Moving bacterially seeded rock?
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Moving bacterially seeded rock?

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Moving bacterially seeded rock?
Old 05-26-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
 
Moving bacterially seeded rock?

Hey everyone, from what I've read lava and tufa rock are great at housing tons of beneficial bacteria in aquariums, but I don't know much about how well these bacteria can live out of the normal tank, and if they are any good at surviving moves.

I put a decent sized chunk of lava rock(probably about the volume of a softball, but not the shape of course) into my established tank, but I really don't like the look of it that much, so my question is, if I left it in the tank for a month or see, assuming it got colonized with beneficial bacteria, would I be able to put it into another tank to help the tank be a little healthier and give the cycle a good push?

The tank it would be going into isn't mine, it is a 5 gallon tank with a few fake plants, golf ball and smaller sized rocks placed in a single layer for the substrate , and a small submersible filter for 5-10 gallon tanks.

It houses a single betta, and probably a trumpet snail(provided it doesn't for some reason die)

My girlfriend changes the water very often, and usually does a 20-50% change 2 to 3 times a week, and just a week ago completely rescaped it, so all the gravel was thrown away, so it's pretty much a brand new tank, and I know she wants it to be cycled for his best health and for the hopes of having a shrimp survive in there as more than a meal, but she doesn't want to actually attempt cycling the tank, but I was wondering if I had a well seeded large chunk of lava rock i could offer her, if it would be a good benefit if it's even possible.


The two tanks are way off for temperature, mine is about 72, hers is around 80, but pretty sporadic as she hasn't gotten a heater yet, so i don't know if the temperature alone would kill the bacteria. I don't know the ph hardness alkalinity or any other parameters of her water, but if they can pose a big problem we can test our waters against eachother.

I planned on taking the rock, and putting it into a tupperware container submerged in water from the tank it is in now, and then putting it into her tank, I don't know if I would need to mix the waters like acclimating a new fish, but since the bacteria is something alive that i want to keep alive, i don't know if it might be necessary.


Any help would be great, as I'm even considering adding some more into the established tank to let it seed in there awhile to have seeded rock to put into my 55 gallon when it finally gets its inhabitants!
Thanks
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:08 AM   #2
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I believe bacteria would not be to much effected by the change of temp and water conditions in fact it would probably be beneficial for the bacteria to be moved into her tank since the water is warmer. So they would reproduce faster, I've seen other messages before talk about keeping the water as warm as possible while cycling so the bacteria colony grows faster, I believe most baterial optimal grow rate is somewhere near the high 90's but then again I am no biologist. I believe chlorine will kill them so as long as she is using a dechlorinater for the fish they should be fine.

Keep your seeding material wet in the aquarium water while transferring it, as I'm pretty sure if it dries out the colony will die. Acclimation should not be necessary as they are pretty simple life forms and will not have the same requirements as more complex(fish) life forms.

You might want to reconsider the lava rock if you can just change your filter media if its the the over the back type, and just give your old filter to her maybe rapped in some sort of like nylon if your worried about debris from the old filter. I'm pretty sure this will carry as much if not more bacteria to her tank plus you could do it tomorrow and not wait for the lava rock to get its own sufficient colony. Lets face it a month from now she should already have her own little cycle becoming complete if not with in a couple of weeks after that. Or you could move decorations over to her tank, which might not be as good but will at least give her cycle a jump start, gotta remember the bacteria attach to everything with a solid surface that is under water, the more surface area the better.

Btw you can seed the 55 before you get the inhabitants which will be better anyways just make sure you have some source of ammonia (from tap, fish, food, dead things) the bacteria can feed on so that way you tank is fully cycled before the fish get into it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:12 AM   #3
 
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Yep, so long as you keep the rock wet and be quick about the transfer (say a couple of hours) there shouldn't be significant bacteria loss.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:16 AM   #4
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zof View Post
I believe bacteria would not be to much effected by the change of temp and water conditions in fact it would probably be beneficial for the bacteria to be moved into her tank since the water is warmer. So they would reproduce faster, I've seen other messages before talk about keeping the water as warm as possible while cycling so the bacteria colony grows faster, I believe most baterial optimal grow rate is somewhere near the high 90's but then again I am no biologist. I believe chlorine will kill them so as long as she is using a dechlorinater for the fish they should be fine.

Keep your seeding material wet in the aquarium water while transferring it, as I'm pretty sure if it dries out the colony will die. Acclimation should not be necessary as they are pretty simple life forms and will not have the same requirements as more complex(fish) life forms.

You might want to reconsider the lava rock if you can just change your filter media if its the the over the back type, and just give your old filter to her maybe rapped in some sort of like nylon if your worried about debris from the old filter. I'm pretty sure this will carry as much if not more bacteria to her tank plus you could do it tomorrow and not wait for the lava rock to get its own sufficient colony. Lets face it a month from now she should already have her own little cycle becoming complete if not with in a couple of weeks after that. Or you could move decorations over to her tank, which might not be as good but will at least give her cycle a jump start, gotta remember the bacteria attach to everything with a solid surface that is under water, the more surface area the better.

Btw you can seed the 55 before you get the inhabitants which will be better anyways just make sure you have some source of ammonia (from tap, fish, food, dead things) the bacteria can feed on so that way you tank is fully cycled before the fish get into it.


Good to know about the temps, I don't plan on changing the filter, it is an Aqueon 10 HOB filter, and it's worked wonders keeping my water clean and healthy with three goldfish in a 10 gallon tank, and once I move the goldfish, that tank is going to be a shrimp tank(sponge over the intake for safety) so I want to know the tank will still be healthy enough for them.I'm not sure what you mean about reconsidering the lava rock and changing the filter, and I'm not terribly worried about being able to accomplish all of this quicker, and I know she will be continuing her large water changes and her filter doesn't have any bio-media, and she is probably keeping the ammonia very low, so I doubt there's much for bacterialization going on there.

The 55 gallon has been cycling(I hope) I have it set up with a DIY sump and overflow, and the sump is filled with filter floss and tufa rock mainly, and I've added ammonia to the tank, I'm hoping it will cycle, but I'm not very confident in how much ammonia I added etc. so I'm considering doing a large water change to get the ammonia down, and cycling it with one or two small goldfish(since I've been considering getting one or two more to add to my three anyway, yes I know, 3 goldfish in a 55 is already way overstocked, but I figure I have a year or several to get the adequate space since theyre still under 3 or 4 inches each)


On another note, does anyone know if I made a big booboo adding tufa rock to my tanks? I haven't really found anything difinitive one way or another on it being a good or bad thing, all I've found is I think is keeps the pH stable around 7.5 and can also affect the hardness/alkalinity/salinity or otherwise?
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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Sorry I didn't mean the whole filter, I meant just the filter media, because thats where most your bacteria are but in an established tank there should be enough everywhere else to make up for the loss of those, plus you should change out the media every once in a while anyways so 2 birds 1 stone :)
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
 
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According to my info, tufa is a form of limestone so being calcareous, yes, it will work to raise hardness and pH by releasing mineral (calcium) into the water continually. If the tank is housing basic water fish like livebearers or rift lake cichlids, this is no issue. If you have soft acidic water fish, I would not use this or any calcareous rock as it will be working opposite to what you need for such fish.

Previous comments on bacteria covered that issue; the bacteria colonizes every surface covered by water in an aquarium, and will survive for a few hours provided it is kept wet. Drying it out kills it, and not providing food (ammonia) after a few hours will also kill it off. I do not know the specific amount of time, but I have been told that it is several hours. Water parameters and temp have little effect, except that in acidic water bacteria does not multiply as quickly and below pH 6.4 some writers say it does not multiply at all, and dies below pH 6. "Optimum" temperatures for bacteria (nitrosomonas and nitrospira) is in the high 70's F, and "optimum" pH in the mid- to high 7's.

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
 
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According to my info, tufa is a form of limestone so being calcareous, yes, it will work to raise hardness and pH by releasing mineral (calcium) into the water continually. If the tank is housing basic water fish like livebearers or rift lake cichlids, this is no issue. If you have soft acidic water fish, I would not use this or any calcareous rock as it will be working opposite to what you need for such fish.

Previous comments on bacteria covered that issue; the bacteria colonizes every surface covered by water in an aquarium, and will survive for a few hours provided it is kept wet. Drying it out kills it, and not providing food (ammonia) after a few hours will also kill it off. I do not know the specific amount of time, but I have been told that it is several hours. Water parameters and temp have little effect, except that in acidic water bacteria does not multiply as quickly and below pH 6.4 some writers say it does not multiply at all, and dies below pH 6. "Optimum" temperatures for bacteria (nitrosomonas and nitrospira) is in the high 70's F, and "optimum" pH in the mid- to high 7's.

Byron.
Does it seem like a slow rise in pH over time would be a problem for either the small comet/common goldfish in the tank, or the algae eating shrimp, or cherry shrimp in the future?

The transfer of the lava rock would be pretty quick, it would go into a container of water, go for about a half hour drive, and be dunked right into its future tank(provided theres no reason not to do so)so it should be fine then hopefully.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castro235 View Post
Does it seem like a slow rise in pH over time would be a problem for either the small comet/common goldfish in the tank, or the algae eating shrimp, or cherry shrimp in the future?

The transfer of the lava rock would be pretty quick, it would go into a container of water, go for about a half hour drive, and be dunked right into its future tank(provided theres no reason not to do so)so it should be fine then hopefully.
Yes, keeping it wet for that short a time will work.

No problems for the species mentioned; shrimp like harder water, they need the calcium for their exoskeleton. I'm not much on goldfish but I believe they are fine either way.

In my experience most solid rock is slow to raise pH over time; gravel, being smaller bits, works more quickly. Given your species I would not worry at all about this aspect.

Byron.
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