How long to seed new bio media in an established tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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How long to seed new bio media in an established tank?

I have searched and have found numerous threads that refer to using seeded media to bring beneficial bacteria to a new tank.

I am starting a 55 gallon tank that will have plants in it.

I haven't found anything that says how long it takes to have the bacteria colonize on new media.

I am just starting a fish less cycle with ammonia. I have plants coming in 4 days. I know that I can't get a cycle going in four days and I'm in no hurry.

I have a 30 gallon that has been going for over a year and the fish are doing well. As a matter of fact I have a pair of angels that just laid eggs. Then they ate them. I also have several GBRs and two of them look like they are courting..... The temperature in the 30 gallon tank is 81 deg F.

I have an aqua clear filter so I put the bag of bio media under the HOB in my 30 gallon tank. I also have a sponge filter and the two filters and the charcoal in the Penguin 300. I have new filters that I can replace the filters I remove.


How long will it take to colonize the bio bag and a new sponge filter?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 05:54 AM
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I've heard many times that the bacteria (assuming there's enough food) double their volume every 24 hours.

Every time I seed a new filter I let it go for 2 weeks in a tank with new bio balls or whatever your media is. If you can put a handful of biomedia in the new filter UNDER the new stuff, the water flow will help them colonize the new area faster. I'm sure they can go backwards but it just seems easier to put the older stuff first because A. It bio filters and B. the organizims can go with the flow, literally.

I also (after filling new aquarium) put in a betta cup full of substrate from old aquarium and after 2 weeks of new aquarium setup dump the substrate either back into the original tank, mix with new tank (assuming the substrate is the same (ie. not sand/gravel mix etc) or into the trash. I don't like the first idea personally only due to if there's an infection in the new tank or snails or something.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 01:23 PM
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There's no set in stone time for a tank cycling. There's a general time frame, but in the end it all comes down to what your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrate readings are showing. Thats when you know.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrypticLifeStyle View Post
There's no set in stone time for a tank cycling. There's a general time frame, but in the end it all comes down to what your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrate readings are showing. Thats when you know.

I'm confused, are you referring to the 30 gal tank with the new bio media or the 55 gallon?

I know there is a myriad of variables for cycling the 55 gallon.

The introduced new bio media in the 30 gallon shouldn't cause a change in ammonia or Nitrite so is there a test will confirm when the bio media is colonized?

I might replace the sponge filter with a new one and put the colonized sponge in the 55 gallon today.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 02:13 PM
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The bacteria colonize per food supply. No two tanks take the same amount of time regardless of similarities in size.
Since the seed tank doesn't have as high of a level of the ammonia as the new one can, it won't have any high level
of the bacteria to seed to the new bio-media. Therefor ANY length of time it is in the old tank will produce about the same
results after the first 48hrs it is in there IMO.
BTW bio-balls are rated as the lowest form of bio-media as the smooth surface has little aria for colonization out of any bio-media.
The per food supply thing actually means that if you had a way to measure it, and at first you had one Aquaclear filter for
example, and you measured the amount of bacteria it contained. Then you put in an identical unit next to it. After about
a week you would have less bacteria in the original one. They will die off to the level which the food supply will support.
The bacteria which colonize the second filter will rob the ones in the first filter of some of their food but since the entire
inside of the surface aria of the tank is part of the bio-filter, it wouldn't be half of the bacteria that would die in the old filter.
Who actually knows how much of a percent it is but say if you have one filter and it accounts for 60% of the bio bacteria
and then you added an other filter each would then only account for 30% of it.
Just trying to paint a picture here that leaving the bio-media in the seed tank for three weeks doesn't get it any extra
bacteria after it has a fair amount in it to begin/w. Leave it a week if you want to but I truly think that beyond that is a waste.
I get Tetra Safe Start from one of the on-line dealers before I start to set up a new tank so I get it for $5 plus shipping.
It has never failed me. I can't comment on other types as I've never used them. But I don't follow the direction exactly.
I put in(depending on the size tank)about 3-5 fish in a type I intend to keep in there. Then when the ammonia reads .5
I use half the Tetra SS on the first day and the other half the second day. This is so that there is ammonia present from
actual fish waste breaking down. There is no gap in between when I put in the SS and when the normal level of ammonia
is in there from the fish. One other person I know says he puts in all his fish first and on the next day puts in the Tetra SS.
I would not do that as you never know when you might get a bad bottle.
But after you do a fishless cycle you should put in a good amount of fish as the bacteria count is high considering you
colonized the tank to that high level of ammonia. As soon as the ammonia level goes back down to 0.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I moved the sponge filter in. I'll check the ammonia level today. It was 5 ppm yesterday. The bio media that I have colonizing is Bio max that comes with the aqua clear 110.

So, if I have it correctly, since I don't have any fish, the bacteria "eat" the ammonia that i provide.

When I add my plants. I will do a water change and maintain ammonia levels at 1ppm until the tank is cycled.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 02:42 PM
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I going to start a 2nd tank take 1 filter from current tank , I was also wondering when I do a water change can I just put the old water in the new tank to help jump start things ?

125g,75g,50g,40g,27g,10g
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 03:05 PM
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The bacteria live on "surfaces" so little of it is in the water. Some of the top 1/2" of the gravel, on the other hand is full
of the BB.
I'd be cautious about removing a filter from the old tank as you will cut the available bacteria by about 20-30% that way.
Not a really big shock to be sure but it will be noticed. I took out 25% of the bio-media from a bio-filter one day and
not the next day but the day after that I found many dead RCS in there because I had reduced the bio-capacity on
an overstocked tank. They had 9 of the RCS when I first put them in there but a year later one day as they congregate
when feeding, I counted 43 and if I could see that many there were 50-60 of them in that tank/w the amount of hide
places they had. The BB had increased their numbers as the amount of ammonia had increased..evenly and slowly.
But this was a ten G tank. Took a while to pick them all out/w a tweezers.
Hope I don't get shot for this...but in the interest of a good cycle...
http://www.aquariumforum.com/f66/fis...cle-15036.html
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 12:54 AM
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I recently seeded a sponge filter by jamming it into one of my two HOB filters on my 29 gallon tank. I left it in there for a week.

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