Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
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.