How long to establish new filter?
I upgraded my 75-litre Aqua One AR510 to a 165-litre Aqua One AR850. Both have a filter box that sits above the tank with two boxes of filter material (ceramic noodles, sponge on top, cartridge with filter wool and carbon on top of that). The filter boxes on the AR510 are just smaller in size than on the new tank but they are basically the same. In my AR510, I had replaced the proprietary cartridge with 2 layers of filter wool so I wasn't using any carbon any more. (I'll do the same in the new tank when the cartridge clogs up and I throw it away.)
When I set up the new tank on 24 September, I put the ceramic noodles from the old one in and topped up with new noodles to fill the bigger filter boxes. I put the old sponge and filter wool in as well as the new sponges and the proprietary cartridge. My idea was for the old media to seed the new media and then I could give the old filter wool to the person who buys my 75-litre (hopefully, I'll get a buyer).
There's been no ammonia or nitrite in the new tank and all of my fish survived the move ok, so presumably the old media is functioning in the new tank (together with the plants, I suppose).
Is my idea sound? If so, how long would you suggest waiting for the new media to be colonized? Should I keep a layer of the old media and only give away one? Thanks for any advice.
Did you use the same decorations and substrate in the new tank?
Regardless, you'll probably be fine with the filter wool from the old tank as long as you don't add any new fish for a while.. Perhaps a few weeks?
Thanks for the reply.
I used a jug of dirty gravel and the rest I rinsed and re-used. I put one decoration in for a short time, but then I swapped it, so it is all new ornaments now.
I don't intend to add any fish for a while, until I'm sure that everything is established. I was thinking of waiting 6 weeks, which is roughly what my new filters took to cycle from scratch, but I wasn't sure how long the process should take to seed new material from old (maybe it's much quicker?) or whether there will be any downside when I take out the old tank's filter material after a while. I'm thinking that there shouldn't be, if the new filter material has been properly colonized by bacteria.
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