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I'm planning on downsizing my existing setup as I will be getting a new larger tank alongside it. I need to use my ecco canister on the big tank, so the small tank will get an internal filter that I have laying around (I will transfer the biomedia). I will also be replacing more than half of the substrate from the tank. Anyone have any advice on how I can deal with this? I realise I will probably lose quite a lot of bacteria. The internal filter has about half the media space of the canister :icon_conf

Daily water changes, prime ect?? Possibly I could slowly reduce the amount of media in the canister over a few weeks until it matches the volume of the internal filter?

Cheers
 

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Your current stocking list in the tank would be helpful to assess impact/viability of downsizing your filtration capacity. Plant list and volume are also helpful as plants affect your bio filtration capacity.

Without knowing any additional details, I would run both filters (new alongside with the old for a week or two) and try to seed your new filter with bacteria from the current filter. Unplugging the filter for a couple minutes and restarting it should send bacteria rich mulm into the water column for seeding the new filter. You can also stir up your substrate a little bit to seed the new filter as well.

Depending on how sensitive your fauna are, you can also switch out the substrate and run both the new and old filters in that tank to mitigate any new mini cycling that occurs. Then transfer over the old filter to the new tank.

Those are just two of many different options.

Frequent dosing of prime in general is not a good solution IMO. IIRC it only binds up harmful nitrogen for it to get processed by your bacteria, so its terribly inefficient without the bacteria mass.

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