03-12-2008, 12:49 AM
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nah, frequent water changes won't mess up the cycle. The bacteria grows on surfaces in the tank, like on the substrate and rocks, in the filter bags, and possibly even the glass walls of the tank. So the bacteria isn't really floating around in the water itself, so changing the water just dilutes the pollutants.
As far as what "frequent" means, I mean really the honest answer is it depends on your nitrite levels... if they're high, maybe even 10%-25% daily or every two days until its lower, and then as necessary to keep the nitrites low. But to be honest, I don't think it will be too long before the cycle completes, so this might not be a problem. You might be able to get away with less than what I described above, thats just the best thing you can do IMO.
And whether or not to add more bacteria as you do water changes, I'm not really sure. Maybe someone else can chime in and let us both know. All I know is that you don't NEED to... I guess it could either speed up the completion of the cycle, or it could hurt something by adding too much, I just don't know.
Oh, back in your original post, I'd suggest changing any carbon you have in your filter once a month, and then the bio-bags probably less often than that. The bio-bags or filter itself probably came with recommended filter changing times, so you could check there if you still have the boxes/instructions.