Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Yeah, with any filter, if you suspect the bacteria has died then don't turn it on. That disperses dead bacteria into the water which then decay and cause ammonia. And because the bacteria that eats the ammonia is dead, that ammonia just sits in the water instead of being turned into nitrite/nitrate. Instead, change cartridges, rinse everything in tank water, and start over. Be prepared to do a mini-cycle and watch for ammonia spikes for the next week or so.