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KrystalPR

Question about Filter Cleaning and Water Changes

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Hi everyone!

I have 2 questions on stuff I'm really confused about...

1. Do I kill off my cycle if I clean (rinse) my filter media in clean water that's been conditioned with Prime?

I'm kind of freaked now because I just did that and my tank is not fully cycled yet... I also did a 100% w/c because of 1.0ppm nitrites so it may make things worse... My tank is not yet fully cycled but it has been producing nitrates for over a week and nitrites have been peaking (reached 5ppm overnight once!) for like 4-5 days. It is because of this I've been doing huge w/c, and in one of them took a look at the filter cartridge (Penguin 150) and was very alarmed by the amount of nasty stuff it had in there (it had never been cleaned, and it's been running for 6 weeks), so I decided to rinse it in clean water conditioned with Prime. Did I just set things back for me?

2. Can I leave my fish in the tank while adding back new water with a water changer if I add Prime?

I've been doing water changes with a water changer, but I always remove my goldfish before I add back the new water. Guess I'm scared that even if I add enough Prime to treat the whole tank to what little water they have left in there, that the chlorine might still harm them. Does Prime work that fast that I can just add some to the remaining water and the new one will be fish safe immediately? Also I like the water to sit a little and have temperature match the previous temperature, just in case...

I appreciate your help as always...

Edited by KrystalPR

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Hi everyone!

I have 2 questions on stuff I'm really confused about...

You should always ask questions when you want clarification about something. While not a science per se, there should be reason to why we do anything :)

1. Do I kill off my cycle if I clean (rinse) my filter media in clean water that's been conditioned with Prime?

I'm kind of freaked now because I just did that and my tank is not fully cycled yet... I also did a 100% w/c because of 1.0ppm nitrites so it may make things worse... My tank is not yet fully cycled but it has been producing nitrates for over a week and nitrites have been peaking (reached 5ppm overnight once!) for like 4-5 days. It is because of this I've been doing huge w/c, and in one of them took a look at the filter cartridge (Penguin 150) and was very alarmed by the amount of nasty stuff it had in there (it had never been cleaned, and it's been running for 6 weeks), so I decided to rinse it in clean water conditioned with Prime. Did I just set things back for me?

Usually it's suggested that we avoid rinsing the media, because we might lose some of the beneficial bacterial. However, I can't imagine that you lose all that many. In the sponges etc, it's mostly junk. The bulk of your beneficial bacteria should be colonizing the ceramic media etc, and they are so easly shaken off with a light rinse. After all, we do rinse media when the tank's cycled. It's normally advised that we don't rinse the media on all the filters at once and do only one filter at a time, just to be extra cautious. In any case, you'll be fine, and I doubt you really set your cycle back.

2. Can I leave my fish in the tank while adding back new water with a water changer if I add Prime?

I've been doing water changes with a water changer, but I always remove my goldfish before I add back the new water because I'm scared that even if I add the Prime to treat the whole tank to what little water they have left in there that the chlorine might harm them. Does Prime work that fast that I can just add some to the remaining water and the new one will be fish safe immediately? Also I like the water to sit a little and have temperature match the previous temperature, just in case...

I always leave my fish in the tank when I do water changes, simply because I hate moving them. I do move them when I actually do a 100% WC. Otherwise, they stay in. Just make sure that you add Prime to the amount required for the entire volume of the tank, not just for the new water. Prime should act nearly instantaneously, so you should be fine. Most of us who do these huge water changes never remove our fish.

Instead of doing a true 100% WC, what I do when I want to do a 100% WC is to take out 80% of the water, add Prime and fill it up. Then I drain 80% again, and then fill it back up again + Prime. That's a 100% WC essentially, and you never have to remove fish. I do this every month for my tanks :)

I appreciate your help as always...

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Hi everyone!

I have 2 questions on stuff I'm really confused about...

You should always ask questions when you want clarification about something. While not a science per se, there should be reason to why we do anything :)

1. Do I kill off my cycle if I clean (rinse) my filter media in clean water that's been conditioned with Prime?

I'm kind of freaked now because I just did that and my tank is not fully cycled yet... I also did a 100% w/c because of 1.0ppm nitrites so it may make things worse... My tank is not yet fully cycled but it has been producing nitrates for over a week and nitrites have been peaking (reached 5ppm overnight once!) for like 4-5 days. It is because of this I've been doing huge w/c, and in one of them took a look at the filter cartridge (Penguin 150) and was very alarmed by the amount of nasty stuff it had in there (it had never been cleaned, and it's been running for 6 weeks), so I decided to rinse it in clean water conditioned with Prime. Did I just set things back for me?

Usually it's suggested that we avoid rinsing the media, because we might lose some of the beneficial bacterial. However, I can't imagine that you lose all that many. In the sponges etc, it's mostly junk. The bulk of your beneficial bacteria should be colonizing the ceramic media etc, and they are so easly shaken off with a light rinse. After all, we do rinse media when the tank's cycled. It's normally advised that we don't rinse the media on all the filters at once and do only one filter at a time, just to be extra cautious. In any case, you'll be fine, and I doubt you really set your cycle back.

2. Can I leave my fish in the tank while adding back new water with a water changer if I add Prime?

I've been doing water changes with a water changer, but I always remove my goldfish before I add back the new water because I'm scared that even if I add the Prime to treat the whole tank to what little water they have left in there that the chlorine might harm them. Does Prime work that fast that I can just add some to the remaining water and the new one will be fish safe immediately? Also I like the water to sit a little and have temperature match the previous temperature, just in case...

I always leave my fish in the tank when I do water changes, simply because I hate moving them. I do move them when I actually do a 100% WC. Otherwise, they stay in. Just make sure that you add Prime to the amount required for the entire volume of the tank, not just for the new water. Prime should act nearly instantaneously, so you should be fine. Most of us who do these huge water changes never remove our fish.

Instead of doing a true 100% WC, what I do when I want to do a 100% WC is to take out 80% of the water, add Prime and fill it up. Then I drain 80% again, and then fill it back up again + Prime. That's a 100% WC essentially, and you never have to remove fish. I do this every month for my tanks :)

I appreciate your help as always...

Thanks again Alex, I was worried because I was talking about my 20gallon tank in which Goldy's in and it only has one filter. The filter has a biowheel which I did not rinse at all, left it in the tank water - but the wheel looks almost new (not brown or colored like it should by now, as opposed to how the filter cartridge looked).

About the w/c that will definitely make my life easier! I was just worried that the goldies would be harmed by the chlorine while the Prime kicked in... I feel a lot better now and will do this from now on when doing smaller w/c.

You guys are great, and a big help - replying so fast too! I just decided to become a subscriber, this forum has been a life saver for me (or should I say my goldies... lol) and I want to give something in return!

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Welcome to the subscribers' club. :thumbs:

Be sure to check out the subscribers' section. There is also a silly thread with the initials L.O.T.P. That's where we just make random chats with each other :)

About the wheel...it takes a while before it starts getting good & slimy.

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I know alot of people here don't rinse their filters quite as often as I do mine! I just got into the habit of rinsing them in tank water with each weekly clean out, just removing any gunk that's built up. Then I read here that people don't do it half as often as me, but I guess the important thing is finding a cleaning schedule that works for you.

That being said I would leave your filters be during the delicate cycling process if you can :)

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I know alot of people here don't rinse their filters quite as often as I do mine! I just got into the habit of rinsing them in tank water with each weekly clean out, just removing any gunk that's built up. Then I read here that people don't do it half as often as me, but I guess the important thing is finding a cleaning schedule that works for you.

That being said I would leave your filters be during the delicate cycling process if you can :)

Do you find rinsing your filters weekly effects your cycle? Or are you ok? I, have this "thing" about dirty filters and I rinse them weekly to get the gunk out. I don't rinse my ceramic media which is where I'm hoping most of the good bacteria will be living. My filters are meant to be thrown out monthly anyways though I will not do it the same week. They have carbon in them and I know lots of people say you don't need carbon but I find living with well water its just nice to have it to remove impurities, sediment etc that is in the water. I find even the filters in my aging tanks turn color after a couple of weeks, maybe a little iron or other sediment in the water but not alot.

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I've been doing water changes with a water changer, but I always remove my goldfish before I add back the new water because I'm scared that even if I add the Prime to treat the whole tank to what little water they have left in there that the chlorine might harm them. Does Prime work that fast that I can just add some to the remaining water and the new one will be fish safe immediately? Also I like the water to sit a little and have temperature match the previous temperature, just in case...

When you use your water changer do you use a thermometer under the tap to get it about the same temperature before you start adding? I picked up a tank thermometer and I just hold it under the water until it reads the same, then I switch the valve and run the water in.

Edited by cmclien

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