worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

  • steffi
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steffi created the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

I've got one aqua clear 70 and an aqua tech 30-60 I change the filters and carbon regulary and I was testing my water which I have never had any trouble with but this time my nitrate levels were high. So I started research on the web found maybe filters were dirty. I've always changed my carbon in the 70 but never touched the sponge cause of the bacteria on some site that I read said to rinse the sponge out and squeeze so thats what I did. Worried I might have used too hot of water or left the sponge out of water too long. Anyway is there a way to tell if I have any good bacteria left? I also added some start zyme after.
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  • Firestorm8215
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Firestorm8215 replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

If you have any levels of Ammonia or Nitrites you either lost your cycle or are underfiltered.
You said you are afraid that you rinsed the filters under water thats too hot , which makes me assume you rinsed them in tap water. Thats a big no no.
Your filters only need to be changed if they start coming apart , and should only be rinsed in discarded tank water.
You should do a complete water test for Ammonia , Nitrites and Nitrates. Post the levels here.
Do you have the API Master Test Kit ? If not ,get one of them.

Its on sale right now at Amazon for under $ 17. If you get an order of $ 25 you can usually get free shipping.
A great product to have on hand would be some Seachem Safe.

www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI/...id=1372535205&sr=8-1&keywords=api+master+test+kit+freshwater

www.amazon.com/Safe-250-g-8-8-oz/dp/B0002A5WOC/ref=sr_1_2?s=...supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1372535279&sr=1-2&keywords=seachem+safe

You also really dont need the carbon and the space for it would be better used if you added maybe some bio media.

Since you are running two filters it may be good to clean them at different times. Maybe one on the 1st of the month , the other on the 15th. something easy to remember. That way , if you have a slip up with one of them you will always have one filter thats still cycled.

With all that being said...if you can test your water for us and post the exact levels we will be able to answer your question a little better.

Your Nitrate levels being high are usually from not enough water maintenance. So you may have to do bigger more frequent water changes. They shoulsd always be below 20ppm.
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steffi replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

yeah Im starting to freak my ph is dropping i don't know why the nitrate spiked in the first place everything has always been fine i do reagular water changes weekly 25 to 50 percent change my filters regularly I think I really screwed up washing that sponge. Just tested water again results are nitrate 80 terrible nitrite 0 total hardness 150 hard total alkalinity 80 moderate and pH 6.2 and that could even be lower
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Firestorm8215 replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

How long ago did all this happen ? When did you clean those filters ?
How do you test your water ? Strips or a liquid test kit ?
You could be having a Nitrate spike due to your cycle. They do however need to come down. If at all possible I would do a 75% water change right now and another 50% water change maybe later this evening. Then retest in the morning.
Is there any chance of anything dead being in that tank ? Missing any fish ? Have used any feeder fish ?
Do you clean your gravel every time you do a water change ?
Have you ever tested your tap water ? some people do have Nitrates straight from the tap.
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steffi replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

my nitrate levels were high a couple of days ago I had just done a water change so I changed filter which i do regularly anyway but because the water has always been good stupid me thought something else must be going on searched the web found the rinse the sponge and did it now ph has dropped and nitrates are worse. i test with a dip test and I also test with the vial of water you put drops in. I am now gonna do the 75 percent water change . By looking at the water you wouldn't think anything wrong the water is crystal clear like always. I have two big oscars and they are fine so no dead fish. no feeder fish only pellets crickets and mill worms
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steffi replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

sorry I forgot to answer about the gravel yes I vacumn every week but I have never had my tap water tested.
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  • bassetman
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bassetman replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

since she lists the total hardness that indicates she is using the strips...they are worthless. get the API kit ASAP.
just get some tank water in a bucket and squeeze the sponge for a bit to clean it once every week or two. the sponges last forever. most of the good bacteria in an ac 70 is in the bio media nodes...the ceramic deals in the mesh bag. nitrates come from the filter doing its job. the only practical method of removing nitrate is to do water changes . if the levels are high change more water more often. if they continue high you are over stocked or under maintained.


Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement
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steffi replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

then i really screwed up washed the ceramic things too i do try very hard to keep my tank clean
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bassetman replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

know anyone you can get some media from? if not cycle from scratch.


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Firestorm8215 replied the topic: worried that I may have killed my good bacteria

What size tank do you have them in ?

I can appreciate you wanting to keep your tank super clean , but the filters really only need to be rinsed maybe once a month in some discarded tank water and only be changed when falling apart. You want that beneficial bacteria to stay right where its at.
Now your substrate...clean the hell out of it if you want to... :laugh:
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