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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all

I recently did a water change on my tank and cleaned one of the TWO externals that I have on the tank, with aquarium water. The tank has been running for months, and is cycled with no problems.

All of a sudden today my nitrite was off the charts, the water change was done only 2 days ago with the filter cleaning.

The tank is 280litres and houses a colony of 16 tropheus. Does anyone know why this may of happended so I can prevent it in the future. I havent had this problem before, as the tank has been running fine. The tropheus have been in the tank for a month.

Ammonia is 0ppm with nitrate a little higher at abour 20-40pm, normally about 10ppm.

Can someone shed some light on this please, I will be doing a water change very soon, waiting for my new water to warm to temp so i can do it.

Thanks.

edit: note, jus remembered, i did add some seachem purigen to the filter after cleaning which i had taken out 1 week ago, during a medication period. i simply washed it and put it back in, could this have caused the problem?
 

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The purigen isn't the problem. I'd have to point to the filter cleaning. Shouldn't happen in a tank that's been set up for months, but is possible. I'd continue with the water changes, and go easier on the filter cleanings for now.

'Cleaning' could mean a lot of different things. What type of filter and media and how exactly did you clean it?

What's the other filter and how is it set up?

How many months exactly has the tank been up and how long since it was cycled?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I cleaned the mechanical media and sponge in the water that i poured out of the filter, same goes for the biological media, and replaced with a new fine polishing pad. The other filter also has bio media, mechanical and sponges in it. that one, i did not touch. both are eheim external filters (2217 + 2073).

The tank has been running now for 3 months and a 1 week or so.
 

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Perhaps the dechlorinator was overlooked during the water change?
 

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replaced with a new fine polishing pad
What did you replace?

It's still a young tank. I wouldn't have rinsed the biomedia yet, but if these are the classic Eheims, then not much choice than to have to at least remove it (and all media at this point is acting as biomedia, even the sponges). First filter cleaning is kind of touch and go, and always makes me hold my breath. The spike you're seeing should be brief. Obviously, you don't want to touch the other filter right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
nope, never missed putting dechlor in the water. so its not that.

im proper confused as to why this has happened, i think its the bacteria died off, but i cleaned the filter in all correct ways, so bit :-?
 

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Yeah it really seems like the bacteria died off. Perhaps the dechlor is expired/no longer effective? I hear that can happen. Perhaps check it against a bucket of tap water?
 

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Don't worry man. Almost the exact same thing happened to me just last week. Same timing with how long your set up has been running and the amount you cleaned and left alone. My nitrites dropped back to "normal" after 5 days. I did daily 30% or so water changes and detoxed with Prime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey SandBagger!

Thanks for that hugely! Kind of put my mind at ease a lot more! Thanks dude. So just carry on with the water changes daily. How much prime did you dose each time?

Could you give me a little more detail about what happedned and how you dealt with it please.
 

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Well...It looks like your tank is a bit larger than mine. I just followed the instructions on the prime bottled. It brought nitrites down and once I noticed a small rise I did another dose.

Not much more detail to give other than that really. I just made sure to do the water changes whenever possible. Would do one at night when I got home then one in the morning when I would wake up. I figured new/nitrite free water was as important if not more important than the prime. Might not have made a difference, I dont know. It did make me feel better though!

Oh and test your tap water if you havent already. What type of test kit do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have the api freshwater master test kit. i tested the water that im putting in and that is fine.

so do you think this whole issue is like one of those mini cycles, in that the tank is having to cycle itself again?
 

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Its likely what Prov said and what happened to me. You removed too much of the "good" bacteria during your filter cleaning. They should bounce back in 4-7 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
oops i didnt even see that second post of prov, but yeah i think he pretty much hit it on the head with what he said.

Bl**dy regret touching the filter now. Oh i replaced a fine polishing pad for a new fine polishing pad.
 
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