Seeding a new filter.
Hey folks, I realize i should know this by now, as i have been doing this for a while, but i'd like to make sure just in case - don't wanna kill any fish (I haven't had a death yet, and i'd like to keep it that way...)
So, i have a very small tank (10"x8"x8", with two ADF's and a few pygmy cories in it (ain't these lovely fish!) and i had a very small aqua 1 HOB filter on the back, however this had a tendancy to leak if not at exactly the right angle, which is tricky with trains rumblind past 20yds from the front door and shaking the house! So i bought a fluval 1 which takes up a bit of space, but won't leak.
I put the fluval in about a week ago and have had the two running simultantiously for this time. I'm pretty sure that the new filter should be ok by now, but what with it being a tiny tank, and the fact that ADF's are apparantly very sensitive to ammonia i really don't a want mini cycle.
Thanks for helping, both in expectation of this time and in gratitude for previous occasions!
its probably ok by now, do you have any type of sponge in your old or new filter? i would suggest taking the sponge from your old and placing it in your new one. if you wanted to be really really cautious, you could wait another week- but its probably fine. test the water regularly (like every day for about a week)- if you get a small ammonia spike, resort to PWCs. you might also try feeding your fish a little bit less, to cut down on their waste, which will help keep the ammonia low, while the bacteria in the new filter finishes reproducing.
I would recommend at least another week, if not two or three. I've heard you want at least 6 weeks lead time to get a fliter cycled using it in another tank, but with everything else in the hobby YMMV.
There is a really small sponge in the outgoing HOB, but the rest of the material is a kind of grating that fits in with a cage of carbon and a sort of fine floss pad over the cage. It is the H100 model in the link below:
Would jamming the little sponge into the fluval 1 in addition to the already present filter media work? Or would it just clog it up? Would it even hold enough bacteria to get the new filter going?
I'm happy to leave the two filters running side by side for as long as it takes, it doesn't look too unsightly, and to be honest the health of my fish is more important to me then the short time looks of the tank.
One other very newbie question: It isn't possible to over filter a tank is it? Take out too much stuff? Again I'm reasonably sure that having 85l (according to the numbers on the filter boxes) worth of filtration on a 10l tank can only be a good thing, but please correct me if i am wrong!
to my knowledge you cannot over filter a tank. i always go a little bigger. i use a set up for a 60 gallon filter on my 30 gallon cause the larger filters come with mulitple spaces for the disposible cartridges, so i can change one at a time, and not disturb the bacterial balance in my tank. i also keep a 30 size on my 10 gallon tank. overkill? maybe, but at my fish don't complain! :lol:
if the old sponge will fit into your new system, without restricting your water flow too much, then i would go ahead and put it in for a week or two and let it "seed" the newer one. but if you try it, and it seems that a lot of water is trickling backwards into the tank, then i would just keep on with what you are doing, and wait a few more weeks. then take out the old filter system completely.
The seeding of the filter can be done by taking one of the old inserts and cutting the "mesh" up into small pieces and placing it in different location throughout the new filter. this gives a lot of different places for the bacteria to grow from and should make the whole process a little faster.
As for over filtering, the only time it comes into play is when you remove one of the filters or one quits working. The filter that is left has to try and process all the ammonia produced and it can't because the bacteria is spread through 2 filters and only half of the bacteria is now getting a water supply.
Thanks for all the advice and help foks! I think i'm gonna go with just leaving the two in there for a few more weeks, as it seems the way with the least potential for me to mess up, and with such a small volume i'm assuming that the margins for error are much lower than with the bigger tanks.
The water flow problem shouldn't be too much of an issue, as the HOB one is on low flow setting, so is just dropping slowly into the tank, and the fluval 1's output is about 2cm below the surface so it shouldn't affect the frogs or the pygmy cories as they are all pretty much bottom dwellers, and therefor out of the current.
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