As some of you know, I am awaiting the arrival of my new AquaClear 500. One major concern to me is how exactly I plan to commission this new filter. The last time I purchased a new filter I simply ran it along side an established filter in one of my aquariums. The current problem is that I do not have enough room to do that again. One aquarium has two filters in it already and the other has a canopy closing off as many potential escape routs for my loaches as possible!
I am wondering if there would be enough bacteria already in the substrate of my 30 gallon tank to support a new filter. I was thinking maybe I would just swap the AC70 out for the AC500.
I am thinking that I can take one of the two sponges out of the AC70 and bio-balls out of all of the filters and then put it all into the AC500 with some additional 'fresh' media. If I was to do that, do you think it would be safe to run it solo on my 30 gallon tank? The aquarium has been established for roughly 3-4 months.
You said you had 2 filters on one of your tanks. Why not run the 500 on that tank in place of one of the existing filters, and using the displaced filter on the new tank? That would seem to be the best of both worlds to me - the new tank would get a fully established filter, and the 500 would be in a fully cycled tank. After a couple of weeks you could probably swap them with no ill effects.