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nothingtoreallygetfastfor

Filter Break-Down - Media Salvageable?

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Hello, People of Koko's!

This week has been pretty hectic with school starting, my sister being in the hospital having a long-needed hysterectomy, and me being out of commission a full day after sedation for a medical procedure of my own.

So, only yesterday did I notice that my AquaClear30 was plugged in, yet doing NOTHING besides having an extremely hot motor.

It must have broken several days before, because the beneficial bacteria, residual gunk, and algae had had plenty of time to die and rot. As soon as I lifted the filter media out to clean it, A HORRID STENCH PERMEATED THE ENTIRE ROOM. In my partner's words: "It smells like you burned a bag of poop down here."

I threw out the way too far gone fiberglass rectangle that had been on the bottom of the basket. Then I washed and washed and washed and washed the remaining media (a sponge and a big bag of ceramic pieces) with soap and chlorinated tap water, then I washed and washed and washed them just in tap water until there was not even a hint of soap.

I put the sponge and bag of ceramic pieces on paper towels to dry. Today, they're BONE DRY, but still smell sorta like mildew.

Is that normal? Are they safe to put back into a working filter? I know that the normal stuff in filters doesn't smell like roses, so I wouldn't expect filter media to ever come completely clean of odors.

EDIT:

No worries about my goldfish! My faithful AquaClear70 is still working perfectly. 45 gallons. Three 4-inch and under goldfish. Whole lotta algae and scraggly nibbled-on mossballs. The parameters are normal. And today I've done my usual just-enough-water-to-cover-the-goldfish water changes. I need to know how much of the filter is beyond saving before exchange/replace it.

Edited by nothingtoreallygetfastfor

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Personally, I would trash the media since you used soap. I would worry about soap residue :(

Never use soap. Boil or bleach(19 to 1 water/bleach solution) instead and then rinse and dechlorinate :)

Edited by jmetzger72

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Is the soap boil-able away? I used just a tiny bit (just enough for suds) of a white soap cake and made sure it was completely gone as far as I could tell. Soaked that stuff TWICE in a sink full of the hottest water the house makes, which is hot enough to seriously scald you.

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Is the soap boil-able away? I used just a tiny bit (just enough for suds) of a white soap cake and made sure it was completely gone as far as I could tell. Soaked that stuff TWICE in a sink full of the hottest water the house makes, which is hot enough to seriously scald you.

I can't say for sure. But, I wouldn't risk it.

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Is the soap boil-able away? I used just a tiny bit (just enough for suds) of a white soap cake and made sure it was completely gone as far as I could tell. Soaked that stuff TWICE in a sink full of the hottest water the house makes, which is hot enough to seriously scald you.

I can't say for sure. But, I wouldn't risk it.

Okay, I'll throw that stuff out. I love my little goldfish and don't want to risk messing them up.

Thanks so much for the advice!

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Good thing that you threw it out because even if you can not detect any soap scent doesn't mean there isn't any soap residue left in there. I wouldn't trust even the tiniest bit of soap residue in my fish tanks, better off safe than sorry ;)

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Yuck. I'm sorry you had to go through that while feeling ill, and glad you discarded what was cleaned with soap.

I am always amazed at how disgusting my canister filter gets after only a few weeks. I cleaned mine yesterday and ... ugh. Dark brown goo through all the baskets. I am going to start cleaning it every 2 weeks instead of every 3; hopefully that will make opening it more bearable.

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Call me crazy but an undetectable amount of soap in a 45 gallons would be harmless.

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I agree. But if you are worried about it, do what you are comfortable with.

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Now I'm having trouble finding another AquaClear 30. The LPSs have every other size, it seems.

And the store where I bought the broken-down filter won't let me exchange it in any way; I have to contact Fluval. Dang.

I'm kinda disappointed in myself for using soap on the media in the first place; I guessed that mildew was more harmful. But, recalling how soap kills fish, I'm glad I didn't reuse that stuff. If I were a goldfish I wouldn't want the tiniest amount of soap in my gills. I've never cleaned any other aquarium stuff with soap.

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