Replacing HOB filter.. How long until bacteria build on new filter?
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:28 AM   #1
WallEyes
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Replacing HOB filter.. How long until bacteria build on new filter?


Hello all,

Just ordered a new HOB filter (AquaClear 110) to replace my Marineland Penguin 200, which has been having continuous issues keeping the biowheel moving at all. It spins but loses momentum after 2 or 3 turns and no longer spins.. I watched for 15 min with no action! I've cleaned it until it was pristine, but still the same issue. So I decided to upgrade!

I've been doing research on filters and it seems the AquaClear is superior for a HOB, comparable to a canister, but not quite as expensive.

My question is how long should I have both filters running on my tank to ensure the nitrifying bacteria are able to sustain my tank? I've seen that a week should suffice, but I would like to hear some direct opinions on the matter.


Thanks!!
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:48 AM   #2
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I would leave em on for at least a month, just to be safe. You could probably speed it up by moving some media from the old filter to the new one, assuming that you have supplemental media. And if you don't, you should totally get some :simile:
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:50 AM   #3
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is the only bio media in the penguin the bio wheel?
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:55 AM   #4
Aqualady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallEyes View Post
Hello all,

Just ordered a new HOB filter (AquaClear 110) to replace my Marineland Penguin 200, which has been having continuous issues keeping the biowheel moving at all. It spins but loses momentum after 2 or 3 turns and no longer spins.. I watched for 15 min with no action! I've cleaned it until it was pristine, but still the same issue. So I decided to upgrade!

I've been doing research on filters and it seems the AquaClear is superior for a HOB, comparable to a canister, but not quite as expensive.

My question is how long should I have both filters running on my tank to ensure the nitrifying bacteria are able to sustain my tank? I've seen that a week should suffice, but I would like to hear some direct opinions on the matter.


Thanks!!
my silly bio wheels do the same BUT I rectified that issue.....I added all lava rocks and fluval bio-media in filter .....BTW I have 2 of those filters...the other one I filled with pillow stuffing...problem solved
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:47 AM   #5
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I agree with cbachmann. I would leave them both on for at least a month. You certainly don't want an NH3 spike.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:32 AM   #6
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How long has this aquarium been set up? I am assuming it is 30 gallons or larger (size of Aquaclear).
If it has been 6 months or so, and the tank has substrate, plants, rock,wood, etc.,
you should have sufficient biological bacteria in the tank, and I wouldn't worry about cycling the filter.

The Aquaclear has a leveling cam, on the bottom.
Make sure you have it tilted as much as possible towards the aquarium,
and have your sponge/ media set as deeply into the filter as you can.
If you don't, as it saturates with waste, it can overflow, and dump several gallons of water on the floor! (ask me how I know)
Not dissing Aquaclears, the best HOB on the market IMO, and no expensive cartridges to buy!
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:18 PM   #7
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I agree with Mark and was going to suggest the same. As long as your tank is cycled and has been set up for a while and densely planted and there is wood, rocks etc. Then you don't need to cycle the filter. All your BB will be in the tank. The filter at that point is just a fail safe and will reestablish in time.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:32 PM   #8
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Mark Allred, Texan78


In a balanced/establish well planted tank the filter tends to be a macro filter & water movement devise. Water movement is an important aspect.

I have a hunch that most people with a balanced/establish well planted tank could remove the media from the filter and not even notice a change.

>>> As to time to establish a bacterial culture, it's going to be based on the food source i.e.. the nitrates. Also you can't have more bacteria than food to support them. It's a matter of hours....NOT months in a healthy established tank.

"Bacteria usually reproduce by simply dividing in two. Each new bacterium is a clone of the original—they each contain a copy of the same DNA. This is called binary fission (bye-nair-ee fish-un). If conditions are just right, one bacterium could become a BILLION (1,000,000,000) bacteria in just 10 hours through binary fission!"

http://www.microbeworld.org/interest...l-reproduction
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:53 PM   #9
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One thought, if your Marineland is still working some (even if it's just limping along), is to run both at the same time since your biowheel is already colonized.

I wonder what is causing your biowheel to malfunction however. I'm in the considerable minority here that loves Marineland (I run 2 emperor 400's on my 90g and love them), but they have worked great for me. The spray bar that delivers water to the biowheel takes a bit of quick ongoing maintenance - I use a small toothbrush on the outside of it weekly, and 1-2x/month I unwind a paperclip and clean each hole individually. May want to try that if you haven't while you are establishing your new AC - but if you end up getting the 200 working, could just run both. I'm not an AC fan myself but if I remember right the flow is adjustable on them.

Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racedoc View Post
One thought, if your Marineland is still working some (even if it's just limping along), is to run both at the same time since your biowheel is already colonized.



I wonder what is causing your biowheel to malfunction however. I'm in the considerable minority here that loves Marineland (I run 2 emperor 400's on my 90g and love them), but they have worked great for me. The spray bar that delivers water to the biowheel takes a bit of quick ongoing maintenance - I use a small toothbrush on the outside of it weekly, and 1-2x/month I unwind a paperclip and clean each hole individually. May want to try that if you haven't while you are establishing your new AC - but if you end up getting the 200 working, could just run both. I'm not an AC fan myself but if I remember right the flow is adjustable on them.



Good luck!

Part of your love may be the fact that it has a spray bar that continuously moves the bio wheels. Any of the smaller ones do not have a spray bar, and rely solely on the water level to move the wheel, which most of the time doesn't happen.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edstewart5 View Post
Part of your love may be the fact that it has a spray bar that continuously moves the bio wheels. Any of the smaller ones do not have a spray bar, and rely solely on the water level to move the wheel, which most of the time doesn't happen.
Ok then, didn't know that thanks.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:37 PM   #12
WallEyes
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Thanks for all the great responses!!

The Penguin 200 is simply the replaceable cartridge (with such small amounts of Carbon, and the blue mesh clogs in under two weeks), and the biowheel is technically the only biomedia, but I assume the cartridge must also source some sort of biomedia.

The tank I'm running is a 40g breeder and yeah its well planted, I have a sweet root-ball structure (spider wood?) and also constructed a cave with porous rock. Sand substrate. Has been in operation since early September.. so a little over 4 months.

Interesting that the bacteria thrive throughout the tank. It makes total sense to me that that's the way things would/should be for bacteria cultures.

As edstewart5 pointed out, there is no spray bar in the Penguin models, though I'm sure it's in all the emperors!

I decided to go with the AC because of the customizable media and I've read that rinsing of the sponge media will be the only thing I need to maintain regularly, everything else has turnover of several months. Sure beats buying all the silly blue cartridges!!


Thanks again for all the advice!! I kind of want to test the idea of not running the filter, maybe test parameters in the morning then leave filter off and then check parameters again in the evening?
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan78 View Post
I agree with Mark and was going to suggest the same. As long as your tank is cycled and has been set up for a while and densely planted and there is wood, rocks etc. Then you don't need to cycle the filter. All your BB will be in the tank. The filter at that point is just a fail safe and will reestablish in time.
I asked this to an LFS guy and he said the same thing.....abundance of plants ,aged tank ,preferably understocked- you should be fine.Let the 2 filters run together for a couple of days/weeks if you want to be sure.
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