Why o why didn't I soak the filer media?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Paul1978, May 15, 2006.

  1. Paul1978New MemberMember

    My 29 gal fish tank was doing great....running for about two months with five platys six black neons, three otos, and three panda corys. My whisper power filter was in the whole time but was getting clogged and severly restricting water flow. So I place the new filter media (carbon and sponge) into the housing and powered the filter up. Not until two days later when my panda corys died and most of all my fish were floating half dead at the surface with ich did I realize, my pH went down by 1.0 from 7.2 to 6.2. I guess the change in pH stressed the fish out too much.

    The filter media has been in the filter for almost two weeks now and the pH is still 6.2. I have done two water changes both at 25% each time and the pH is still 6.2. The pH of my tap is 7.2. Does anyone know wht my pH hasn't come back up yet? Thanks

  2. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    I am not familiar with the Whisper Power Filter, but in their other filters the sponge area is where the good bacteria are housed. If you replaced the whole thing, you are starting a whole new cycle. Also if your fish are having ich, is the temperature of your tank on the cool side? Ich is a cool water disease and if you raise the temperature of your tank to 85 slowly and keep it there for at least 14 days it will help the ich situation.

    Unfortunately, I really don't know what is causing the drop in the ph. I do know though that if the tap water is 7.2 and the tank water is 6.2 I would be doing some major water changes to try to bring it back up. (25% won't touch it, try 50%)

    I hope this is a little helpful. I am sure that some of the others will have suggestions. I do want to welcome you to Fishlore.com. It has been a pleasure to post to you, I only wish I could have helped more. This is a fine forum and the people really like to help so I hope you hang around and get to know everyone.


  3. Paul1978New MemberMember

    thank you for your help....the water is a bit on the cool side and I will raise that. My power filter has a sponge (no carbon) and filter media (with carbon) next to each other in the fitler housing. I didn't change the sponge, but changed the filter with the activated carbon in it. In doing so, I didn't soak the filter/carbon before putting it into service. This may have caused the pH to drop so radically? Not sure....

  4. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    Doing that leaches something out of the water (I think oxygen... not sure though) and that might have been what caused the drastic change in your water.
  5. vinWell Known MemberMember

    I have a Whisper Power filter which use the AC filled BioBag and black Ecosponge for the bacteria cultivation. You change the BioBag monthly and rinse the sponge in used tank water when water flow is severely restricted....From your post it sounds as if you replaced your bag without rinsing it in used tank water first...What you did was send toxic particles back into your tank...It's sometimes referred to as black death......Carbon dust is deadly to fish and invertibrates and is no doubt the cause of your loss and not the sudden drop in pH.....The other thing that could have happened with the carbon dust is that it through your sponge into a tizzy causing some of the beneficial bacteria to die off.

    AC dust is deadly to fish....AC itself when properly used is perfectly fine for regular use in filtering and polishing your water.
  6. Paul1978New MemberMember

    great...thank you so much for your help.....

    should I change the bio bag now with new AC, soaking it first in bucket full of tank water? WIll that help? How long should the new bio bag with AC soak for? Thanks so much!!!
  7. vinWell Known MemberMember

    You're welcome - I just want to make one thing I said a little more clear- The AC dust probably caused the fish to die and become ill as well as cause the sudden drop in pH....I don't think I was clear on that earlier.....

    You need to do massive water changes.....No doubt everything in your tank has a black coating on it...Vacuum the gravel good to get as much of the residue off of your plants, substrate, decor, etc....You probably don't have to or want to change the bag now...What you can do next time is swish the new one around in used tank water to get the particles loose. Swish it for a few minutes just to make sure that any dust or particles are free.

    Monitor your water parameters closely over the next week or two and don't get any replacements until the water parameters are back in line and you've done at least a week's worth of water changes...I wouild also do what Chickadee recommends for the ICH.
  8. mistycheriValued MemberMember

    I also use the Whisper Power Filter. I use the EZ-Change Aqua-Tech cartridges. In the beginning, I used to change the cartridge out for a new one every couple of weeks, but then I read that you can just rinse the gunk off in used tank water and put it back in. I've never had any problems with my ph with these cartridges.
  9. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    So if I want to change to a new filter (the one I have has HAD it...), should I take out some tank water, soak the new filter for a couple days, then install it?
  10. mistycheriValued MemberMember

    Well, that's up to you, With the filter cartridge I use, I just take it out of the box and pop it in. :)
  11. Paul1978New MemberMember

    Thanks for all your help...
    I have been doing massive (50%) water changes for three straight days now. I check the pH about 30 min after the water change and it's still about 6.0. My tap water is 7.2. DOn't know why my pH is sooooo low. Also....changing the filter messed up my cycle so I have to do that all over again. This is very frustrating. Any pointers? Thanks!
  12. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Well, what it boils down to is something in your tank is causing your water to become acidic. Could you make a list of everything in your tank that you have as decorations and let us know what kind of substrate you are using? Also what kind of additives are you using in your water? Please list everything you can think of and maybe we can come up with an answer. Please don't think anything is unimportant. Sometimes it is the thing that we think couldn't possibly be the problem that is just the thing.

    Your tap water is just slightly into the alkaline scale and for your water to be that acidic, there has to be something external that is causing this. Just give us all the information you can and we will try to help.

    As far as putting a new filter in, no you don't have to soak it for a couple of days. Just swish it in the water for a few seconds and install it in your filter. The new cycle, if indeed there needs to be one, shouldn't be as massive as the first; just a mini-cycle. The bacteria in your tank are now not only on the filter media but also on the gravel and all the decorations in your tank. So you don't have to start from scratch, just grow it on the new filter cartridge. There may be a spike in your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels but they will not last near as long or be nearly as severe as if you were cycling a new tank. Just cut back on the massive changes for a while until the cartridge catches up. It doesn't seem to be helping the pH situation anyway. Just do the regular water changes as you were.

    I am hoping we can be more helpful, please see if you can get the information to us soon.

  13. Paul1978New MemberMember

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks again for your help. As per Chickadee's request, here's what is in my 29 all glass tank.

    Estes Spectra Stone...medium size stone
    A piece of malayian driftwood
    A small non-reactive ornamental rock
    A fake floating plant
    some low light live plants from Arizona Gardens (Java fern, hornwort, onion plant, etc).

    That's about it except for the heater, air stone, and whisper power filter.

    It's funny.......I had all this stuff in my tank when my pH was 7.2, didn't add anything. But when I change my filter media (biobag and AC) the pH plummeted.

    Thanks all.......and hopefully the cycle doesn't take as long as the first one.
  14. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Welll, to start with, driftwood can alter your pH downward. I don't know why it hasn't done it before. I don't see anything else that can be causing a problem, but that can definitely be a problem. If you are having that severe a problem, and you are indeed; why not try taking the driftwood out of the tank and leave it in a bucket of dechlored water (new bucket that had never been used with detergents or such) until you can see if it makes a difference with some water changes. If it is the problem, you may have to settle for some other form of driftwood, from another source; I have some from a source that does not change the pH and have never had trouble in any of my tanks. Or you may consider the use of artificial driftwood, it is quite realistic now and they make it in some of the most unusual shapes so I am sure the decor of your tank would not have to suffer. It would certainly be better than losing all your fish.


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