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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some tips on quarantining fish and setups.

I have a 10 gallon filled with half main tank water and half fresh. Took a AC50 off main tank which has been running for a long time. Filter has a sponge, 100ml purigen and a bag of matrix. Also added fake decorations driftwood so wasn't bare

I brought 10 harequin rasboras home Friday, they were pretty small ones too. My water is around 150 tds took a reading in the bag, close to 500. City tap is 200 so acclimated by drip method over a couple hrs till tds was similar.

All fish are living but this brings me to my question. i did a ammonia test, saw a .25 reading. Is there not enough ammonia bacteria in the filter? Should i be doing daily water changes? How can i beef up the filter so this doesn't happen again?
Nitrite is 0.
Thanks.
 

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Was the AC50 the only/main/first filter running on the previous tank?

Remember bacteria colonies will only be as large as the given bioload, so if you already had another filter (fully colonized) in the main tank that was already dealing with all the bioload, the AC50 could very well have very little nitrifying bacteria on it.

If there is another cycled filter running on the main tank, you can tank some seeded biomedia (take media that gets nitrogen contact first -usually the bottom) from that other filter and add it to the AC50.

You can do a water change if the ammonia continues to climb. You could add a ammonia detoxifier such as Prime if you want. Harlequins are very hardy in my experience so I wouldn't worry too much.

Not sure how soon you tested though.
 

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Then it was likely the beneficial bacteria colony never really need to colonize elsewhere/expand, so the secondary filter (AC50) never really developed much of a beneficial bacteria colony (colony is only the size of the bioload).

What you can try is to take some biomedia from the bottom layers of the canister filter (even take mechanical filtration media if it's gunked up a bit as it could house a good portion of nitrify bacteria). The bottom layer is the more preferred area for nitrifying bacteria as there is the best incoming flow of energy (ammonia, nitrite, oxygen). So the bottom media should actually contain more of the beneficial nitrifying bacteria that you want. Just throw some of that media in the AC50. The main tank being well established should have enough remaining bacteria (don't take all the well seeded biomedia) that it can repopulate within 24 hours or so (nitrifying bacteria can reproduce/double in 24 hours or so if water conditions are within general range). You won't need much. It's simple as that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What if I put the AC 50 on a bucket or something similar and added ammonia for a couple weeks prior to getting new fish. Kinda of like cycling a new tank but just the filter which would go back to the quarantine tank. Once it can handle 2ppm of ammonia would this work?
I'm planning on getting some rummynose tetras down the road and don't want to have any ammonia present while they are in quarantine.

Will the filter "cycle" without a heater? Room temp around 65- 70. I got a square bucket that I could attach the filter too but its too shallow to fit a heater in.
 

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Yeah you can cycle (colonize biomedia with beneficial bacteria) a filter in a bucket (same concept as cycling a glass/acrylic tank). Though I can't be certain the AC50 has any beneficial bacteria already on it at all (should have at least a small amount which would multiply, but can't be 100% certain). If it doesn't have any nitrifying bacteria already on it, the cycling would take just as long as a fresh new cycle (3+ weeks). If there is some beneficial bacteria, it should double every 24hours (average conditions) until it's colony size is enough to handle the dosed/regular nitrogen levels. Only way to find out is to dose and test. Since you already have some cycled tanks/filters, best thing to do really is taking some seeded biomedia from the other tanks. Don't worry about harming the other tanks, you can take half the media from a established tank (add in more new media as replacement surface area) and it will be fine.

Nitrifying bacteria, just like plants and fish, have water preferences. Temperature, oxygen levels, and pH (Too high nitrogen levels can have a negative effect) can judge the nitrifying bacteria's performance. Cooler temp such as 65*F will reduce Nitrifying bacteria performance (nitrfying ability and reproduction) by 50% (half), so it would take twice as long/be half as efficient in comparison to operating at optimal conditions. This is general specs anyway as each nitrifying species (Nitrosmonas and Nitrospira) have slightly different specs. Don't exceed 4ppm ammonia, or you may slow/stunt the cycle or harm/kill some bacteria.

So if you can, try and get the heater in there (75-85*F is ideal), lay it on the bottom of the container if you have to (as long as it doesn't melt the bucket).

Do you already have the rasboras in the 10 gallon? If there is no inhabitants in the 10 gallon, you could just add ammonia to that quarantine and cycle the filter and tank itself (which would be preferred).

So again, you can cycle the filter as if it were new, but I highly suggest using already established biomedia as it practically instantly cycles a new tank (been doing that for a long time with zero issues).
 

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Wipe down the inside glass on the tank, then let the filter run for a bit to pick the bacteria up from the water column.... voila you just seeded your filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah rasboras are already in there doing water changes. Once those go in to the 40b ill have room to get some rummynose.
My extra heater is a 150 watt so it's pretty big for a bucket.

I was just tying to make anything smaller so i wouldnt need the 10g sitting around with just a filter and no fish

Bump:
Wipe down the inside glass on the tank, then let the filter run for a bit to pick the bacteria up from the water column.... voila you just seeded your filter.

Ill try this my maintenance day is Friday.
 

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While there is beneficial (nitrifying) bacteria everywhere, on the tank walls, substrate, decor, even the water column itself, it is very little amounts. Nitrfying bacteria like to colonize on the "best real estate", which usually is within the filter.

Wiping down the tank walls with a sponge/filter floss pad, you might as well just throw the "dirty" pad/sponge into the filter.

Still the best option would be using some already seeded biomedia from an established. It's quick and simple.
 
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