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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Heavily planted tank. 65 G. High-light, CO2. Pretty big bioload, with 5 discus and assorted other little guys.

Here's what happened. After water change yesterday I didn't notice that the plugs to both my Eheim canister filters came loose, and so they haven't been operating for the past 24 hours. That means all the beneficial micro-organisms in there are dead, right?

I turned the Eheims back on, and didn't notice anything weird. I asked my usually-knoweldgeable LFS guy, and he said that the micro-organisms are dead, but if I don't feed my fish for 3 days the microorganisms should bounce back without everything getting out of whack.

Does that sound like good advice? Anything else I should do? Thanks!

(Can't believe I did that....)
 

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UNS 90U - 21 gallon low-boy
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Hi,

Stuff happens. Don't be too hard on yourself.

You probably lost some bacteria but I'm sure you will still have some there so that bounce back in population shouldn't be too difficult. I would just feed less, especially if you are feeding live food, for a day or two and see.

If you do have a healthy and dense plant base, uptake of ammonium will be quick and the chance of it or nitrite impacting your discus would be minimal.

Of course, water changes during that time would be very beneficial.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

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Not all the bacteria would be lost after 24 hour's but I would keep an eye on ammonia level's should they appear at anything other than zero and be prepared to perform largish water change. (couldn't hurt nothin).
Would be more worried bout oxygen exchange without filter's running at temp's suited for Discus. Higher temp's = less oxygen.
Studies now indictate that bacteria do not die off as quickly as once presumed.
Also consider that bacteria are present on substrate,glass,rock's,wood,inside canister filter hoses ,inside wall's of canister,not just on filter material.
 

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I agree. Probably not as big off a problem a you think, considering the whole tank itself is a bio filter as well. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. The heater and the canister filters are on the same strip that got unplugged, so my temp had decreased all the way down to 73F! (That's how I noticed something was wrong)

The discus seem to be fine, although I feel sorry for them.

The general consensus here seems to be that I don't have to wait 3 full days. That's good. I'll start giving them a little bit of food earlier than that, and maybe pair it with another large water change....
 

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You may/may not be in a bit of crisis. My reaction would be to test and watch closely and the idea of not feeding is good. It will not hurt the fish as most are normally overfed and if there is a crisis, food will just make it worse. Be ready with big , frequent water changes if you see ammonia or nitrite.
 

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Your fine, the bb can live for weeks. The temps probably cuzed a bit of stress but nothing I think.you will see long term side effects from.
 

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If it ever occurs again I would suggest feeding the first few gallons of canister output into a bucket to be disposed of because the water sitting in the canister so long among dying bacteria becomes toxic. I've read more than a few stories of fish being fine after a long power outage but then all going belly up once the canister was turned back on.
 

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If/when I find a canister not getting flow for very long, I pull the top to do a nose test. If it smells like a sewer, I Ditch the water in it. No point is dumping that much pollution into the tank. Then I refill the canister and hope it comes back but meantime I watch for ammonia and nitrite. The good bacteria we want do use O2 and when the filter is not moving water through it can go bad. How long depends on lots of things like temperature and a long list of other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your fine, the bb can live for weeks. The temps probably cuzed a bit of stress but nothing I think.you will see long term side effects from.
I think you are at least partially right. I gave them a little food today, and everything seems fine. I'll give them a little more tomorrow followed by a water change, then the next day should be back on track...

Thanks for all the responses to help set my mind at ease.
 

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Your fine, the bb can live for weeks. The temps probably cuzed a bit of stress but nothing I think.you will see long term side effects from.
I would doubt the ability of aerobic bacteria being able to stay alive for weeks in an anaerobic environment.

A day or two, probably not a problem. A few weeks is a different story.
 

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I'd go ahead and do a big water change to be on the safe side (if you didn't already) and then just keep a close eye on your water parameters.

We can all guess endlessly how long it *might* take for the aerobic N-bacteria in a filter to die, but even if we quoted scientific data to back up those guesses, they'd STILL just be guesses, as every "real world" situation is going to be different from a strictly controlled scientific environment...
 
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