When replacing filter media, how to prevent another cycle? - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
jcmv4792's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: usa
Posts: 656
When replacing filter media, how to prevent another cycle?

I'm not worried about my aquaclears, since I could just swap out a little at a time, but with aqueon filters, you only get one slot for a single cartridge. Let's say you've used it for a few years and the cartridge is breaking down... would throwing it out and replacing it with a new one automatically create another cycle? How do you prevent this?
jcmv4792 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 06:11 AM
Ras
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NorCal
Posts: 537
tlc startsmart bacteria. I understand the stigma regarding bottled bacteria but this brand is tried and true. the cycle was instant and never brokedown on me after only adding 5ml to my tank one time in 2+ years. other than that id suggest cutting the bio media into 2 -3parts and replacing one part each month so you always have atleast some bacteria
Ras is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 06:15 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
FatherLandDescendant's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: In the hills of Eastern Kentucky, USA
Posts: 1,530
A filter only holds a portion of the bacteria in a tank, a good majority resides in the tank itself. I personally never had "re-cycling" issues on my tanks when I used cartridge media HOBs and I changed the media out. That being said I did not do a cartridge change on the same day as a water change


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FatherLandDescendant is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 06:16 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 351
From my understanding the best thing to do would be but your new cartridge, jam it on there with the old one and run then in tandem for at least a good month. Even when making the switch to the new one if say probably best to add some bottled bacteria etc.
ebrammer252 is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 02:57 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
I'm not worried about my aquaclears, since I could just swap out a little at a time, but with aqueon filters, you only get one slot for a single cartridge. Let's say you've used it for a few years and the cartridge is breaking down... would throwing it out and replacing it with a new one automatically create another cycle? How do you prevent this?
The aqueon filters have two features that try to reduce the impact of replacing filter media...

1) the blue plastic frame that holds the replacable media is covered with little bumps, with the intent that bacteria colonize it.

2) The blue plastic pins in the outflow are intended to act as a minimalist wet/dry biofolter, and get populated with bacteria..

Neither provides a whole lot of surface area, but they do provide a little bit "extra". Assuming you've been treating these two parts as biomedia, and not been doing things like bleaching them, they should be well populated...

Between those and the bacteria in the tank, any subsequent cycle should be trivial, unless you're really pushing the stocking limits of your tank...

All that said, I run my QuietFlow 30 in parallel with a C4, and mostly treat it as a power head with a bit of mechanical filtration ability.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ras View Post
tlc startsmart bacteria. I understand the stigma regarding bottled bacteria but this brand is tried and true. the cycle was instant and never brokedown on me after only adding 5ml to my tank one time in 2+ years.
This product is based on nitrobacter and nitrosomonas, which current science doesn't support as a viable species for long-term establishment in aquariums....

https://www.tlc-products.com/TLC%20P...20Products.pdf

It may have worked for you short-term, but you probably got lucky and the correct species moved in as it was dying off...

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 04:25 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 4,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post
A filter only holds a portion of the bacteria in a tank, a good majority resides in the tank itself. I personally never had "re-cycling" issues on my tanks when I used cartridge media HOBs and I changed the media out. That being said I did not do a cartridge change on the same day as a water change
I think you've got that backward. The filter holds most of the BB.


Once a colony is established however it does reproduce and build up to full potency in a relatively short time.

As Matt has said the frames do hold quite a bit of BB and should never be washed. Just replace the cover.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 04:56 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
FatherLandDescendant's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: In the hills of Eastern Kentucky, USA
Posts: 1,530
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
I think you've got that backward. The filter holds most of the BB.
If that's the case then why can your tank go through a re-cycling process if you cover or stir the top layer of substrate moving it (mostly) to the bottom, yet leave the filter undisturbed? Fish waste, uneaten food, and decaying plant matter fall to the substrate where the decomposition process begins. I've NEVER had a tank go through re-cycle in over 20+ years (off and on) of keeping tanks by changing filter media, I have however had a tank re-cycle as the result of adding to the substrate.

The filter does contain a significant bacterial population, however the greatest majority of bacteria actually reside in the substrate, though they realistically can be found on any surface within the tank. That's why you shouldn't change filter cartridges on WC days, because many do a gravel vac with their WC (I know not us planted tank peeps) and that disturbs the BB in the sub, change the filter at the same time and the BB field takes and even greater hit prompting re-cycling.

HOBs should be serviced opposite days that WCs are done, UNLESS you don't vacuum the substrate, then it's irreverent. When I used HOBs on my planted tanks, no gravel vacuum, change the media cartridge, never had even a hint of a issues when testing the water a day or so later.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FatherLandDescendant is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 04:58 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
I think you've got that backward. The filter holds most of the BB.
Nah.. IMO, in a setup with a floss-cartidge HOB filter with no significant biomedia, a large portion of the beneficial bacteria are going to be on the substrate... There's a lot of surface down there...

However, the filter will have a denser population than the rest of the tank, due to the increased oxygen availability..

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
As Matt has said the frames do hold quite a bit of BB and should never be washed. Just replace the cover.
In this filter, there's two frames.. one inside the floss cartridge, and one that the cartridge slides into, and surrounds it on the outflow side.. You end up tossing the frame inside the cartridge, as there's no common replacable "cover" for this model. However the other frame is intended to stay. That second frame is purpose built to act as biomedia (with only 1-2 sqft of total surface), and has a lot more surface than the frame inside the cartridge....

If you look at the picture, from back to front you have the floss/carbon cartidge (with blue removal handle), the bumpy blue biological frames (which aqueon calls a bio holster), and then the blue bio-pin piece running sideways across the outflow.



As for never washing them, I give mine a good scrub in dechlorinated water every so often to degunk it, as this helps keep the bacteria exposed to water. However, I never do this on the same day as replacing the rest of the media.

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 07:09 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
If you need to boost the bacteria population, the correct species of nitrifying bacteria will be found in products with Nitrospira species of bacteria.
Tetra Safe Start
Dr. Tim's One and Only
and a few others.
If it does not say Nitrospira, do not waste your money.

In a filter pictured above, I would throw away only one of those cartridges (if they are 2 separate cartridges) then several weeks or a month later toss the other one.
They can be rinsed out several times.
If you want to reload more carbon you can slice open the floss, shake out the old carbon, and add new.
Finally, however, the floss does fall apart.

I prefer a less restrictive filter like the Aquaclears. I can put whatever media I want in there, and clean or replace it as needed. With a cartridge filter you are sort of locked into using their replacement materials, and stuck with the way they want you to run it.
I have not used carbon in my filters for several years.
Diana is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 01:29 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 4,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Nah.. IMO, in a setup with a floss-cartidge HOB filter with no significant biomedia, a large portion of the beneficial bacteria are going to be on the substrate... There's a lot of surface down there...

However, the filter will have a denser population than the rest of the tank, due to the increased oxygen availability..



In this filter, there's two frames.. one inside the floss cartridge, and one that the cartridge slides into, and surrounds it on the outflow side.. You end up tossing the frame inside the cartridge, as there's no common replacable "cover" for this model. However the other frame is intended to stay. That second frame is purpose built to act as biomedia (with only 1-2 sqft of total surface), and has a lot more surface than the frame inside the cartridge....

If you look at the picture, from back to front you have the floss/carbon cartidge (with blue removal handle), the bumpy blue biological frames (which aqueon calls a bio holster), and then the blue bio-pin piece running sideways across the outflow.



As for never washing them, I give mine a good scrub in dechlorinated water every so often to degunk it, as this helps keep the bacteria exposed to water. However, I never do this on the same day as replacing the rest of the media.
I have the Tetra Whispers and I can leave the frame. I've never washed them. The newer ones I have do have the sponge biomedia. My breeding tanks have economy box filters. All I do there is rinse under tap water and reset it. I don't change the floss. Hate to admit it but some (read that as 18 out of 20) box filters have never been rinsed.
In all honesty I've never purposely cycled a tank. Even now, I get home from the AS meeting, fill a tank with water and add fish.
I will admit my stocking is very low on my tanks. And they get regular water changes. None of my filters have carbon. Most if not all my tanks have some sort of plant life in them.

The BB though is a pretty fast replicator. They reproduce geometrically every 8 hours.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 02:46 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: texas
Posts: 927
Bactetia

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post
If that's the case then why can your tank go through a re-cycling process if you cover or stir the top layer of substrate moving it (mostly) to the bottom, yet leave the filter undisturbed? Fish waste, uneaten food, and decaying plant matter fall to the substrate where the decomposition process begins. I've NEVER had a tank go through re-cycle in over 20+ years (off and on) of keeping tanks by changing filter media, I have however had a tank re-cycle as the result of adding to the substrate.

The filter does contain a significant bacterial population, however the greatest majority of bacteria actually reside in the substrate, though they realistically can be found on any surface within the tank. That's why you shouldn't change filter cartridges on WC days, because many do a gravel vac with their WC (I know not us planted tank peeps) and that disturbs the BB in the sub, change the filter at the same time and the BB field takes and even greater hit prompting re-cycling.

HOBs should be serviced opposite days that WCs are done, UNLESS you don't vacuum the substrate, then it's irreverent. When I used HOBs on my planted tanks, no gravel vacuum, change the media cartridge, never had even a hint of a issues when testing the water a day or so later.

I agree with featherl. I used to add tetra safe start , and every time I did , my tank would cloud up with a bacteria bloom for several days , until the bacteria would die off to what the tank could support. Then it would clear up. Changing your filter cartridge will not cause a problem. I do it all the time.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rick dale is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 02:51 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Outside Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,845
I have found that the best solution to use when you have small hang on the tank filters like the Aquaclear is to use two filters and alternate the cleaning of them. This way you'll mantain the bacteria base in one, and give the one you just cleaned time to rebuild the bacteria base.

Getting two filters may seem more expensive, but often this is the least costly method, and the fish will love the additional filtration and water movement.
DaveK is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 04:20 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
From https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Nitrospira

Quote:
Nitrospira have doubling time of every 12 - 32 hours.
These are slow growing organisms.
Diana is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
jcmv4792's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: usa
Posts: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
I have found that the best solution to use when you have small hang on the tank filters like the Aquaclear is to use two filters and alternate the cleaning of them. This way you'll mantain the bacteria base in one, and give the one you just cleaned time to rebuild the bacteria base.

Getting two filters may seem more expensive, but often this is the least costly method, and the fish will love the additional filtration and water movement.
Good to know. I have two ac70's running my 55.
jcmv4792 is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 07:38 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
lksdrinker's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: NY; LETS GO METS
Posts: 1,916
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post
If that's the case then why can your tank go through a re-cycling process if you cover or stir the top layer of substrate moving it (mostly) to the bottom, yet leave the filter undisturbed? Fish waste, uneaten food, and decaying plant matter fall to the substrate where the decomposition process begins. I've NEVER had a tank go through re-cycle in over 20+ years (off and on) of keeping tanks by changing filter media, I have however had a tank re-cycle as the result of adding to the substrate.

The filter does contain a significant bacterial population, however the greatest majority of bacteria actually reside in the substrate, though they realistically can be found on any surface within the tank. That's why you shouldn't change filter cartridges on WC days, because many do a gravel vac with their WC (I know not us planted tank peeps) and that disturbs the BB in the sub, change the filter at the same time and the BB field takes and even greater hit prompting re-cycling.

I'm not sure I follow your logic there. I dont doubt you've experienced a "re-cycle" without having touched the filter; but why would adding to your substrate have any effect whatsoever on any bacteria growing/living on the old substrate in the tank already? Its not as if you removed that substrate so the BB should still be there.

I tend to agree with the idea that most of the BB is thriving within the filters, no matter what type of filter that might be. So, replacing or thoroughly cleaning filters and/or the media could potentially cause a loss of BB. In most established setups this should hopefully not be enough of a change to see a cycle occur; but certainly can happen.

I also cant argue that BB is also living/thriving on every surface in the tank to include the substrate. That being said, I cannot understand how agitating the substrate or adding in more substrate could/would deplete the BB. I think a more likely scenario is that disturbing a tank's substrate is possibly stirring up detritus that has collected over time as well as potential "pockets" of ammonia that sort of get trapped in the substrate. The unintended effected is then a spike of ammonia, and subsequently nitrite as the "normal" level of BB now cant handle this "extra" waste that has almost been created out of thin air when the substrate gets disturbed.

Rich's Fishes
Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
lksdrinker is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome