Best way to install a new filter, using media from old. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to install a new filter, using media from old.

Hi,

I plan on switching out a Fluval 304 for a new XP3 I purchased tonight and I'm a little nervous about doing it.

Right now, the Fluval has pre-filter in the bottom try, biomax in the middle and floss in the top. I plan on moving all the tray media to the new XP3, but am a little concerned about causing a mini-cycle. The tank is fully stocked and medium planted. Right now, medium lighting, no Co2.

I'm due for my weekly 50% pwc tonight as well... so was going to do that at that same time.

Is there anything I should or shouldn't do when swapping out the filters? I really don't want to harm the fish. Will the new filter be able to handle the ammonia from day one with the old media? Should I put new floss in the XP3 and toss the old or keep it to help seed the new filter? I'm also adding more biomax as the trays in the XP3 are supposed to be larger.

Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 09:14 PM
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When I need to do this, I opt for the lazy way.

I install the new filter with new media, and keep the old filter on the system. Then in 2 or 3 weeks, after the new filter has a good bacteria base going inside it, I remove the old filter.

This prevents a lot of possible issues with trying to use the old media in the new filter.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
When I need to do this, I opt for the lazy way.

I install the new filter with new media, and keep the old filter on the system. Then in 2 or 3 weeks, after the new filter has a good bacteria base going inside it, I remove the old filter.

This prevents a lot of possible issues with trying to use the old media in the new filter.
Thats a good idea, but its better to get the bio media in the other filter first...put it in the new one and do as you described.

Personally transfer all the bio goodies from the old one to the new one should be fine. A mini cycle wont hurt.


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...DIY co2 sucks
...ricca sucks
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Unfortunately, the stand only has a center cutout in the back, rather than the typical 2 and trying to run two filters this big would be a royal pain in the butt

I'll switch everything over, including the sponges from the Fluval and keep my fingers crossed.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 10:24 PM
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a elevated bucket with a filter on top of it is a good temporary solution to run another filter temporaraly


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...DIY co2 sucks
...ricca sucks
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 10:42 PM
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I just had this same question. My new canister filter has 4 trays. From the 2nd tray up I added my old sponges and bio balls to the new filter. No mini cycles yet. Fish are doing great. If you can sandwich the old media in w/ new it will help seed the new stuff.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 10:48 PM
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Just pull the media and put it in the new one. YOu'll be fine.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 11:32 PM
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I think if you don't have room for the two, the best way would be to install the new filter and new pads with as much of the old biological media as possible and wait to do the water change until next week or next month. I have a low tech tank getting a redo and I am having a problem with diatoms due to excessive water changes and new filters pads all in a months time, my tap water may be high in silicates but the point is in a low tech tank, dirty is better.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I ended up moving the pre-filter, biomax and 2 of the old sponges from the Fluval to the XP3.

I wanted to wait on the water change, but with a fully stocked tank, there is a lot of waste and I didn't want to chance causing any other problems. So I did a 50% pwc. I'm hoping between the old media, the tank walls, DW, rocks and plants, there will be enough bacteria to maintain the ammonia.

I'll check it daily over the next couple of days to make sure everything looks good and let you know what I find, as I'm sure others will run into this too.

As a side note, I have to say, I'm extremely impressed and happy with the XP3! I originally set it up with the power nozzle it comes with, but when I turned it on it was blowing plants and fish all over the place! I ended up turning it off quickly and went with the spray bar. Even with the spray bar, the pressure/current is literally 5x more than with the Fluval 304. I had to aim the spray bar at 45 degree or so towards the surface to help minimize the flow in the tank. Best purchase I've made yet...
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