You must be very careful if your filter has been off for over 24 hours!

Dry media

If your media has become dry as a result of the filter being off it is likely that you have damaged your bacteria. This may result in increased levels of organic waste in the tank once you start the filter back up. Over the coming week this can be fatal to your fish!

Wet media

If your media is sitting under water in a filter which is turned off the water may quickly become toxic. The good bacteria in the filter will use the oxygen present in the filter and anoxic bacteria will soon form in this area void of oxygen, which will produce toxic hydrogen sulphide gas that will be pumped into the tank once the filter is turned on again.

If you suspect hydrogen sulphide maybe present in your stagnant filter it is important to flush it out using water from the fish tank. If it is a canister this can easily be done by placing the inlet into the tank and siphoning the water via the outlet into a bucket or drain. It is advisable to back flush it as well if that is possible. If it is a sump flush the media in a bucket of water from the tank.

Once your filter is back on

  • Make sure you keep the feeding low for the next couple of weeks after the filter is back on and only feed low waste food such as New Life Spectrum.
  • Make sure you have fresh Polyfilter in the system to remove toxins that may occur at this time.
  • Be sure to add a bacteria solution to enhance the colonies.
  • Add a 5 times dose of Prime and/or Easylife daily to detoxify any present organic waste.
  • If you have damaged your bacteria then review to ensure that you are using the best bio media. Make sure that you have Marine Pure Biomedia.
  • Get your water tested regularly for pH, kH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate.