A Scenario about Tanks and Filters I need help with. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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A Scenario about Tanks and Filters I need help with.

Hi Everyone,

Ive got a (hopefully simple?) question that I hope can be answered here.

I currently have a 23G that has a AquaClear 50 HoB thats been running for over 3 years. I want to put that HoB filter in my NEW 33G that has ADA Aqua Soil in it to help it cycle faster. Therefore I bought a NEW sponge filter that will be taking the place of the HoB in the 23G. How long do I need to wait before the new sponge filter is seeded properly so I can remove the HoB to cycle my new tank?

Thanks in advance for any answers.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 06:47 PM
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Although some choose to debate this but I have often started new tanks by rinsing/cleaning the sponges from an established tank/filter in the new tank. If you were to do this in your tank with the new sponge filter, it would seed the filter right away.
Otherwise, you'd need to wait 4-6 weeks for the new filter to seed.
The size of the beneficial biology colony(ies) is relative to the food and oxygen. Since your tank is established it would take a long time to develop bacteria on a new filter (with the old filter still in place.
Now having said this, there is far more surface area on/in the substrate than in any filter, so for an established tank, it's less of an issue to replace a filter or filter media.
If I was you, I'd install the new sponge filter, rinse/clean the sponges next to the new running filter and move the old filter right away to the new tank...ensuring there is bio-load in the new tank to feed the bacteria in the old filter that's now in the new tank. :-)

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 07:34 PM
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In my experience, you can almost always replace a filter on a mature healthy tank and not miss a beat. Especially true for planted ecosystems where the filter isn't the end-all be-all for nitrification. The issue I see as being more likely in your scenario is putting the AC50 on the new tank. While a seeded filter will speed up cycling, it isn't always instant and you'll sometimes have NH4 spikes even weeks down the road. My concern for this happening is even higher because you're presumably moving it from a tank with inert substrate to a buffering soil. ADA tends to drop your KH to 0 and pH well below 7. I'm not sure if it's a matter of hardness or pH but there seems to either be some bacterial die-off from the parameter changes or they at least take longer to establish back to numbers that can convert your NH4 all the way to NO3. Plus ADA releases NH4 for the first 4-6 weeks typically. I think what you have in mind will work, but don't be in too big a rush to add livestock to the new 33 gallon tank.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
In my experience, you can almost always replace a filter on a mature healthy tank and not miss a beat. Especially true for planted ecosystems where the filter isn't the end-all be-all for nitrification. The issue I see as being more likely in your scenario is putting the AC50 on the new tank. While a seeded filter will speed up cycling, it isn't always instant and you'll sometimes have NH4 spikes even weeks down the road. My concern for this happening is even higher because you're presumably moving it from a tank with inert substrate to a buffering soil. ADA tends to drop your KH to 0 and pH well below 7. I'm not sure if it's a matter of hardness or pH but there seems to either be some bacterial die-off from the parameter changes or they at least take longer to establish back to numbers that can convert your NH4 all the way to NO3. Plus ADA releases NH4 for the first 4-6 weeks typically. I think what you have in mind will work, but don't be in too big a rush to add livestock to the new 33 gallon tank.
Blue Ridge, Thank you so much for your detailed response. You are right in that my AC 50 is moving from a inert substrate to a buffering one. What I failed to mention is that although the 33G is 48x12, only 28x12 of it will be aqua soil the rest is pool filter sand. Furthermore out of all the aqua soil that im using, only 50% of it will be new. The other 50% is coming from another tank I have. Knowing this, I have a few more questions

1) will the cycle be instant or still take a few weeks ?
2)would you suggest heavily planting from the start or letting it cycle first ?
3) Would you mix the new and old aqua soil together or layer the old on bottom and new on top? or vice versa ? or it doesnt matter? lol

Thanks again
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archangelvk View Post
1) will the cycle be instant or still take a few weeks ?
I am of the belief that no cycle is instant. Though with mature substrate and filter from other healthy aquariums, it should be sped up. Every tank is unique, ultimately your test kits will be your guide.

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2)would you suggest heavily planting from the start or letting it cycle first ?
It's never too soon to plant, IMO. That will also help speed up your cycle, both from bacteria on the plants themselves as well as the plants constant uptake of nitrogen. If plants are fast growing, it's as close to "instantly cycled" as you can get.

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3) Would you mix the new and old aqua soil together or layer the old on bottom and new on top? or vice versa ? or it doesnt matter? lol
Shouldn't matter much either way but I'd be hesitant to bury the old stuff simply to keep good O2 levels on the beneficial bacteria that is on it.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 09:18 PM
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Yep, take existing foam and go to new tank and squeeze it out a few times to put cloud of mulm into water. You have just seeded new tank with all the bacteria/fungi/microbes that has developed in old tank since it was set up. Your existing aquasoil is already seeded and new aquasoil will be releasing some ammonia to feed the AOB bacteria. Then simply start ghost feeding a couple days later, pretend your lightly feeding a couple guppy once a day to keep organic nitrogen and phosphorus levels up and presto, you’ll have a functioning ecosystem up and running in no time.
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