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Old 07-25-2004, 01:18 PM   #1
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Cleaning Sump

Can you tell is cleaning day? Here is the deal...My return pump from the sump was not pumping real well. Very little flow into the tank. I noticed the intake sponge was pretty dirty so I cleaned it. Flow restored, all is well. However, my sump has a lot of gunk floating in it. Is this good? I have noticed a slow jump in my Nitrates from zero to 2.5. Could this be the reason? So I started cleaning this thing and the floss filter, sponges and other stuff is covered with hundreds of pods and a few bristle worms. I am leary of clean them as I do not want to deplete my pod population. What is the best way to clean the sediment from the bottom of the sump without depleting pods? My sump has a combo of bio-balls and 20 pounds of LR rubble. Should I not worry about the pods and just clean everything? Any advice is appriciated. Thanks! Lando

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Old 07-26-2004, 08:26 AM   #2
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if your sump has LR and, i'm assuming, some sand, then I would get rid of the bio-balls. The bio-balls are good for turining nitrites into nitrates, but they lack the sub-surface bacteria to turn nitrates into escape gasses that leave the tank. your LR and LS will do that. That combined witht he sponges could be the cause of your light nitrate rise. Do you use the pods for feed tank fish? if you don't I wouldn't worry about what you'll lose in the sponge. The LR and LS will have the majority of the pods. What I would do when cleaning is take the sponges and give them a liberal shake-n-swish in the sump water. Hopefully the majority of critters will scurry out. then you can clean your sponges with minimal critter loss.
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