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[APD] Re: dead bio-balls, somewhere between myth & rule of thumb

At 12:10 PM 4/1/2004 -0500, Russ wrote:

Does anybody have an idea of how long a trickle filter can be turned off
before the bacteria will start to die off?

So all the old aquarium books say to never turn off the filter for more than an hour, or anaerobic bacteria will take over for the aerobic bacteria with dire consequences for all involved.

When I started in the hobby, I was so paranoid about this that I would wet down filter media when doing extended tank work so as never to exceed 30-40 minutes of no-flow.

Lately I have twice forgotten to turn the cannister back on for 12-16 hours, with no observable deleterious effect. I even checked for ammonia right away when I discovered the filter off, and got a reading of zero, although I'm not sure that would have detected the damage if there was any.

Do any of our resident experts know what is reality? The questions is, how long does the biofiltration colony within a power filter last when the flow stops? I'm sure the answer is quite different for a wet-dry with available O2, a wet-dry filled with injected CO2, and a cannister filled with gunk & water.

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