55 Gallon Tank My Filter Media Was Thrown Away!

Thibault Drake

Member
A few days ago, my filter started to overflow with water. My moms boyfriend took it apart and threw away all the filter media. It’s been two days since then and my tank has been running on a filter rated for up to 20 gallons (it’s 55 gallons, i just had this set up as a small backup). I was just notified of this today. I need to buy a new filter now (this wasn’t the first time it’s overflowed), and I don’t have any of the old media. I have a small filter running with a little bit of filter sponge but that’s it. What should I do to avoid a big crash?
 

SinisterCichlids

Member
Oh boyyyyy. Try and load up on media in your current filter, so when you set up the new filter alongside the old one, you can transfer some of that media so the new filter isn't starting at zero.

Keep testing your water and doing water changes. Don't scrub your tank to the bones. Get an adequate filter asap! Might want to buy seachem stability to help ensure you don't crash your tank.
 
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Thibault Drake

Member
SinisterCichlids said:
Oh boyyyyy. Try and load up on media in your current filter, so when you set up the new filter alongside the old one, you can transfer some of that media so the new filter isn't starting at zero.

Keep testing your water and doing water changes. Don't scrub your tank to the bones. Get an adequate filter asap! Might want to buy seachem stability to help ensure you don't crash your tank.
Im getting a new filter tomorrow. The main problem is that I don’t currently live at my moms, I just go there once a week to do a water change. Im always home alone and I don’t drove so I can’t travel there to do frequent water changes.
 

Aprilbeingbasic

Member
If your tank has plants and substrate there will be bacteria on those too. Yes you would have lost a bunch of bacteria but its all ready to go just needs the new filter. Hopefully it won't crash. Good luck.
 
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Thibault Drake

Member
Aprilbeingbasic said:
If your tank has plants and substrate there will be bacteria on those too. Yes you would have lost a bunch of bacteria but its all ready to go just needs the new filter. Hopefully it won't crash. Good luck.
Thank you!
Aprilbeingbasic said:
If your tank has plants and substrate there will be bacteria on those too. Yes you would have lost a bunch of bacteria but its all ready to go just needs the new filter. Hopefully it won't crash. Good luck.
Thank you! I have quite a bit of plants so I’m think it will be okay, just have that omnipresent fear that something will go wrong and my fish will die.
 

mattgirl

Member
If this tank is well established there may be a glitch but your cycle shouldn't crash. Thankfully bacteria grows on all the surfaces in our tank. The longer the tank has been cycled the more bacteria will have grown on all the surfaces.

If you are running cartridges in your HOB filter this would be a good time to switch to more permanent filter media. A piece of sponge cut to size along with some kind of ceramic media in a media bag would work well. I actually run a mixture of several types of media in my filters. Mine has a mixture of ceramic rings, matrix, lava rocks and coral.

If you could set something up like this hopefully if it starts overflowing again the sponge can be taken out and rinsed off. Even if it is rinsed in tap water it shouldn't affect your cycle as long as the media bag is left alone.
 
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Thibault Drake

Member
mattgirl said:
If this tank is well established there may be a glitch but your cycle shouldn't crash. Thankfully bacteria grows on all the surfaces in our tank. The longer the tank has been cycled the more bacteria will have grown on all the surfaces.

If you are running cartridges in your HOB filter this would be a good time to switch to more permanent filter media. A piece of sponge cut to size along with some kind of ceramic media in a media bag would work well. I actually run a mixture of several types of media in my filters. Mine has a mixture of ceramic rings, matrix, lava rocks and coral.

If you could set something up like this hopefully if it starts overflowing again the sponge can be taken out and rinsed off. Even if it is rinsed in tap water it shouldn't affect your cycle as long as the media bag is left alone.
I was running a sponge and ceramic media in it. I think the pump was broken and overflowing as I already cleaned the sponge in aquarium water. The filter must’ve just been broken and too old.
 

Cooperman411

Member
I am a firm believer in Tetra SafeStart Plus. It has the bacteria in spore form and it just works. It will put a slightly cloudy bio-film on everything and cloud the water for 24-48 hours but it'll do the job. I was very skeptical at first because I'd only used the old refrigerated versions of the nitrifying "rapid-start" bacteria. But that quick bio-film changed my mind. I've used it in emergencies and when setting up a new tank for a murdering betta and never saw an ammonia spike. Depending on size it's $5-$10 and I see it at most pet stores. Just check the expiration date. I wouldn't buy it if it's within a few months.
 
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Thibault Drake

Member
Cooperman411 said:
I am a firm believer in Tetra SafeStart Plus. It has the bacteria in spore form and it just works. It will put a slightly cloudy bio-film on everything and cloud the water for 24-48 hours but it'll do the job. I was very skeptical at first because I'd only used the old refrigerated versions of the nitrifying "rapid-start" bacteria. But that quick bio-film changed my mind. I've used it in emergencies and when setting up a new tank for a murdering betta and never saw an ammonia spike. Depending on size it's $5-$10 and I see it at most pet stores. Just check the expiration date. I wouldn't buy it if it's within a few months.
Thank you I’ll try that as well!
 

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