How to keep filter cycled while moving tank for 2 weeks? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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How to keep filter cycled while moving tank for 2 weeks?

I will be taking my tank down for about 2 weeks.

What the best way to keep my sump cycled? I was thinking I could feed it with ammonia, and was thinking I would put 2 external HOB filters on it. Would that work?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 01:15 AM
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Yeah that will probably work. Got any snails or other critters that could live in the sump for a few weeks?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 01:19 AM
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Nitrifying bacteria do not need to be under water, but do need to be damp.
They need high oxygen, and ammonia, and a few minerals.
Optimum conditions include pH in the 7s, GH and KH over 3 German degrees of hardness.
Keeping it cooler is just fine, it will slow the growth rate of the bacteria, so they do not need as much oxygen or ammonia. (Do not freeze).

Here are a few options:

No power method:
Put the media in a 5 gallon bucket with maybe a gallon of water with dechlor (used aquarium water is fine) and a few drops of ammonia. Swirl it around a few times a day, and add ammonia.

Keeping the actual filter going:
Set up a plastic storage bin, any size as long as the filter fits on it (I have used a 5 gallon bucket for a Fluval 404 or a Rena Filstar XP3, but square bins work better for HOB filters). Keep the bin full enough so the filter runs and add ammonia.

Keeping the media in water without the filter:
Set up a plastic storage bin or bucket filled with enough water to cover the media and run a bubbler or small fountain pump on it. Feed ammonia.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 02:20 AM
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Move it to a stable place, preferably with a shelf overhead and away from children or pets.
Put the output of the pump directly into the inlet area of the sump.

Figure out what you have to make a drip system from your strategically placed shelf.
Perhaps an empty jar and some old air line that you won't mind trashing with a few knots in it to control flow.
Or just add ammonia every day.

No need for the extra HOBs

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 02:32 AM
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When I moved from MN to IL my tank was down for two weeks. (I would have gotten it back up and running sooner, but the fish didn't survive the trip )

The substrate never dried out and neither did the filter media (sponge, bioballs), so when I refilled it and started it up, it cycled within a day (I spotted snails that night). I threw some neons in there the morning after I turned it on and everyone was fine, I tested it twice a day for two weeks and saw no spikes at all, and no clouds/blooms. My guess is that the bacteria can live a pretty long time - especially if the substrate is damp, aged (I've been using the same flourite for about 6 years now) and has hitchhikers.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 02:36 AM
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Yes, the bacteria can live for a long time, but it does slowly starve, and the dead ones feed the live ones Kilkenney Cats method. Until they are all dead.

If you want to re-start with half the fish load then minimal care is just fine. Keep the container open so it stays oxygenated, though.

My suggestions above will keep all the bacteria thriving, and perhaps increase the bacteria (depends on how much ammonia you add).
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the info. It might not be the entire 2 weeks, but just wanted to figure it could be. Having hardwood floors re-done. All fish have already been moved to my 36 q tank, which is in the laundry room, that room will be sealed off while work being done.

Also any bacteria in tank will be lost as I plan to do major cleaning on the tank as well along with switch out the gravel.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_PA View Post
Thanks everyone for the info. It might not be the entire 2 weeks, but just wanted to figure it could be. Having hardwood floors re-done. All fish have already been moved to my 36 q tank, which is in the laundry room, that room will be sealed off while work being done.

Also any bacteria in tank will be lost as I plan to do major cleaning on the tank as well along with switch out the gravel.
Jim - Just put the sump media wright into the 36gl tank. Take a bucket of tank water and rinse out the media in aged water. If your using ceramic noodle type media put them in a mesh bag or a woman's nylon. Sponges can just float, as can bio-ball type media.

Yes the fish will be crowded for a few days, they are fish, there will get over it.

This is another one of those hobby things that just a simple solution is needed.
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