Fishless Cycling/deep Cleaning Wet Dry Tank

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Tealightful, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Tealightful

    TealightfulNew MemberMember

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve scoured the internet for some fish tank wisdom but haven’t be able to find the answers I really need. I’m hoping you will have some great feedback! I understand filter/tank basics but I am in no means an expert.

    Two tanks that I care for had the fish removed and the bacteria was not fed for months- so my assumption is that the bacteria died and now the tank needs to be completely re-cycled? This is a 75 gallon tank with a below tank wet dry filter by Amiracle. My major question is what is the best way to continue? Completely clean the tank and let it cycle for a few weeks (feeding the bacteria, right?) before introducing new fish? I feel like I need to clean up all the old dead bacteria to prevent a die off- but just wanted to verify this information... it’s the first time I’ve had to restart the bacterial growth within these more complex filter types. Does anyone have any particular methods they prefer when trying to accomplish this?

    My other question is there any reason a charcoal bag would be used in a wet/dry filter. Unfortunately, I did not set up these tanks, but I noticed that below the oxygenated shelf containing the bioballs, there is a charcoal bag and a larger sponge. I understand the sponge is there for the non-oxygenated bacteria growth but is there any reasoning behind a charcoal bag there as well? If so, does it need to be changed on a schedule? Due to the constraints of our set up, it’s incredibly hard to get the filter out enough to reach down to that filter bag.

    Any help is much appreciated!!!
    The tanks were incredibly healthy, so I’m hoping I can recreate that!
    Thank you!
  2. Rohit mess

    Rohit messValued MemberMember

    I am not an expert but i am sure of following things.

    Non oxygenated bacteria or anerobic bacteria will not grown in the sponge that you mentioned. There is fresh water supply for it and hence only the two common cycling bacterias will grow there. Deep sand beds (more than 3-4inches and no gravel vac or aifting of sand) are needed for anaerobic bacteria to grow.

    Also the charcoal a.k.a. Activated carbon will not last forever. They have a limit after which that packet of charcoal is useless and will not do its desired function. So you can throw away the charcoal and get new one.
    (Never used activated carbon but saw enough vids and articles to know about it, eg it filters out some meds, or certain chemicals from waer etc)

    Also i will rather clean my tank with plain water (if you have pressurised jet spray kind of stuff ots better) just to get rid of spiders and dust that magically comes up in a week in any unchecked corner of house. It is common where i reside and have done it many times. Especially with my 1G qt tank.
  3. OP

    TealightfulNew MemberMember

    Hi, thank you for that advice!

    So it should be safe to remove that sponge then? I wonder why it is down there... I was under the impression that your bioballs or whatever non-submerged filter media used houses different bacteria than completely submerged media- is this incorrect? If so, should I just remove that sponge compeltely or is it serving some other purpose?

    I'll probably completely remove the carbon- it was not replaced at all last year and yet the tanks were healthy so I do not think it's probably necessary for this set up.

    My current plan is to drain the tank completely, clean the tank and filter, then re-fill and start the filter running- while feeding the bacteria fish food- correct? Just want to make sure I'm understanding the preferred process correctly, this is all a learning curve for me.

    Thank you!