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Multiple filters on one aquarium

This is a discussion on Multiple filters on one aquarium within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello Jaysee: You make the most interesting post and I see you are willing to express your ideas. First I have to admit that ...

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Multiple filters on one aquarium
Old 07-18-2013, 09:07 AM   #21
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Hello Jaysee:

You make the most interesting post and I see you are willing to express your ideas.

First I have to admit that I use two filters in my aquarium. its around 40 or 50 gals don’t know for sure the size. 1st filter is a 10 gal undergravel filter and the 2nd filter is fluval 305.

Second I don’t test water parm at all meaning I do not track levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. For me all levels are 0 ppm. I have tested the pH about a year ago and it is in the mid range 7.6. After reading some threads here at TFK I should try to start checking water hardness at sometime in the future.

Third I do not experience loss of live stock. Is it luck, poor grammar or do I have a wet thumb?

How would having 2 filters offer one bacteria an advantage?
the advantage is in colonization one bacteria type reproduces at a far greater rate than the other bacteria therefore the faster colonization by one would deprive the other access to real estate. The reasoning for the filters is due to the accumulation of organic carbon, which is a food source for heterotrophic bacteria. Autotrophic bacteria food source is nitrogen based not carbon.

How is the competition for surface area any different with 2 filters versus 1?
There is no difference with the exception there is more area to conquer for the fast reproducing bacteria

If autotrophic bacteria is in fact primarily in the substrate, how do the filters have any impact on that? And how is there competition for real estate if one prefers the filter and the other the substrate? This is a very good point and the answer I will provide is that some heterotrophic bacteria (denitrifying) have the ability to reverse the nitrifying process creating ammonia from accumulated nitrate resulting in the shutting down the autotrophic bacteria colonies.

As to your point about theory and the realization of the theory in the world can not be disputed.

Caution: heterotrophic bacteria (denitrifying) food source is not carbon based but nitrogen based pointing to a weakness of my argument that suggest my opinion lacks validity.


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Last edited by pop; 07-18-2013 at 09:09 AM.. Reason: hyper-link
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:31 AM   #22
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Hello JDM:

I like your post a lot and I think you are correct about an “active and effective nitrogen cycle”. The competition exists in the bacteria frequency of reproduction. Heterotrophic bacterium reproduces much faster overwhelming autotrophic bacteria.

“Competition is less the issue than straight up availability of nutrients and, for the most part, ammonia and nitrites will be evenly distributed throughout the water volume. The organisms will propagate up to the point where supply and demand are balanced” is a necessary truth.
“I like Jaysee's zero is zero as that does sum it up.” Yes it does in the end all we care about is having healthily water critters to enjoy.

“I also like getting into the science of it”, I do as well and wonder how long it would take one water critter to produce 1ppm of ammonia in five gallons of water or how much ammonia needs to be converted to produce 1ppm of nitrite in the same volume of water.

pop
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:06 AM   #23
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
How would having 2 filters offer one bacteria an advantage?
the advantage is in colonization one bacteria type reproduces at a far greater rate than the other bacteria therefore the faster colonization by one would deprive the other access to real estate. The reasoning for the filters is due to the accumulation of organic carbon, which is a food source for heterotrophic bacteria. Autotrophic bacteria food source is nitrogen based not carbon.

It doesn't matter how fast one bacteria can colonize, because the size of the colony is limited to the availability of food. The point you are making here actually counters your argument - the only way that could possibly happen is if there is a shortage of real estate. Adding more places for the bacterias to live is not going to create a shortage of space for them to live.....

How is the competition for surface area any different with 2 filters versus 1?
There is no difference with the exception there is more area to conquer for the fast reproducing bacteria

Again, the size of the colony is limited by the availability of food. The fact that there is more area to conquer means it is less likely to conquer it all.

If autotrophic bacteria is in fact primarily in the substrate, how do the filters have any impact on that? And how is there competition for real estate if one prefers the filter and the other the substrate? This is a very good point and the answer I will provide is that some heterotrophic bacteria (denitrifying) have the ability to reverse the nitrifying process creating ammonia from accumulated nitrate resulting in the shutting down the autotrophic bacteria colonies.

If ammonia is created, then it will be consumed by the beneficial bacteria - as will be the resulting nitrite. I fail to see a problem here.

As to your point about theory and the realization of the theory in the world can not be disputed.

Caution: heterotrophic bacteria (denitrifying) food source is not carbon based but nitrogen based pointing to a weakness of my argument that suggest my opinion lacks validity.


pop
As far as I know, complete denitrification is not something that normally occurs in freshwater setups. Nitrates are either consumed by plants, or removed with water changes. The bacteria that consumes ammonia and the bacteria that consumes nitrite are both able to effectively colonize, or else we would not have cycled tanks.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:03 AM   #24
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Hello jaysee:

I do agree with you about energy sources being a limiting factor for bacterium colonization but so is real estate. You can have all the food needed but if you don’t have a place to be then the food is of no value. What we are talking here is the idea of diminishing returns. your thinking “…Adding more places for the bacterias to live is not going to create a shortage of space for them to live.....” is correct but misleading because you are grouping all bacterium together and not considering the notion that different bacterium have different rates of reproduction therefore increasing or decreasing the ability of the colony to expand. If energy sources are equal consider it takes 15 to 20 hours for one 1 autotrophic nitrifying bacteria to divide a creating another autotrophic bacteria resulting in total of 2 autotrophic bacteria when in the same time period heterotrophic bacteria would divide three time with a total heterotrophic bacteria of 16 bacterium consuming 8 times the real estate in less than one day. After a week of this rapid reproduction would all bacterial colonies be the same of course not the slower reproducing bacteria would loose real estate availability.

What I am trying to say is a population capable of expanding faster than another population will displace the slower expanding population using the same real estate, not the effectiveness of functions each population provides (cycling).

In my aquarium the nitrogen cycle works as well as the carbon cycle, I HOPE.

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Old 07-22-2013, 06:21 AM   #25
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Pop, the point is that there is more than enough "real estate" for all colonies to grow to their maximum capacity given the nutrients supplied so it is not a limiting factor. I am currently experimenting with a nitrogen cycle that I established (as if I actually did more than supply water, surfaces and food) in a glass jar with no substrate, no plants, no filter.... just the jar and the water and the food. This establishes that the nitrifying organisms do not require all of the surface area that we provide and, therefore, don't use it.

Providing two filters may be a grand gesture on our behalf but it is lost on the organisms that we imagine need all that real estate.

Jeff.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:36 AM   #26
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Hello JDM;
I am not sure I agree with your valuable input about real estate and expanding bacterium colonies but then I do not know where to disagree.
I do agree with you on this “Providing two filters may be a grand gesture on our behalf but it is lost on the organisms that we imagine need all that real estate.”
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:41 AM   #27
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Pop, head over to this thread and read what I have done so far. It may fill you in on where I am coming from.

Jeff.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:38 AM   #28
 
I am using 2 filters in my 300 litre tank. Technically 3 cos one is fitted with extra pipe so the water runs through sponge above. Since adding the new filter I need to clean the above sponge less. Yes there is more water current but its not affecting the swimming of my fish (even fries). The main thing I do is switch the filters off in feeding time and swithch em back on after the food has been consumed. This helps in cleaning the filter less. "f" seems appropriate with all that bacteria competeting for space theory.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:36 PM   #29
 
Take everything Tracy Bird says as gospel. She is experienced.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:19 PM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avraptorhal View Post
Take everything Tracy Bird says as gospel. She is experienced.
You shouldn't take anything anyone says as gospel. Find things out for yourself.



Sent from Petguide.com App
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