View Full Version : My third rookie mistake

08/03/2013, 01:46 PM
This one is the worst and may have the worst consequences. Sharing so no one else makes the same mistake.

I've have a new fish in my smaller 20 gal QT (pyramid butterfly) that for some reason is reluctant to feed out of the water column. He only eats what he can pick up off the bottom or the PVC fittings. For this reason I've gotten in the habit of turning off the power heads when I feed for 10-15 minutes. Unfortunately I have the HOB filter on the same switch.

When you turn it off the water drains down below the top half of the ceramic media in it. I actually have forgotten and left it off an hour or more a couple of times. Last night I completely forgot to turn it back on. I didn't think about every time I turned it off part of my media got dry and was killing my bacterial culture.

So, I wake up this morning to a cloudy tank with an alert level on my ammonia badge. I had used all my mixed water to set up my other QT a few days ago and had not mixed anymore....compounded my mistake. I only had some higher SG water destined for my DT. I diluted it with RO/DI and did a quick 5 gallon WC. Followed by a 10 gallon water change a couple of hours later. Ammonia is back to zero according to Salifert and livestock appears ok for now.

Do not turn your HOB filter off for any reason unless you dip some tank water out and fill it up till you turn it back on!

08/03/2013, 02:12 PM
Glad everything seems to be ok for now. Definitely something to be aware of. So easy to forget sometimes.

08/03/2013, 02:20 PM
glad livestock is doing fine. a quick water change or prime will take care of ammonia. (if no copper is being used in qt)

08/03/2013, 02:29 PM
So far the two fish are ok. I pulled a bag of ceramic media out of my sump and replaced the top one in the filter. I usually have 2 or 3 in there but I used two when I pulled the sponge out of the other QT (did you know you can get 5 of the media bags in an Aquaclear 70? :-)

08/03/2013, 02:42 PM
AC 70 is a big HOB i had 4 in it before i drilled my 2 qt tans and plumbed a sump.