How long will filter media bacteria survive without water?

DustinJayW

Hey everyone! I’m hoping ya’ll can help soothe my anxieties about unplugging my Aquaclear filters when doing water changes. I’m new to the hobby and to be honest it just kinda scares me to watch the water leave the media basket while I’m doing a water change. I fear the media will start to dry out being unsubmerged and that will cause the bacteria to begin to die. Does anyone know how long it takes for drying out of the media to occur? Do I need to panic and rush during my water changes like I have been? Lol. Thank you!!!
 

Dunk2

Hey everyone! I’m hoping ya’ll can help soothe my anxieties about unplugging my Aquaclear filters when doing water changes. I’m new to the hobby and to be honest it just kinda scares me to watch the water leave the media basket while I’m doing a water change. I fear the media will start to dry out being unsubmerged and that will cause the bacteria to begin to die. Does anyone know how long it takes for drying out of the media to occur? Do I need to panic and rush during my water changes like I have been? Lol. Thank you!!!
It takes longer than the time it takes to change water.

No need to panic or rush. Enjoy the hobby!
 

StarGirl

It will be fine while doing your water change. I turn mine off too. As long as you are not taking hours it will be ok.
 

Clarity

As others have said, you will be absolutely fine during your water changes :D if you are ever going to be at it for a few hours or get interrupted due to emergency or whatever and need to shoot out somewhere mid water change, then you can always fill a bucket up with some of your tank water whilst doing the change and put the filter or filter media in there :)
 

BradleyH2O

I had my Aqua Clear unplugged and emptied for about an hour yesterday. I took a toothbrush to the inside of the intake tubes, serviced the impeller, tossed the original carbon filter that came with it and added a course sponge for the bottom and some PolyFil for above the sponge.

What I like to do is have two buckets half to 3/4 full of old tank water and I squeeze and wash my sponge and biomax and then move them to the second bucket with the cleaner water, just keep my bio media wet while I’m working on everything else.
 

Redviper

Hey everyone! I’m hoping ya’ll can help soothe my anxieties about unplugging my Aquaclear filters when doing water changes. I’m new to the hobby and to be honest it just kinda scares me to watch the water leave the media basket while I’m doing a water change. I fear the media will start to dry out being unsubmerged and that will cause the bacteria to begin to die. Does anyone know how long it takes for drying out of the media to occur? Do I need to panic and rush during my water changes like I have been? Lol. Thank you!!!
TBH, as long as you don't take a pizza/beer break during the refit you'll be fine.
 

FishDin

If you have an extended power outage it could be an issue. You may want to come up with a plan so you're ready when that happens.
 

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