Washing Filter Media

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Lauradesu

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My filter sponges in my 50 gallon are filthy not to mention I'm getting 5.0ppm nitrite and 160ppm nitrate readings every day for two weeks now. It might be because of the chemicals I was dosing the media with but I just saw the sponges and .....omg so dirty the water is getting like weird floaty stuff in it now. I know how to clean them but should I do it?
 

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Yes, if it’s causing you problems, then fix them.
Why do you have nitrites in a cycled tank?
 

TexasDomer

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What are you dosing?

You can remove nitrates and nitrites with water changes. Cleaning the media won't do much (though you should still do it!). Because the nitrates are so high, you don't want to do large changes and shock (and potentially kill) the fish with the sudden drop. I'd do 10-15% water changes a few times a day for a week or so, until your nitrates are below 80 ppm, then move to 25-50% water changes every day until your nitrates are below 20 ppm.

You might be overstocked as well. What size tank and what's the stocking? How often do you do water changes, and how much do you change?

To wash the filter media, rinse it in old tank water or dechlorinated water - NOT tap water, as the chlorine/chloramines will kill your bacteria.
 
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Lauradesu

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TexasDomer said:
What are you dosing?

You can remove nitrates and nitrites with water changes. Cleaning the media won't do much (though you should still do it!). Because the nitrates are so high, you don't want to do large changes and shock (and potentially kill) the fish with the sudden drop. I'd do 10-15% water changes a few times a day for a week or so, until your nitrates are below 80 ppm, then move to 25-50% water changes every day until your nitrates are below 20 ppm.

You might be overstocked as well. What size tank and what's the stocking? How often do you do water changes, and how much do you change?

To wash the filter media, rinse it in old tank water or dechlorinated water - NOT tap water, as the chlorine/chloramines will kill your bacteria.
I have a 50 gallon tank with three ryukins and one oranda and a small bushy nose pleco I've been told time and time again that I'm not over stocked at all. The spike in nitrates and nitrites came before I put my oranda in the tank and thankfully for prime they arent suffering. We stopped putting in the chemicals in the filter and they all just spiked for two weeks and they went up and up and up. Thankfully we have 0 ammonia and 0 ammonium. I'm not sure if I should do daily water changes because that is what seemed to have crashed my cycle in the first place then we had to re do it. This is the mess we have to clean up but I know to wash the filter media in dirty tank water I'm just at a vape store right now relaxing with my fiance (we have been trying to escape his father a lot) which brings me to the reason why I dont want to do water changes everyday because my father inlaw will just say its fish drama it doesnt matter if they die or not they are just stupid fish. Soooooooo stressful situation is stressful I'm just going to clean out the filter media do one water change and hope for the best.

Also we were dosing it with aquavitro synthesis it puts nitrites into the tank which in turn but nitrates in at the same time I'm shocked that we still dont have ammonia or ammonium anymore even with out the prime when we tested it was at 0ppm for both.
 

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What chemicals, besides Prime, were you adding to the filter?

Daily water changes really shouldn't mess with your cycle, as long as you're dechlorinating as you should.

One water change won't be enough with those bad water parameters. Maybe it might be a good idea to reduce the stocking if you can't do more frequent changes at the moment?
 
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Lauradesu

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TexasDomer said:
What chemicals, besides Prime, were you adding to the filter?

Daily water changes really shouldn't mess with your cycle, as long as you're dechlorinating as you should.

One water change won't be enough with those bad water parameters. Maybe it might be a good idea to reduce the stocking if you can't do more frequent changes at the moment?
I'm not putting in anymore fish I'm at my limit right now i know that much. I did say I was using aquavitro synthesis which adds nitrites which in turn gave me nitrates we also use aquavitro seed which puts needed bacteria in the water to convert the stuff which clearly it did but not fast enough. I've done so many water changes already and it's done nothing it still is at where it is at. I'm going to attempt another water change but I think also washing the media would help get rid some of the problem.
 

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Can you test your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates? Unless you have high levels of these in your tap, water changes will help. They just need to be big enough (though again, right now I would not do large ones as you could hurt your fish) and frequent enough (this is very important).

You could be overfeeding as well. But you can fix the problem with water changes, assuming your tap water isn't dreadful.

You don't need to add any nitrites or nitrates to your tank. I've never heard of anything that adds nitrites to a tank, that's unnecessary for cycling and harmful to your fish.
 
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Lauradesu

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TexasDomer said:
Can you test your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates? Unless you have high levels of these in your tap, water changes will help. They just need to be big enough (though again, right now I would not do large ones as you could hurt your fish) and frequent enough (this is very important).

You could be overfeeding as well. But you can fix the problem with water changes, assuming your tap water isn't dreadful.

You don't need to add any nitrites or nitrates to your tank. I've never heard of anything that adds nitrites to a tank, that's unnecessary for cycling and harmful to your fish.
My cycle crashed, I was told by my lfs to get this to get the cycle going again. My fish only get fed every two days and the food is high grade and they get small portions and the rest is removed if they dont eat it after 3 minutes. My tap water has 0 ammonia nitrite or nitrate naturally (how I dont know but still) I'm going to do a water change right now and clean the filter media in the water I take out and see where it goes from there if they drop after I let it filter the water for three hours problem solved. If they dont I will do partial water changes daily regardless of my annoying father inlaw who doesnt understand the delicate balance of a aquarium to save his life.
 

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LFS employees often don't give accurate advice, and remember they are trying to sell you as much as they can. Rarely do you need the extras they want to sell you.

The problem will be solved by water changes Cleaning the filter media won't reduce nitrates in the tank.
 
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Lauradesu

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TexasDomer said:
LFS employees often don't give accurate advice, and remember they are trying to sell you as much as they can. Rarely do you the extras they want to sell you.

The problem will be solved by water changes Cleaning the filter media won't reduce nitrates in the tank.
Doing one water change 50% and cleaning the media dropped it quite a bit actually. Not quite where I want it but still less than before.
Every time I did a water change before it didnt do anything but cleaning the media seemed to help
 

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I promise you, rinsing out the media will not remove the nitrates already in your water. They're already in your water, which is why you got a reading when you tested the water, not the filter media. Unless you have a dentitrate filter with anaerobic bacteria or a nitrate-reducing filter pad, only plants and water changes will reduce nitrates. But I'm glad the water change worked for you this time. Watch your fish - they might go into shock from such a large drop in nitrates so quickly.
 

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The gunk stuck in the filter is decaying and producing ammonia, which can have an additional effect on a tank that is still building up bacterial colonies. Cleaning that may not be a magic fix, but it can help!
 
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Lauradesu

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I've got this stuff called aquavitro remediation it helps get rid of things like ammonia (which I have none) and ammonium (none) nitrite and nitrate. What we think happened and this is only a guess is because for awhile we had a very large amount of ammonium, it most likely got converted to nitrite to nitrate and my tank is going through some kind of psycho cycle to catch up
 

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If there is some waste or food stuck in the filter media, cleaning it will prevent further nitrate buildup, but it won't remove the nitrates already in the tank.

You shouldn't be adding anything to remove the ammonia/ammonium, and nitrites. Adding anything to remove those will prevent the bacterial colony from building up and allowing your tank to cycle. You don't need additives for that, the cycle will take care of it.
 

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Rinse your filter media well in removed tank water. Being unsure how you do your changes.. be sure to take out big ornaments and vacuum gravel. 20 percent once a week would be fine since you can't daily. Cleaning gravel reduces ammonia which will help with a healthy cycle. Missing half the gravel cuz of hiding places not being removed during cleaning makes a huge difference. I do it every week. 7.0 pH zero ammonia and nitrates in a 30 gallon currently overstocked but upgrading this week =D
 
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