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Mature Filter Media Help

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by willowstwin, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. willowstwin

    willowstwin Member

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    Hi All, it's nooby me again :p

    Right, I recently got moved sites at work, and the trop tank I used to see on a regular basis is at the other site. I've just visited the other site, and the tank is disgusting... it's full of algae, you can only just see into the tank (it's so embedded into the glass I tried giving it a scrub with a tank glass cleaning scourer thing, it wouldnt budge), the decorations and gravel are coated in a blanket of algae... it's a sorry sight.

    I initially went with the intent of seeing if I could grab some gravel before I went home... However, am I right in thinking this is a very bad idea, as I'll be intoducing algae to my tank?

    Turns out the teacher that set this tank up didn't do research, and he's actually been VERY lucky with this tank. It's now 4 years old, it has the same harlequin rasboras and rummy nosed tetras as when the tank was first setup... I think he just threw everything in the tank, hoped for the best and was VERY lucky. He never tests the water, he never performs water changes,the filter has never been cleaned (as far as I'm aware) and he only tops up the evaporated water (luckily WITH dechlorinator). He also only feeds the fish every other day (when he remembers), with the fish being left all weekend without beiing fed... I'm actually shocked and disgusted.

    Should I get some of the gravel from the bottom to help kick start my tanks cycle, or am I risking infecting it with algae?

    Also, anyone in the doncaster area who would be willing to take on the above fish (5-6 of each) if I choose to step in and take them out of that horrible environment? (if my tank was cycled I'd take them)
     
  2. The Taffy Apple

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    I would, personally, leave the gravel there and use some of the media from the filter. If it is 4 years old, then it most certainly is 'mature' and really will kick-start your fishless cycle in your new tank.
     
  3. willowstwin

    willowstwin Member

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    ok, another nooby question... how do I take media from the filter? as far as I'm aware, it's a filter with the sponge inside..
     
  4. SchottayB

    SchottayB Mr. Terrorcore!

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    Take the sponges out the old filter and put them in your new filter if they will fit. If not cut them to fit :good:.

    Can you not just run the old filter in the tank with the new one as well? That was your new filter will get seeded from the old filter or something along those lines :lol:.
     
  5. paulbr1

    paulbr1 Member

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    Hi, even if you can only a square inch of mature media it will really help and don't clean off all of the black jelly the bacteria is in there.

    Leave it a day then test for ammonia if it has cleared the 5ppm of ammo you have in there and the Nitrite is at Zero, you are on to a winner - add the 5ppm ammo again and do this for a couple of days running - if you get Zero ppm ammo and Nitrite every day you could then do a good water change and add a few swimmers good luck.

    If you get stuck for the Mature media just ask, i'll be cleaning my filter out this week and you can have some ceramic rings or a bit of foam.

    Paul.
     
  6. Harlequins

    Harlequins ***Corydora Crazy***

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    Just remember dont take to much of the media from this filter,you dont want to have that one going haywire if fish are still in there :crazy: even though its in a bad way...

    If you do take on this tank and clean it,remember to do it slowly,basically the fish have been use to 'living' in this enviroment for some time and now has 'old tank syndrome' any major changes may shock the fish,so steady small water changes to start with :good:
     
  7. willowstwin

    willowstwin Member

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    I wont be taking the tank as it's a)school property and b) I dont have room. I was just seeing if anyone could take the fish if I needed to get them out of such a terrible environment. I may go back there at the beginning of next week and do a 15 - 20% water change. Or severely chastise the teacher and guilt trip him into doing things properly.

    Thanks Paul! I'm going up to have a look at the tank this afternoon. I'll have a look at the filter and if I can't take anything from that and the fish place I'm going to won't give me anything, I'll contact you.

    What about if I take the filter sponge from my filter and smoosh it together with the other tanks filter sponge, so to transfer some bacteria? This "black jelly", if I introduce some of that to my own filter sponge would that work?

    Orrrr... Could I possibly (sockets allowing) attach my own filter to the old tank, leave it for a couple of days while I clean out and reset my tank, and start again? **edit** add it to the old tank ALONGSIDE the old filter - I dont want to kill the fish**
     
  8. paulbr1

    paulbr1 Member

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    You could run it along side, the squishing idea is good and does work also.

    Good luck.

    Paul.
     
  9. willowstwin

    willowstwin Member

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    hooray for squishing! :D I'll bring my filter sponge in and squish it against the other.

    Should I worry about transferring algae though? or is this not a problem in the filter itself?
     
  10. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

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    Sorry paul, but I disagree; running the two filters in tandem won't help.

    All the bacteria needed to deal with the ammonia the fish in that tank are producing are already living in that filter. Unless more fish are added and more ammonia is being produced, the bacterial colony won't need to expand, so there'll be minimal new bacterial growth in the new filter.

    The bacteria do cling pretty strongly to the media, so 'smooshing' the sponges together or putting the washings from old sponges in the new tank doesn't help that much either (although it is better than nothing).

    A bit of old media is far and away the best for seeding new filters with bacteria.

    Algae spores are every where all the time anyway; it's how the light and nutrients are in the new tank that determines whether you'll have algae problems or not.
     
  11. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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    Squishing and smooshing is good; a piece of the old filter is best. The school's tank is getting much too much light, hence the algae problem. Is it right next to a window?

    Feeding the fish every other day isn't really a problem. It's probably what's kept the fish alive to this point.

    I'm a bit like you, I think. I'd like to get in there and fix the problems. Maybe you could go in on a weekend and clean the tank to show the teacher how it's done?

    EDIT: Somehow I completely missed the last sentence in the OP! Take a look at Harlequins' response from above:

    So if you were to give away these fish to someone with a nice, clean tank, it might kill them. There's another member who's battling this very thing, King, and he's lost a good many fish because of it. His tank is now a wonder of cleanliness, but the fish he rescued were in a similar situation to what you described. They were used to what they were living in prior, and now can't handle their new lovely quarters.
     
  12. willowstwin

    willowstwin Member

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    thanks flutter. I'll see what I can take from the old tank, if that doesnt work and the lfs cant help, I'll get some from Paul.

    By the way, what are ceramic rings?
     
  13. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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  14. willowstwin

    willowstwin Member

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    ahhh hehe now I understannd :D sorry for being a bit dim o_O still trying to get my head around everything
     
  15. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

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    You're not being dim at all. Just asking the same questions all of us did at one time or another!

    Did you read my post above yours? I think you need to be very careful with these fish in the old tank.
     

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