Tank Maintenance and Bacteria Die Off - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Tank Maintenance and Bacteria Die Off

When I do tank maintenance, I unplug the filters and powerheads and sometimes it takes up to an hour before I finish and turn on the filters again. Does this cause a significant bacteria die off due to no flow? How do you go about this problem?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 03:57 PM
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Is enough bacteria on substrates,glass,rocks,wood,plant's,that what little may or may not be lost is of little concern.
Would take longer than an hour before the bacteria would begin to suffer.
More like a day or two.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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thanks. i mean inside the filters.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by birbaliktanki View Post
thanks. i mean inside the filters.
Yes,I know what you meant.
Filter being off for an hour would not be concern.
Would take a day or two.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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i read that during power blackouts which could last for hours, toxins begin to form inside the canister filter so one should drain the outlet in a pail for a few minutes to flush out the toxins when the power comes back.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 07:31 PM
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It is hard to put an honest figure on how long before the bacteria dies in large numbers. How dirty the filter media and how warm the water are a couple that might change the answer. The good bacteria need O2 from moving water but it doesn't have to be totally full time. I would never worry for a few hours but then after a day or so, I would want to pull the cover off and smell things. Bacteria that replaces the good bacteria will not need O2. This is what smells in a sewer system so if you pull the cover off and it smells really bad, I would assume that too much of the good has been replaced by bad. Good may smell kind of musty but how to describe bad? Just be sure you will know it when it is there!!!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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It is hard to put an honest figure on how long before the bacteria dies in large numbers. How dirty the filter media and how warm the water are a couple that might change the answer. The good bacteria need O2 from moving water but it doesn't have to be totally full time. I would never worry for a few hours but then after a day or so, I would want to pull the cover off and smell things. Bacteria that replaces the good bacteria will not need O2. This is what smells in a sewer system so if you pull the cover off and it smells really bad, I would assume that too much of the good has been replaced by bad. Good may smell kind of musty but how to describe bad? Just be sure you will know it when it is there!!!
so definitely no need to worry for an hour of no flow in a canister filter.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 01:02 AM
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Just an estimate but I would think anything less than several hours would do no harm at all. After your tank has been up and running for months there will be good bacteria clinging to almost all the surfaces. This will be the walls, plants décor as well as in the filter media. At first, I tend to treat things a bit more gentle until I'm sure things are going well but when everything gets settled, the amount of bacteria killed in leaving the filter off is not a large percentage of what is in the tank.
I don't want to mistreat them as they do my work for me but during cleaning there is not enough lost to worry me.
If you do several things at once like clean all the media, clean the walls and move the bottom around so that much of the bacteria may be lost, you might create a problem but just the routine cleaning and shutdown of the filter is not enough to notice.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 02:21 AM
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I would not worry about an hour at the normal tank temperatures. If you have any doubt then dump the media into a bucket, and let it sit there while you do the rest of the work.
Or else run the filter on a bucket of tank water. I have run a pretty big canister on a 5 gallon bucket. Splashes a bit, so spread out some towels.

Really, though, an hour is not a problem.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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I would not worry about an hour at the normal tank temperatures. If you have any doubt then dump the media into a bucket, and let it sit there while you do the rest of the work.
Or else run the filter on a bucket of tank water. I have run a pretty big canister on a 5 gallon bucket. Splashes a bit, so spread out some towels.

Really, though, an hour is not a problem.
good to know that. other thing i'm concerned of is the toxins produced, e.g. hydrogen sulfide, inside the canisters, if any.
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