Filtration questions

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Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:20 pm

I put this on another forum with absolutely no replies so I am hoping you will be able to give me some advice.

I will shorten up the question, maybe that was the problem...

I just bought a new XP4 and added it to my 90 gallon tank. I would like to remove my eheim and move it to another tank but how long will it take for the new filter to become adequately colonized with bacteria to handle the tank? I am going to add a second filter back to the 90 (got a good price on XP4s so the 90 is getting 2 - 900 GPH water flow should be enough...).

When can I safely removed the eheim without worrying about a major ammonia spike? Nothing else will change (substrate, water etc., staying behind).
Thanks
Graham

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Aura on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:13 pm

Well, that's a tough question to answer. I really don't know how long it takes. I would go by the look of the filter media -- when it's nice and dirty, I'd feel safe assuming that it was colonized. Maybe 3 weeks or so? You could also share some of the media from the old filter with the new one to speed things along.

Sorry, I guess that wasn't much help. I normally just remove some bio-media and sometimes a dirty sponge from a running and cycled filter when I want to get a tank going quickly.
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by poolmako on Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:12 pm

if you put some media from a filter that already has a bio mass it will be ready without any loss of filtering ability, if you have a running tank with filters that have a bio mass you should never have to cycle a new filter or tank just us what you already have.
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Rockfish on Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:00 am

As Aura said that's a tough question to answer in absolute terms as there are many variables that could govern that. For me this is an err on the side of caution question. I personally would feel comfortable at two weeks if the tank is not heavily stocked but longer if it is.
You can speed things up a bit by squeezing some of the old filters media out near the intake of the new filter letting it pick up a good bit of that bacteria rich mulm or as mentioned by adding some of the old media to the new filter.
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:26 am

Thanks a lot everyone. What I think I will do is take 1/2, maybe even 2/3rds of the media from my Eheim and put it in one of the trays of the XP4 that has been running for a bit already. I will also squeeze out the sponges.

The other tank has no fish in it today but since I need to feed the bacteria in the media, I may scoop out a couple fish and put them in the new tank with the old filter (if this won't hurt them too much....) and then move them back when I get some new fish. Any major worries about this plan?

Now, if I could just find some Tangs...

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Aura on Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:47 am

Graham, I would just keep all of the filters running on the 90 gallon until you get fish for the new tank. Moving a few fish to the new tank probably won't hurt them, but moving them back might. They could be seen as newcomers and be treated as such. (They are Malawis if I remember correctly?)

I wish I could give you some of my transcriptus for the new tank! Very Happy
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:06 am

OK... I was thinking it would be better to have it on the new tank and allow it to "cycle" a bit (for lack of a better word). I just wanted it to be ready so I could start doing some more serious shopping. I could add a bit of ammonia to it to keep the bacteria going. Just want to be ready. You are right, I would be moving Malawi's so they could get forgotten and beaten up on their return. Never thought of that.

I wish I could get some of your transcriptus. I am sure I can find some, I haven't gone looking too far yet, just a couple LFS that focus more on Tetras and guppies. Next week I will go further afield and see what I can find.
Thanks again for the advice.
Graham

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by theswede on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:58 pm

If you have fish in the 90 gallon tank and it´s already cycled you can remove the eheim filter anytime you like. Most of the bacteria are located in the tank substrate and not in the filter. When I start a new tank I take some rocks from a already cycled tank and I have never had any problems with ammonia even if I run a new filter in it. I just cut down on food for a while.
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by iceblue on Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:26 pm

There will only be as much bacteria in a tank as can be fed by fish waste, extra food breaking down...etc. While I agree that the bacteria's will be found on all surfaces, the majority of them will be where the highest flow (most available oxygen) is located. As has been pointed out this will be in your filters. Adding a new filter to an established tank and pulling it off will rob that tank of needed bacteria and could cause a spike in ammonia and/ or nitrItes.

I would just start running the new filter on the new tank and add some decor, or "squeezings" or a small amount of bio media from the old tank and do the fish-less cycle as has already been suggested.
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:57 pm

I would replace 1/3 of the media in the established filter and put it in the new filter, that's nothing more than general maintenance on the established filter but it's a HUGE boost for the new filter. Then I'd get the new tank set up and dose it with 4ppm of pure ammonia and let it cycle, it won't take long at all for the bacteria to multiply doing it this way. I would also squeeze the sponges into the new filter. You'd be amazed just how fast you can cycle a tank by using some established filter media Wink

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Well, here's what I did.
I took out 1/3 of the media from the Eheim and put it in the existing XP4. I added a second XP4 to the 90 gallon so I have somewhere close to 900 gph of flow...should be enough.

I put the Eheim on the 29 (I had inserted tubes into my background so my water intake and outflow are both about 1 inch off the substrate at each end of the tank. I also put the AC30 HOB on the 29 gal...should be enough.

So, I am going to feed the bacteria some ammonia but I would like someone to double check my math before I go adding too much. If I take off some for the background, rocks and sand, let's just say 4 gallons for easy math, then I am left with about 25 gallons of water. Again, for easy math, lets just round that off to 4l/gallon or 100 liters of water. At 1000ml per liter, that would mean I have about 100 000 ml of water in the tank. So, 1 ppm would be 0.1 ml, 4 ppm would be 0.4 ml. That isn't very much. Does that sound right for a tank that size? I don't even know how I would measure that little amount without a syringe or something.
Let me know if this makes sense.
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Graham

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:26 pm

Math isn't my strength... I just put a few drops in, wait an hour, test, and go from there. If you put to much in there just change some of the water.

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:19 pm

Aura wrote:I wish I could give you some of my transcriptus for the new tank! Very Happy

I didn't find any transcriptus (actually I did but there was just one) but I did find some J. ornatus. I put a picture on my Julie vs Calvus post. Happy to have fish in the water.

All tanks seem healthy and happy after moving filters around. There was a lot of "gunk" in my XP4 so I think it's good and I put in a good amount of ammonia in the small tank and 24 hours later it was gone and there were nitrates in the tank so yesterday I added some fish. They are still alive so far and I hope to keep it that way.
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:23 pm

Just curious. How did I end up with the tag line "I had a traumatic guppy experience once..."?
Aura...you are my prime suspect. Wink

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Aura on Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:31 pm

. . . It wasn't me . . .
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:33 pm

Hmm...Now I'm at a loss.

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Aura on Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:38 pm

Well, I'm going to blame ----> Jeff. Seems like his handiwork! Very Happy

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by bulldogg7 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:28 pm

Random Title Fairy


cancichfan wrote:... I had a traumatic guppy experience once...scarred me for life. . .

Graham
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Re: Filtration questions

Post by cancichfan on Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:58 pm

Yes, I knew where it came from, just not how it got there. Good to be known for something though. Love this forum...way friendlier than some others I've come across.

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Re: Filtration questions

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:22 pm

cancichfan wrote: Love this forum...way friendlier than some others I've come across.

That's exactly what we want to hear!!! cheers

We've been blessed with not only extremely knowledgeable members, but everyone here wants to have a good time while advancing their knowledge. I honestly believe it's contagious, I think if the tone here was negative it would breed negativity but since everyone here is friendly and having fun, everyone that comes here see's it and joins in. Hopefully as we grow we can maintain this fun and friendly atmosphere... we'll definitely do everything in our power to keep it this way Twisted Evil

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