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So I noticed some leftover flakes had fallen on the back end of my sponge filters in my 20g today, pulled them out, scrubbed them down, put them back in. When I did the wider tube on the top (where the bubbles come out) started filling with really icky, murky water, and I can't seem to get it to go away. I pulled them out again, replaced the tubing from the air pump to the gang valve (it was weirdly brown where I had it hooked up to the pump) and then from the valve to the filter. And I changed the valve again. The sponges don't look dirty, and I pulled the entire filter apart... I'm not sure what's going on, or how I can stop this weirdness.

Does anyone know what I should do? Take the filters out for a night and let them air dry or something?
 

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Could be your bacteria getting knocked loose or something. The beneficial bacteria methinks.

I am most likely wrong, though. Hmm...
 

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Letting the filter air-dry or washing it in untreated water will kill your good bacteria and could cause a mini cycle. This is not advisable. Since I don't use those kinds of sponge filters I can't be too sure what exactly went wrong with yours. The only thing I would suggest is to give the sponge a good cleaning in old tank water. When I squeeze out the sponges in my HOB filters the water always turns a very murky brown.
 
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