How To Keep Beneficial Bacteria?

juniorskeptical

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I currently am using an Aqua Tech 10-20 HOB filter and am trying to optimize it before I add more fish(I currently have 5 Black Phantom Tetras). Currently the setup is: Sponge that I added, the filter cartridge that came with it, and the biogrid that came with it. My plan is to replace the filter cartridge with some polyester floss. How do I ensure I'm not removing too much BB by removing the filter cartridge? Or is there enough BB elsewhere?
 

mbsqw1d

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Hi, why do you want to replace it with the floss?
 

mbsqw1d

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For biological filtration, foam is better. Polywool is great for mechanical filtration but will gunk up and deteriorate much quicker than foam.
As long as you're not replacing ALL the filter media in one go, the BB will multiply back up to where they need to be in no time. Probably just worth you checking for any ammonia spikes a few hours after you do the change.
You don't need the activated carbon unless you're removing medicines. It can be used to harbor bacteria but you're better off with regular foam in my opinion.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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For biological filtration, foam is better. Polywool is great for mechanical filtration but will gunk up and deteriorate much quicker than foam.
As long as you're not replacing ALL the filter media in one go, the BB will multiply back up to where they need to be in no time. Probably just worth you checking for any ammonia spikes a few hours after you do the change.
You don't need the activated carbon unless you're removing medicines. It can be used to harbor bacteria but you're better off with regular foam in my opinion.
Seconding this opinion, but also adding that if the cartridge with the activated carbon has been in the tank for a month or more, the carbon will be "full" and useless for finer filtering anyway. It'll just be a surface for BB at that point. Activated carbon is only useful for a short amount of time before it cannot adsorb any more, so needs replacing often.

But you don't need to be running carbon at all times anyway, would be an unnecessary expense. Only worth adding carbon to the filter to remove meds (most of which can be gradually removed through water changes anyway) or if you suspect some kind of contamination.

Opitimise away! :D Aquarium Co Op has a good video on youtube about how to optimise different filters, if you're looking for more tips :)
 

Colin_T

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The white filter wool/ floss is crap and falls apart. Don't waste your money on it.

Get sponges for a power filter and cut it to fit with a pair of scissors.

Put the sponge in the filter with the other media/ materials and leave it there for 2 months. Then throw out the filter pad/ cartridge that you don't want.

Sponge last 10+ years and get squeezed out in a bucket of tank water and re-used.
 

AbbeysDad

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There's nothing really wrong with a cartridge as long as you don't throw it out. What you might do is slice one lower side and remove the spent carbon, then keep using the cartridge until it nearly falls apart. Then and only then, replace it with another, repeating the above.
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Failing this, as mentioned, sponge material would be better than polyester floss. As @Colin_T said, sponges clean easily and last for years. If it's a fairly new setup and you replace the cartridge with foam, you might want to suspend the cartridge in the tank until the new sponge is 'seasoned'.
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With all of this it deserves a mention that BB lives in the tank, especially the substrate, so as time goes on, the filter becomes more mechanical than biological, regardless of what manufacturers have tried to brainwash the minions. Have a look at my article on the very best aquarium filter, it's a real page turner :)
 

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