Filter to Filter tank cycling
Im in the process of setting up a 75 gallon tank. This tank is setup with the seaclear system II filtration system. Which is a wet dry system totally different from what I'm used to.
Link: SeaClear System 2 Aquarium - with built in wet/dry filter
I have a 55 gal with an established Fluval 305 canister filter. Is there anyway I can transfer filter media into my 75gal?
Would squeezing the sponges out of the Fluval into the 75 and placing filter media into the tank work?
Doing this should I add fish instantly?
Thanks for any ideas or recommendations!
If this doesnt work, I'll fishless cycle. I'm just impatient :-)
First, a disclaimer - I have two wet/dry filters for a research project I'm setting up. but I have not used them yet. Plus, I'm certain folks that have a wet/dry system running will weight in here, hopefully! That being said, the wet/dry system is effectively a really, really efficient (external) undergravel filter. For those about to bombard me with the pros and cons of UG filters, let me finish ;-).
A wet/dry system works by having a wet portion function just like a UG filter or like a really large HOB with a "biowheel". Bacteria grow on the wet media and wastes are broken down. The dry portion does the same thing, but being exposed to air greatly increases the activity of bacteria in/on the media located in the "dry" portion of the filter since atmospheric air has a much greater oxygen % than what is dissolved in water. So, the dry (moist, actually) part of the wet/dry also breaks down waste, but even more effectively. My wet/dry system has a drip plate that drips onto a section having a layer of filter floss that works as both mechanical, trapping large particles, and bacterial (part of the "dry" layer, same as your "prefilter"). Then my water dips down through a bunch of plastic media, eventually entering the "wet portion".
You probably know all this, so sorry :-). Now, the answer. Yes, if you place some of your media in the wet portion or squeeze the filter so it enters the top of the wet/dry filter media, you will speed the bacteria establishment in your filter. You don't necessarily need to do both a media transfer and a squeeze. Either will work, but the media transfer may work better.
NO, you should not stock a large number of fish instantly, but add some. Build up the stocking slowly over time. By seeding the system, you'll cut the tank cycling time significantly.
Two notes regarding your system. Watch the current flow, depending on your tank species and, a wet/dry filter is usually biologically efficient, so plants may not be able to get optimal nutrients.
Oh, and welcome to the forum!
Thank u so much for the informative post!
I've been keeping tanks for many years with HOB and canister filters. So this wet dry system is very new to me. Sounds like they are very efficient tho!
Sounds like a fun research project also.
So my plan for this tank is African Mbuna.
After your information I plan on squeezing The sponge over my 75gal filter media. And also akin some Fluval media into a nylon or the like, and placing it into the back.
As far as timing, should I add the media? Go out and get my fish and put them in (approx and hour later)?
Thanks for your help!
Can't add to DKRST's info on the filter. But as for squeezing water from media, this is rather pointless. Nitrifying bacteria are very sticky, so they adhere to surfaces very thoroughly, what are termed biofilms. That is why one can rinse media and not remove them. It would be better to transfer some of the media, even if temporarily. Or use a true bacterial supplement to seed the new filter/tank.
I happily defer to Byron's expertise!
In my opinion, you'll get some bacteria inoculant by squeezing but if a media transfer is much more effective, then transfer some media.
My media is usually clogged with particles when I squeeze it out during cleaning, so I assumed you'd transfer those particles with attached bacteria. If your media is cleaner than mine usually is, then the squeezing certainly won't be as effective.
Some highly-experienced and knowledgeable aquarists/microbiologists advocate never moving filter media for just the above reason. It is worth considering.
I am currently preparing a summary article on bacteria in freshwater aquaria that I will post in the Freshwzater Articles section when finished. It may open some eyes.
Thanks again Byron! You always have important information that can't easily be found by the average fish keeper. I look forward to reading your article.
Have always transferred media either in the form of used filter cartridge,sponge,pad,etc from disease free existing tank, or by placing a cup full of substrate from existing tank in nylon mesh bag and placing it in the new tank for a couple three weeks.May not be very attractive laying in the tank but it will allow one to place a very few ,smaller type fishes in the tank to help keep the borrowed material (bacteria) fed and then add to stock slowly over a few weeks.
Have been doin it this way for nearly forty years without issues, so long as borrowed material is from cycled,disease free tank, and fishes are added slowly.
Only problems I have expierienced is moving bacteria from Alkaline water to soft acidic condition's where bacteria may have a more difficult time re-producing.
Keep the tank well oxygenated during the cycling process as well as with fishes present, and there will be no issues in my opinion/expierience.
Is a risk anytime you transfer fish, plant's ,decor,water,across different tanks. Disease,algae spores,snail eggs, parasites,etc, but if tanks are well maintained,,, then risk is greatly reduced.
It seems to me that transferring bio-media from one filter to another produces nearly the same result.
Any decomp bacteria that comes along in mulm 'shmutz' is no different (better or worse) than it was in the original system?
The nitrifying bacteria is autotrophic; it requires oxygen. The more prevalent bacteria in tanks is heterotrophic; this is the stuff that breaks down organics and some are also responsible for denitrification, and most of them are faculative anaerobes, meaning they can exist with or without external oxygen. Even in a relatively clean filter, the latter will colonize more than 50% of the surface, and increase rapidly by the hour. This bacteria multiplies within 15 to 60 minutes, whereas the nitrifying bacteria requires 10-20 hours. The heterotrophic bacteria competes with, and often out-competes, the nitrifying bacteria for surface area and oxygen; and they can suffocate the autotrophic by simply expanding over it and depriving it of oxygen. The "sludge" you see in filters is due to heterotrophic bacteria.
When filter media is transferred to a new filter, there will almost certainly be more heterotrophes than autotrophes. Even in a clean filter or tank, the invisible organic carbon in the water provides food for heterotrophes--this is the source of bacterial blooms in new tanks. But since ammonia is produced as a by-product, this further adds to the problem by increasing ammonia at a time when the nitrifying bacteria are struggling to establish themselves.
To your comment on it being no worse in the new tank as it was in the old, remember that by moving it over you are greatly increasing the level immediately, which once again may be detrimental to the autotrophes.
I obviously can't say the extent to which this may occur; it would depend upon several factors in the established tank. I only pointed out that some suggest it may not be as useful as we think.
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