Cloudy Water After Rinsing Filter - What Just Happened? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Obi3ice, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Obi3iceValued MemberMember

    Hi Fishlore fam.

    Help, help, help.

    I took out my filter sponge that had been in the aquarium for like 3 months and rinsed it completely. It’s a single filter sponge. Lots of debris came out of it when I rinsed it by squeezing tightly in another bowl of water containing the same water in the aquarium. I put the sponge back and ran the filter and it worked as usual. The next thing I noticed after some couple of hours is a milky cloud (I guess bacteria bloom) in the aquarium. I got confused and scared and watched my fish (paradise and guppies) with close attention. After some hours the milky cloud cleared and the aquarium went back to normal clear water.


  2. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    I don’t know. This never happens to me whenever I do a thorough cleaning of my filters. If your fish seem fine then I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  3. bryangarWell Known MemberMember

    It was probably a bacterial bloom. Is the single sponge filter the only filter you run? If so then cleaning it removed a good bit of the beneficial bacteria. It should be fine.

  4. Obi3iceValued MemberMember

    Yes. It’s the only filter I am running. So that means we shouldn’t be cleaning the filters then, cause doing so removes the beneficial bacteria which is really needed in the aquarium to maintain a stable balance.
  5. bryangarWell Known MemberMember

    Usually not as often as other sponge filters, maybe every 5 months or so. I usually see people that have the duel sponge filter and when they clean it, it’s just one of the two sponges to keep enough BB.
  6. Obi3iceValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the advise.
  7. BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

    It still needs cleaned regularly, trust me. You did everything right. 5 months is a long time to go without squeezing out your filter media, my tank would be a complete poo mess if I did that. I clean my tank once a week and squeeze my filter media out every other water change (so once every two weeks). It removes all of the debris, not the beneficial bacteria (as long as you use old tank water to do it and not tap water).
  8. Obi3iceValued MemberMember

    When you mean old tank water, does it mean after squeezing in the old tank water, you pour it back into the aquarium. I saw a video on YouTube on how you can grow back your beneficial bacteria very quickly to complete the Nitrogen cycle by pouring the old water back into the aquarium.

  9. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    When you clean your filter best to do it in tank water that you removed. It’s the most safest thing to do when one does decide to clean the sponges.

    When I clean my tank I too get a minor milky cloud but it goes away after a few hours. But the thing is, I don’t clean my sponges and filters.
  10. BearwithfishValued MemberMember

    This sounds like a small bloom. I agree with ringing them out a bit more often to remove the waste products. As stated above as long as you are using old tank water to do this you should not lose enough BB to have a significant impact.

    Another thing that I personally do to assist with this is to keep some form of media in the tank to house extra BB and assist in the filtration. Lava rock, ceramic noodles, or even green scrub pads for example.
  11. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    It really helps to have more than one piece of filter media. By cleaning your one piece you experienced a temp. bacterial bloom. Since it cleared up over night you have a strong colony of bacteria on that sponge but some was removed by cleaning it.

    Since occasional cleaning is necessary and this is the only filter you are running it might be be better if you could get a dual sponge filter to replace this single sponge. That way you could clean one at a time and wouldn't experience this again.

    If you do get a dual sponge you can just run this seeded sponge on one side of it and it will seed the other one.
  12. BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

    When I siphon the water out of my tank it goes into a bucket, and then I take all of my filter media out and clean it out in the bucket. I wouldn’t add old water back in to the tank because that defeats the purpose of cleaning it (you’re just putting the ammonia back in the tank that you’re trying to remove). That method may work to cycle a tank, I just don’t see how it’s better than how we would normally do it through water changes depending on your water parameters.
  13. Obi3iceValued MemberMember

    Thanks. I think I would get a dual filter so I can be cleaning the sponges one after the other in order not to loose too many beneficial bacteria.

    Ooh definitely. I have media in the tank to house the extra beneficial bacteria.
    So guys I guess since the bacteria bloom cleared after some hours, my tank is really cycled. It’s a 5G tank by the way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2018

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