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Old 02-02-2007, 01:17 AM   #1
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Ok, after the failure of my first QT tank (10 gak with bio wheel), I have decided to go with a 20 gal high tank. Should I stick with the biowheel filter or can I go with another form of filtration. Ammonia was a problem in the 10 gal tank. If I do go with the biowheel, can I just put the "wheels" in my sump for a month or so to seed it or do I actually need to run the filter on my sump? Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:42 AM   #2
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I have no idea. Did you do water changes in the 10g? I would think that in a QT you still need to change water out....Seems to me like seeding the biowheel could help but I don't know. I don't use a filter like that. Good luck. I'm sure someone will have advice for you...
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:52 AM   #3
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I'd run them in your sump for a while, let them get fully covered with the bacteria goodness, then put it on your 20. It won't be instant, but darn near it is my guess. You likely had ammonia issues because it wasn't cycled.
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:57 AM   #4
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The reason you had nh3 issues is because the QT tank/filter wasn't cycled properly. I use a Magnum 350 Pro with two biowheels spinning on my main tank at all times so I can easily transfer one to my QT tank for instant bio-filtraion.

IMO Biowheels are the easiest most effective filter to use on a QT. Like all filters they need time to build up bacteria. Just putting the wheel in the sump for a month will work for the most part but running the filter with the wheel is much more effective due to it being exposed to air/water.

New fish are already stressed from being captured, transferred, & keep in sub-standard conditions. Why add to it with trying to quickly acclimate them to a sg/ph change that can be as much as 0.006 in sg and .5 in ph.

Keeping the qt tank sg the same as the main can be too stressful for newly acquired fish/inverts unless you keep your main at 1.019-1.022 sg which is where most fish stores/online places keep their sg at.

If you keep your main closer to 1.025 sg then even drip acclimating for 2 hours can be stressful and can possibly cause osmotic shock in fish/inverts with the rapid change in sg/ph leading to sickness or death depending on the change in sg/ph that the fish was kept in.

Personally I keep my qt tank at the same level as the lfs (ph 8.0 sg 1.019) and slowly raise the sg/ph to the main sg/ph of 1.025/8.3 over the course of 3+ weeks per first & second articles in advancedaquarist.com.

The use of a refractometer is highly recommended while performing any sg changes whether if it's matching lfs sg level or main sg level to the qt tank. Adjusting the sg down is less stressful to fish coming from that environment and slowly raising it a little bit every other day gives them time to adjust.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. The bio wheel was spinning on my sump for approximately one month prior to adding it to my QT. Some people suggest adding some food to the QT to see if the ammonia spikes. Should I do this? And if so, how many days should I be doing it?

Tecwzrd, do you have problems with water splattering an salt creep with the Magnum 350? The single biowheel (penguin I think) splattered water all over the place and got salt creep over everything around it. I would run it off of my sump since I have an acrylic tank with the holes cut out in the middle of the top section. I am planning on getting a dual biowheel filter for the 20 gal high.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:53 PM   #6
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Tecwzrd, is this the filter you have? Do you disconnect the whole thing from your main and move it to your QT when using it?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...188x003&ctt=60
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:24 PM   #7
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That's the one. Never had too much of an issue with salt creep because I direct the spray bar to spin the wheel forward instead of backwards which cuts it down quite a bit. Never had any other type of bio-wheel but if the spinning direction was reverse or backwards which I've seen in other designs (moving in reverse because of the water flowing under it) then I can see how salt creep would be a pain.

Since you had it spinning for a month on a cycled tank I'm really shocked you experienced any nh3 at all. Bio-wheels are very quick to process nh3 once cycled. A lot of people don't like them for SW because they are too good and converting nh3 to no3 and often call them nitrate factories but IME as long as you run them empty or clean them weekly or every other week it's not an issue.

Probably the other reason you noticed a small spike could be the small 10 gal tank which you should only use to QT fish 3" or less IMO. The 20 gal will give you more to work with and if you run the wheel for 6 weeks you should have much better results.

Also if you ran the wheel on the QT tank without an nh3 source for more then a week then a lot of the bacteria would have died off. Testing the QT tank with food or other nh3 source and making sure it's processing nh3 is a good idea.
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