Adding beneficial bacteria

Swartz44

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Is there such a thing as adding to much beneficial bacteria(tetra safe start) where it can be harmful to fish? I used the above product to help cycle my new aquarium. I was thinking when I get rid of my carbon filled disposable cartridge and add all foam to my bio wheel filter should I add another bottle of tetra safe start so I dont lose my beneficial bacteria from changing out the filter?
 

Jan Cavalieri

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I don't understand these filters that have only one location for the bacteria to grow - filter media can wear out or burst open etc, and there you are, with no way to capture your good bacteria. Now keep in mind if you have some kind of a substrate (ie., gravel or sand) - that they too carry a very large load of good bacteria too. If you were changing filters and changing gravel it would be just like starting over.

Go ahead and change out your cartridge if you must or look into buying a filter that has two sources for the bacteria to grow. I would then add a bottle of Safe Start just to be on the extra careful side - or at least a half a bottle. I add Tetra Safe Start whenever I get a load of more fish too - say I started with 4 fish and added 10 more - my tank would not have enough good bacteria to handle the ammonia coming from all those fish and it could build up rapidly until you see your fish start to die. I believe this happened to me the first time I added extra fish - I was buying them mailorder and overnight shipping is VERY expensive so i wanted to buy all i could get for that $50 I was paying in postage - what I should have been thinking was what was good for my aquarium.

Of course also make sure you are doing a significant water change on a regular basis. I change out 75% weekly - but I tend to overfeed my fish (I just worry to much about one of them missing a meal) - some people switch out less water less often but frankly the more often and bigger your water change the healthier tank you'll have.
 

kwi

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No you can't overdose bacteria in a bottle.
If your tank is fully cycled changing just one part of the filter media shouldn't be harmful, but monitor daily and be prepared to do big water changes if neccessary.
You can also get a head start by leaving the foam in the flow from the outflow for a few weeks before putting it in the filter.
 
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AbbeysDad

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No such thing as too much BB. However, the whole purpose of the bio-wheel is to culture BB as spinning out in the air is their gimmicky claim to fame.
So...if/when you want to replace the cartridge, which mostly is serving as your mechanical media, with sponge material, you could...or you could slice the bottom to remove the spent carbon and keep on using it until it about falls apart.
 

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