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Keeping a filter alive in a smaller container

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by ellena, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. ellena

    ellena Member

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    So I bought a new tank :D It's a 180l and had fish in it till the morning of the day I picked it up in the evening. I transported the sponges and other media home in a tub of water with 6ml of 5% ammonia added.

    The tank has been emptied completely and cleaned and the filter has remained in the tub, switched on with the heater in there too.

    Day 2 the ammonia was at 4ppm, day 3, 2ppm, and day 3 (yesterday) 1ppm.

    However, the tub has way less water than the tank, so the bacteria need to be processing 180l worth of 2ppm ammonia, not the approx 27l they're in right?

    But if I use an ammonia calculator http://linuxhost.matsp.co.uk/calcul...=180&perc_conc=5&ppm_required=4&ppm_current=0 to work out how much to add to 180l, and add that amount to 27l, will that be far too concentrated?

    I can add more water to the tub, perhaps as much again, so get it to about 55l.

    It might be another week till I can get the tank scaped and set up, so I'd like to do the best I can to keep the filter bacteria alive till then when I'll move all the fish across from my current 60l.

    It has an external filter which won't physically fit with the new set up, but I do have another empty canister filter I could put some of the media from it into if I need to.

    Any guidance very welcome, thank you :)

     
  2. essjay

    essjay Member

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    I replied to your post in another thread in more detail but I will add here that you are not cycling this filter, you are keeping alive the bacteria already there. The fishless cycling method advises that if fish cannot be purchased immediately a cycle has finished, the bacteria should be fed by adding 1 ppm ammonia every 2 to 3 days. This is similar to what you are doing. If you increase your container to 55 litres, and add 3 ppm once every 2 or 3 days, that should keep the bacteria fed until the filter is ready to go into the tank.

    You mentioned in your post in the other thread that you intend planting the tank. Provided there are enough plants and they are growing well, they should use most of the ammonia made by the fish regardless of how many bacteria are in the filter.
     
  3. ellena

    ellena Member

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    Thank you for both replies I'm intending to buy new plants, so I'd be better doing that once I've scaped, got water in and given the filter a test at 3ppm in the tank? Then the new plants would only be exposed to the ammonia from my fish as I move them over.
    I'm not intending to go heavily planted, so I think there'll still be some reliance on the filter. At first, I won't be fully stocked, but I want to add quite a few more fish, I'm going up in size by 3x.
    I read somewhere about overcompensation, growing more bacteria than are needed, to make sure before adding new stock.
    In an established tank, could you do something similar by gradually increasing feeding and dropping back down when new fish are added?
    I feed once a day currently. I'm thinking something like twice a day every other day for a week, then twice every day for a week, add new fish and drop back down to once a day, or once every other day depending on ammonia levels.
     
  4. essjay

    essjay Member

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    If you prefer to test the filter in the tank before planting, that's fine. Once you know you have kept enough bacteria alive, you can plant, then move the fish in.
     

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