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Discussion Starter #1
When it rains... I was breaking down my 30g to re-weld the seams. I got all the fish out and most of the water, then had an emergency. The canister filter has been sitting for 3 days w/o running. Is the media toast? I have heard that it gets toxic after 6 hours? I hate to throw all that away, but don't want to hurt any critters. Should I boil it? Just run it in tank water only? If so, how long? I understand the nitrogen cycle, just not sure what having the biological material sitting dormant will do to it. Any insight appreciated.

Capers7
 

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If the media dried out, then the BB are dead and you can either deep-clean, or just rinse and start using it again. If it stayed wet, you can try rinsing it in treated water and then running the filter in an empty tank, and testing it with bottled ammonia to see if the BB survived. You may have gotten lucky and kept enough of your BB to keep the cycle going! Obviously if it's gone moldy or smells bad, it's better to clean or even replace the media.

I haven't heard that BB/media will turn toxic as they die, just that the cycle crashes and so the tank abruptly spikes in ammonia. This can cause fish deaths and I would assume is where the "toxic" label comes from. But I may not have the right of it so if you feel more comfortable not taking the chance, that is your call.

Ceramic media can be boiled I think, and both ceramic and plastic can be soaked in hydrogen peroxide to clean out any dead BB and other organic gunk. You can use bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide on the inside of the filter once the media is removed, and any hard plastic pieces like intake tubes. That may be overkill though, depending on how funky you think the filter has gotten.

Filter floss you might as well replace, as well as charcoal. If you use them I am not sure about any other "absorbent" media like Purigen or Ammo-chips, etc. If the rest of the filter seems & smells okay, probably just rinsing them in conditioned water would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your help Rana, I really appreciate it! My acrylic rods came in today, so I need to get started on getting this all wrapped up. I will swap out some media from some other tanks to get the BB started again as well. Thanks again!
 
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