Is it possible?
I have a 29 gallon, that is very well cycled. I never have spikes in ammonia or nitrites.
However, over several years the tank is just gross. Between algae, embedded fish poop, and God knows what else, it just looks nasty. The substrate is very algae stained and discolored.
I have an Aqueon HOB
filter with the blue “bio filter” in it.
So I guess my primary question is what percentage of the bacteria live somewhere in the filter, versus elsewhere in the tank. Here is my idea, I’m trying to see if it would work:
Relocate the fish to a bucket or smaller tank, one I can fit the HOB
on to. The ideas I’ll put about 5 gallons of their current tank water in, and run the filter so they can chill out a while while I work on the tank. The other intention here is to preserve the bacteria in the filter.
Remove plants (maybe a quick 5% bleach bath to kill algae) and rinse.
Vacuum and drain tank as usual, but take it to about 1/3 depth, just over the tallest ornaments and such. Add enough bleach to make a 10% solution and also spray the same strength solution on the exposed tank walls above the water line. Stir up the substrate and clean.
Then drain, refill it to the top, add the chlorinator, and after it does it’s thing, drain it again. Then fill it all but the 5 gallons of old water, then add back fish, the 5 gallons of old water, and filter.
Would this work?