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Old 10-26-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
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Newby here, so bear with me as I try figure this out.

I've seen people say that, when switching filters, you should run the new one alongside the old for a month, then you can safely remove old, as there will be enough BB in the new.

But if amount of BB is determined by ammount of waste in the tank, ie it grows or dies back depending on availability of ammonia, surely putting 2 filters just means that they will share the amount of BB needed to process that tanks bioload? And so the new one will have some catching up to do when you remove the old?

Would it not be better to stick the new filter in a bucket with a heater, and do a fishless cycle on it, adding ammo?

Or do I have it wrong?
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:30 AM   #2
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Newby here, so bear with me as I try figure this out.

I've seen people say that, when switching filters, you should run the new one alongside the old for a month, then you can safely remove old, as there will be enough BB in the new.

But if amount of BB is determined by ammount of waste in the tank, ie it grows or dies back depending on availability of ammonia, surely putting 2 filters just means that they will share the amount of BB needed to process that tanks bioload? And so the new one will have some catching up to do when you remove the old?

Would it not be better to stick the new filter in a bucket with a heater, and do a fishless cycle on it, adding ammo?

Or do I have it wrong?
You COULD do that, but it'd be easier to just move all the media to the new filter. No cycle needed because your just moving the BB over.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:35 AM   #3
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You COULD do that, but it'd be easier to just move all the media to the new filter. No cycle needed because your just moving the BB over.
thats the easiest way but if That is impossible based on your type filter, it's best and safest to run both....
Better safe than sorry!
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:37 AM   #4
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You COULD do that, but it'd be easier to just move all the media to the new filter. No cycle needed because your just moving the BB over.
Sure, that's true...but in my case I want to move the old filter to another tank
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:43 AM   #5
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Sure, that's true...but in my case I want to move the old filter to another tank
Then maybe cycling it in the tank/bucket with 2 ppm of ammonia would work.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:46 AM   #6
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Then maybe cycling it in the tank/bucket with 2 ppm of ammonia would work.
+1 on this. If possible, add some of the media from the old filter to the new filter to jump start things. With different models/types this might be a challenge.
Masha - you might be a newby but your questions are not
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:18 AM   #7
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+1 on this. If possible, add some of the media from the old filter to the new filter to jump start things. With different models/types this might be a challenge.
Masha - you might be a newby but your questions are not
Great! I'll do that. I'm upgrading from one aquaclear to another so it should not be a problem.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #8
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Great! I'll do that. I'm upgrading from one aquaclear to another so it should not be a problem.
Same here. I have AC50s. I don't use the carbon insert. I bought ceramic noodles (loose, not in a bag) and filled the extra space where the carbon was. I used fishing line to string the noodles together; makes for easy removal and you're not chasing stray noodles at the bottom of the filter.

I did a combo of the methods described above: swapped some of the noodles between filters, ran both in an established tank for a little over a week, and ran the new filter in a new tank and did a fishless cycle in six days.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:10 AM   #9
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Same here. I have AC50s. I don't use the carbon insert. I bought ceramic noodles (loose, not in a bag) and filled the extra space where the carbon was. I used fishing line to string the noodles together; makes for easy removal and you're not chasing stray noodles at the bottom of the filter.

I did a combo of the methods described above: swapped some of the noodles between filters, ran both in an established tank for a little over a week, and ran the new filter in a new tank and did a fishless cycle in six days.
Bingo! I did exactly that today. Swapped the activated carbon for ceramic noodles. Thanks for the tip about threading them, I can see the mesh bag they are in is not going to last.

I've heard that used-up carbon makes for good bio media? Any down side on just leaving it in?
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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Bingo! I did exactly that today. Swapped the activated carbon for ceramic noodles. Thanks for the tip about threading them, I can see the mesh bag they are in is not going to last.

I've heard that used-up carbon makes for good bio media? Any down side on just leaving it in?
In such a tight space, I felt that an additional mesh bag was rather rigid and did not effectively make use of that space. The noodles, if strung loose enough, would basically fall into any available space, thus allowing one to pack more of them into a given area.

Regarding the exhausted carbon as a form of biomedia, there is some debate to its use. Yes, it will serve as a place that BB would establish themselves. The issue or controversy is whether or not it will "un-adsorb" any compounds previously captured and release them into the water column. Idk. IMO I think it would be fine.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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Ah. Okay. That makes sense.
Seems unlikely that it would unadsorb - but worth looking into.



I must say, I wish testing kits were not so expensive over here. I'm tempted to run my own tests on this kind of thing, to see if the various bits of "gospel" really is true. Set up a small tank and change various parameters, and see what happens to it. Too many variable in a fully set up aquarium with fish etc.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:29 PM   #12
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Just take the media from the old filter and split it between the 2 filters

Or even just squeeze the old filter sponge over the new one
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