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Filter Sock Mishap

sneezebeetle

Board Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Location
Houston, TX
#1
Such a hard lesson learned, but could have been so much worse. I did our usual filter sock wash a few days back, ran it through the "whites" cycle in the washing machine with regular bleach minus the laundry detergent with an extra run through the rinse cycle, max extract and then set them out to air dry. Fast forward to yesterday when the hubby did his tank maintenance ahead of his trip to Alabama for work. Did his water change on his planted tank, checked co2, did his other measurements and whatever and lastly, changed out his filter socks (he has an IM20) and called it good. He went in 1hr later and half his fish were dead! Crap! Did a 10gl water changed and noticed that his water was very "bubbly"...so we change out the filter socks and again notice the bubbles. So we removed them again, soaked them in some neutralizer. Ultimately we decided that there must have been some detergent residue in the washing machine when we washed the filter socks. Thank goodness I hadn't changed out the filter socks on the SW tanks!

By the end of the day, after all the water changes, we still lost all all his fish. We figure it will be a good two weeks of constant water changes, running carbon, brand new filter socks, etc before we can try fish again. For now we are just hoping to not lose his plants. We threw out all our filter socks (3 different sizes worth) and will be replacing them all.

So from now on, we are going to run the washing machine through an empty rinse cycle before we run the filter socks through.

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Cody

Director
Board Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Location
The Woodlands, TX
#4
Dang, that sucks, Deanna. I normally just do a wash cycle with no soap or bleach. Might aught to stop doing that to prevent that from happening.
 

Gregg

Treasurer
Administrator
Board Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2015
Location
Downtown
#6
I machine wash once with bleach and then re-wash without 3 times... it might be over kill and it wears out the socks sooner but washing them by hand in a pain.
 

webster1234

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Location
Pearland
#7
I take mine outside, turn them inside out, and put them over a 2x6 and blast them with the hose. Gets them pretty clean. I don't have to touch them other than turning them inside out. I have always been afraid to use the washing machine for that reason. Sorry for your loss. That's horrible.
 

sneezebeetle

Board Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Location
Houston, TX
#8
Thanks all, definately a shame and a lesson learned.

As for now, the bubbly froth is finally gone however the water still seems a bit off in appearance. So the water changes, fresh carbon, neutralizer, and new filter sock routine will continue.

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MrJoe

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Location
Baytown Texas
#9
Dang sorry to hear that.
I pressure wash mine and clip them to the fence when I pressure wash my pool filters. i've heard too many stories like yours to wash mine in the Washer. maybe the dishwasher.
 

sneezebeetle

Board Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Location
Houston, TX
#10
Update - It's been a few months now and the hubby decided to take the plunge and put a few fish back in the system to see if we're ready or not and so far so good. Crossing fingers that all the detergent residue is out of the system.
 

kgk

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Location
The Woodlands, TX
#11
I've 3D printed filter sock replacement canisters. I just stick some poly-fil in them, and replace the poly-fil when I do my water changes. I just throw the poly-fil away... a bag from Wal-Mart last forever.

I despise washing filter socks.
 

Cody

Director
Board Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Location
The Woodlands, TX
#12
Update - It's been a few months now and the hubby decided to take the plunge and put a few fish back in the system to see if we're ready or not and so far so good. Crossing fingers that all the detergent residue is out of the system.
Everything will be fine. I'm sure any harmful compounds are out of the system by now. Or they're not and everything will die haha
 

sneezebeetle

Board Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Location
Houston, TX
#15
Haha what are the odds that everything dies? I'm willing to gamble some money so you'll win even if they die. I'm betting they'll be fine.
Well, so far so good but its only been a few days so fingers will remained crossed for the time being.

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