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So I left my filter with standing water inside for about 2 weeks whilst attempting DSM . Today I had some free time so decided to empty and clean it so it would be ready in a few days when I decide to fill the tank. I opened the filter and could smell a sewer smell ..... It was nasty and I almost threw up lol
The water looked like carbon when you rinse it .... Black and grainy. Unfortunately the pipes are all black and I had an inline reactor also so that's caped in black [email protected] !
Should I just run the filter in a bucket with bleach in it ?
 

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Ditto. Perhaps a couple of changes of water with bleach each time. Then you could rinse it in a couple of water changes without bleach just to get rid of most of it, then go for the dechlor.

Once it is clean, start the fishless cycle by running the canister on whatever container you can make work (I have used 5 gallon buckets). By getting going with the fishless cycle ASAP your filter will have a really good colony ready to go back onto the tank when you are ready to flood it.
 

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Should I just run the filter in a bucket with bleach in it ?
I don't see the point. What exactly do you think will give you issues when cleaning? The canister itself is typically easy to access and clean. Flush it with hot water, dislodge any stuck debris, rinse and you are done. The same would apply to the media trays. An old toothbrush will work in the impeller area.

As for the media itself... I'd simply replace it.

The hoses might require more effort, though, if they look bad too.
 

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take media out, rince in aged water/ dechlored water, repeat. Don't rinse the media in bleach or tap water, you want to save the maybe left over bacteria in it. Easy and faster cycle.

Run empty canister on bucket with bleach 1part bleach, 10 parts water, let it run for an hour.
rinse the canister with tap water, and again let it run on a bucket with dechlorinated water for 1h. Rinse, add media, ready.
 

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The good bacteria does not give a sewer odor. It has been replaced by bacteria which does not need O2. Not cleaning the media is just dumping sewage in the tank. Replacing the media is expensive in many cases. An overnight bleach soak is the recommended way to clean water for drinking so that is what I do for my fish water. To remove the chlorine you can let it dry and the chlorine will gas off or if you are in a hurry a dechlor product will do it.
As time goes by we will see a flood of folks in the storm hit areas who will be looking for advise on tank recovery. Had they been more prepared and taken the right precautions they would have done some things to keep their good bacteria alive. But then that kind of fits with Darwin's thinking.
 
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