It "might" help reduce the waterborne algae growth that might start right now but it will also do in any dislodged bacteria so personally I would shut it off in the current situation for a week or so. In the original post you said you rinsed the media and it should recycle just fine (imo) so I wouldn't replace it.

Also another thought, algae shouldn't be considered the enemy right now either because simple plants (algae) will help handle the ammonia as things settle back in.

Sent from my brain using 2 index fingers and a thumb.
WKNDRacer hit the nail on the head. This guy knows his stuff!

I agree with leaving the UV off as well.
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