Help How To Clean Cartridge Without Breaking Nitrogen Cycle

Guppyapocalypse

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Okay so i had to clean my cartridge because the water was not flowing well due sludge build up.
Now though my ammonia is surging out of control again! All i did was take it out and clean it in the sink. Can anyone help explain how to clean without breaking the cycle. This is the second time this has happened between 2 tanks and i have a lot of guppy fry that are not ready for sale just yet.
 
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Guppyapocalypse

Guppyapocalypse

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So clean it in the tank with the fish?
And why was my cycle fine when i ran it without the cartridge when i was treating it?
Sorry i am just frustrated and not understanding why this is happening. I have put in a new filter after treatment with furan 2 an it was fine. I cleaned that cartridge after 2 weeks and removed some loose ammonia scrubbing rocks/media and put in some extra floss in its place
 
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Guppyapocalypse

Guppyapocalypse

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I am using api ammonia locker right now but the ppm just keeps going up. I have 24 day old fry in a breeder box, 3 adult females, and 10 four week old fry?
My other two tanks are not quite ready for use yet. I did a few 50% water changes over the last few days due to a potential columnaris scare
 

kallililly1973

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When you clean your cartridge take a bucket of your old tank water and swish it around and squeeze it out in that using the tap will kill the bb and cause problems with your cycle. Also if your cartridge has carbon in it I would make a tiny slice and get it out and then get a bag of polyfill from Walmart and wrap a layer around it your tank will shine. Then when you do your WC’s take the old polyfill toss it out wring your cartridge in tank water and wrap a new piece around the plastic frame of the cartridge then when the original batting on the cartridge is falling apart cut it off but keep the frame and continue to wrap polyfill . Another good thing to do if you have a little room in your filter is get a package of ceramic media rinse it off and put it in the mesh bag and drop it in your filter and forget about it the bb will grow on that and you won’t run into cycle issues even if you changed your cartridge
 
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Guppyapocalypse

Guppyapocalypse

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It is a 20 gallon and i have an aqua-tech. I gave most of what the guide suggests just not the ceramic media. I am using an old whisper 10g filter for the ammonia scrubbing material and double filtration for now.
 
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