Moving beneficial bacteria to another tank

Sunnyspots

Fish Fanatic
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
172
Reaction score
70
Location
Porthleven, Cornwall
I have 2 Superfish Aqua Flow filters. One part has a sponge containing carbon. One part has sort of Hula Hoops in a net bag which collect the beneficial bacteria (this is called CrystalMax). Does anyone know

1. How to remove the carbon, if using meds, without losing physical filtration?
2. How to share the media between them if I want to start my QT/hospital tank without cycling? (I assume I split the CrystalMax between both of them, half each).
3. When replacing the CrystalMax cartridge annually, would the same method as 2. be used so that the tank doesn't need to recycle?

Sorry if this should be obvious but I can't find any info. on it and want to know before I start getting fish, especially since I'll need to quaratine any from different tanks/sources.
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
12,997
Reaction score
8,576
Location
Teesside, UK
Carbon is not actually needed full time. Since you are still cycling, I would replace the carbon sponge with a plain sponge, any make cut to the same size. It'll just mean the cycle takes a bit longer, but better to remove the carbon sponge now rather than after you've bought fish.
Sponges (with or without carbon) are also biological media.

The ceramic medium (crystal max) does not need replacing until it starts to crumble. Manufacturers always tell you to replace media unnecessarily - the more you change it, the more money they make. The noodles just need swooshing round in some old tank water during a water change.
Sponges don't need replacing until they go into holes or won't go back into shape after washing. They just need squeezing out in old tank water.


It is safe to take up to a third of the media from a cycled tank for another tank - but that media will hold only enough bacteria for a third of the fish currently in the donor tank.
 

P J

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
89
Reaction score
25
Location
London
Carbon is not actually needed full time. Since you are still cycling, I would replace the carbon sponge with a plain sponge, any make cut to the same size. It'll just mean the cycle takes a bit longer, but better to remove the carbon sponge now rather than after you've bought fish.
Sponges (with or without carbon) are also biological media.

The ceramic medium (crystal max) does not need replacing until it starts to crumble. Manufacturers always tell you to replace media unnecessarily - the more you change it, the more money they make. The noodles just need swooshing round in some old tank water during a water change.
Sponges don't need replacing until they go into holes or won't go back into shape after washing. They just need squeezing out in old tank water.


It is safe to take up to a third of the media from a cycled tank for another tank - but that media will hold only enough bacteria for a third of the fish currently in the donor tank.
One hundred percent common sense - well put.
 
OP
Sunnyspots

Sunnyspots

Fish Fanatic
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
172
Reaction score
70
Location
Porthleven, Cornwall
I've finally decided to leave the mixed media in place temporarily - it is removing some of my tannins from wood decor to keep them at a reasonable level - but replace it a little at a time after my tank is cycled. I have bought some standard filter sponge to cut and add piecemeal over time. I am assuming the gradual loss of BB in small amounts shouldn't have a drastic effect on water parameters as long as I leave weeks between changes of filter media.
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
12,997
Reaction score
8,576
Location
Teesside, UK
Carbon does have a few uses. Removing tannins is one of them as you've discovered. Another is removing medication after treatment has finished.

Carbon adsorbs things on its surface and it gets full. You may find that your tannins start to get worse if/when the carbon sponge gets full.
 
OP
Sunnyspots

Sunnyspots

Fish Fanatic
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
172
Reaction score
70
Location
Porthleven, Cornwall
Carbon does have a few uses. Removing tannins is one of them as you've discovered. Another is removing medication after treatment has finished.

Carbon adsorbs things on its surface and it gets full. You may find that your tannins start to get worse if/when the carbon sponge gets full.
I may be at that point already as things look quite murky, but I quite like it. I'm hoping gouramis and peacock gudgeon gobies will be OK with it too. It shouldn't last forever as the wood will eventually stop leaching them.
 

Most reactions

trending

Top