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  1. Hi Nerms! I feel silly asking, but is it ok to add BB after water changes if the tank is cycled and I haven't made any changes e.g. adding new fish, adding meds? My tank has been set up for more than a year and is very stable but I thought I read somewhere that you could/should add BB with water changes. I have a large bioload with four messy pea puffers in my 10g so I do ~50 percent water changes every week to keep the nitrates down around 40 ppm and have always added 1/4 cup Fritz Zyme 7 after each water change. Am I wasting product or should I just follow the "if it ain't broke ... " adage?
  2. Is the quarantine medication trio (Fritz paracleanse, Mardel Maracyn, and Ich-x) safe for beneficial bacteria and plants? I’m mostly worried about the Mardel Maracyn because many have said it does harm beneficial bacteria as it’s active ingredient erythromycin can attack nitrifying bacteria. Some say it only affects beneficial bacteria in newer tanks which I may fall into that category as my tank just finished cycling. I figured I could use the medication trio in my cycled, planted tank for my betta fish as it will be the first fish introduced to the tank but how is that possible if Mardel Maracyn affects beneficial bacteria? I really wouldn’t want to have to fish - in - cycle if the maracyn were to kill the beneficial bacteria with the betta fish in the tank. Thanks 🙂
  3. Hi all, I have a heavily planted 20 long currently stocked with a juvenile axolotl and some shrimp, many years established with one sponge filter. I've been cycling a new 40 breeder for the axolotl since it's growing fast. I've moved over some free-floating plants and other decor items such as rocks to the 40b, and added a second, brand-new sponge filter to the 20 long so it can get colonized with BB in the established tank. The 40b has a small aquaponics-type setup (a small submersible pump running water across lava rock before falling back into the tank) but no filter on it at the moment. My question is this: the old sponge filter from the 20 long needs a good cleaning. Some folks online seem to believe it seeding the new tank with mulm water (the dirty water left after squeezing the sponge clean). If it works to establish a colony of BB more quickly, I can clean it back out before moving the axolotl, but if all it's doing is just dumping waste into the tank I'll pass on that. Has anyone here had any success seeding a new tank with mulm/squeezings from an old sponge filter? Another option would be to just go ahead and move over the axolotl to the new tank, and move the established filter along with it (leaving the new sponge filter in the 20 long). I plan to use the 20 long as a shrimp grow-out tank only, so I am sure the substrate and plants will handle the bioload of the shrimp just fine. I just was hoping to grow some bacterial colonies in the tank tank on the substrate and in the aquaponics rocks before moving over the axie, since just the established sponge filter alone might have a hard time keeping up with the bioload. I appreciate anyone's thoughts. I've already dumped in a bottle of Tetra SafeStart, as well. I added ammonia to the new tank and it's dropped some but not entirely.
  4. I need to set up a new 10 gallon quarantine tank. I have a new sponge filter on order. While I wait for my equipment to arrive, can I sink an algae cleaning sponge (purchased from Aquarium Coop) in my fully cycled display tank? I would like to get a jump start on growing beneficial bacteria for the new quarantine tank. Thoughts? Ideas? How long does it take for a new sponge to become seeded?
  5. Is there such a thing as true bottled bacteria? I only ask cause I see it posted as info for helping with tank cycling. If there is bottled bacteria how does the bacteria stay alive in a bottle??????
  6. Have anyone experienced bad smell on fritz zyme 7, like rotten eggs or something, i don't want to kill my fish. I want to add it for a boost because I finally got my endlers on line and by the way they where all dead unfortunately. So im sticking to local fish store.
  7. Getting a new 20g tank tomorrow. Dropped a brand new sponge filter in my well established and cycled 75g this evening. 1. How long does the sponge filter need to be running on the air pump in my old tank before it’s going to be useful when I transfer it to “cycle” my new tank for me? I’ll be filling half of the 20 with water (I know this doesn’t hold much good bacteria) from my 75 and moving a few plants over too. 2. Does a separate sponge from my old canister filter that’s been sitting on the bottom of my 75 (not attached to air) also have good bacteria in it? It’s been in for weeks.
  8. I am trying to set up a 5 gallon canister filter for a 36 gallon coldwater (55F) marine tank, and was wondering if anyone has had experience with how long it takes for BB to get established in such an environment. Part of my challenge is the filter media arrangement, so any input is appreciated. I already have a small coldwater tank that seems to be using BB as well as macro algae. I have carbon and a sponge in the filter, but it is so small that I do not want to use that as reference. Also, I do not intend to use carbon in the 5 gallon filter.
  9. Well you guys, I done messed up. I seeded my new tank's filter on my cycled tank for four weeks. I transferred and installed the filter outlet and inlets in the tank. I installed the canister in the cabinet beneath the tank. I spent a couple hours acclimating my fish to my water. Everything is awesome, right? Well in the transfer from cycled tank to new, I shut the valve when I moved it over so the water from the canister wouldn't spill. I never opened the valve back up. So from Saturday 8pm to today at 7pm, the filter has been plugged in but no water flowing through it. How big did I eff up here? Are all my bacteria just dead? I am devastated at my own stupidity. I only have 5 fish in this 75 gallon (2 small electric blue acaras, two 8 ish inch rope fish, and one marble sailfin pleco). What do?
  10. I am currently treating one of my guppy tanks for the dreaded columnaris with kanamycin and nitrofurazone. Do I need to be adding beneficial bacteria during treatment? Or after ? Thank you.
  11. So when I first got my tank, I filled it with red and black colored gravel and plastic decorations. As I've been slowly moving away from that, I've hit a wall because I don't know the right way to replace the gravel without a lot of the surface area for beneficial bacteria being destroyed. Any thoughts?
  12. I have a 30 gallon tank with 8 fish: 4 small goldfish, 3 corydoras, 1 bristle nose pleco. I started this tank about 6 weeks ago but being of the older generation I started it as I always started my tanks 20 years ago, not knowing about the biological cycle. As soon as I found the Aquarium Co-op YouTube channel and this forum I saw the value of this method of good bacteria 😇 against evil bacteria 😈. I have optimized my Aqueon20 hob filter with carbon infused pad and coarse sponge media with a bit of fine sponge media at the spillway and a pre-filter intake sponge. This past week I also added the medium size coarse sponge filter in the opposite corner from the hob. Water is so nice and clear and ammonia levels are finally stable. I still need to do water changes because, well, goldfish. So my questions are: 1. Should I wash out the filters (in the used aquarium water) every water change or wait until there is gunk showing up on them? 2. Will rinsing them to often lose the good bacteria? (I usually do a water change once a week). 3. Does it harm the good bacteria on the glass if I wipe it weekly with my magnetic glass cleaner? My tank is not a planted tank but I am considering it for maybe down the road. Also the 4 goldfish will be re-homed to my neighbor’s pond as soon as they grow a little more. Then my tank will be a tropical only tank. Sorry this is so long, TIA for your help.😊
  13. I was wondering what some other ways to kick start Bacteria the idea I had and was wondering if it would work are taking pre cycled water from another tank so it’s basically like water change
  14. I am so glad I invested in the USB filters from aquarium co-op and sponge filters. During this power outage my fish are all comfy with their filtration and our wood stove is keeping the tanks nice and warm. But, I’m wondering how long the bacteria in my canister filters will survive. It’s been over 12 hrs. I’m thinking maybe I should take all the media and sponges out and just set them in the tank. Might be too late already? I think I’ll unplug them so the don’t start when the power comes back on. I’m worried the water in the canisters could be toxic or something for them. Is that a thing? I’ve never been out of power this long before. Good time to get rid of those canisters, I think I’m almost ready just to go with all sponge filters then I don’t have to worry.
  15. Is anybody familiar with this method of denitrification? I recently discovered a YouTube channel where the creator is all about it, using slow flow undergravel filters or "BCB Baskets" in a canister filter to create anoxic bacteria. I found the subject interesting and curious if anybody here could share some first hand knowledge or insights. Thanks!
  16. Hello everyone, I was just wondering if you guys could give me some advice. I started my tank with a crappy tetra whisper filter and cycled my tank then added a sponge filter and after falling deeper into the hobby it has now consumed my life haha my wife bought me a seachem tidal 35 for Christmas 🙂! As soon as I got it I called a local fish store and asked how I should make the transfer and they said to put as much of the old filter into the new one.... so I cut the top of the bio bag off and fit it in the filter and had just enough room to put the media it came with.( tight but worked) now I’m wondering when is it safe to take the old filter out and just have the media it came with in there? It’s been running like this for atleast 3 weeks and the new media looks good and dirty but I don’t want to pull the string to quick and cause any harm to the tank!
  17. I Put a sponge filter in a cycled, mature tank to get it started so that I can move it to a new tank and get the cycle in the new tank moving along quicker. About How long should I leave the filter in the cycled tank before I move it to the new tank?
  18. This is just another topic of discussion and a commonly heard question to people in this hobby. Unfortunately finding an answer with key words that relate to aquariums is nearly impossible. I'm sure there have been youtuber's and such that have mentioned it...but its never the main point of discussion. Quoted/Sourced from livescience.com: "The air you breathe is teeming with more than 1,800 kinds of bacteria" The most logical and best answer I've found is from the air, or an introduction of a species (fish/snail/crustacean or seeded filter) to the water. Please let me know if you have other info on this. Before I researched nutrient cycles I was always curious about this. With fishless cycling and no seeded media its a legitimate question in this hobby. edit: I know we can buy "bottles of bacteria" to jump start our cycles, meant to specify natural ways it appears.
  19. I was wondering if I would place my spongefilter in a rubbermaid and not have it turned on, would all the bacteria remain alive??
  20. So I know that a lot of the good bacteria I'm supposed to maintain in the tank is on my filter cartridge, so how do I replace the cartridge without tanking the levels of those bacteria? (For reference, I have an Aqueon Quietflow 20, which has just one cartridge, and a little sponge at the output)
  21. I have a 75g community tank that’s been up for about 8 months. I want to set up a new 20g tank to separate out the female guppy’s. If I put a new sponge filter in my 75g how long should I wait to use it in the new tank and have it seeded.
  22. I have 3 large sponge filters (not as big as Cory's 😂) that I would like to pre-seed. But I don't have an aquarium open that doesn't have snails in them. And I want to put different kinds of snails in the new tanks. My plan is to use aquarium water in a 5 gallon bucket and run the sponges. I'm assuming I would need to add something more to build the bacteria biome. I would prefer not to heat it. Unheated in the basement is about 68 degrees. I can't take any media from my other tanks because of the snails/eggs. Thoughts? Ideas? Thanks!
  23. I’m about to buy a 90 gallon tank running on a canister filter. The guy selling it had a 14” pleco in there until today. I’m not getting the pleco but wanting to keep the beneficial bacteria alive. We’ll probably have a week before the tank is setup because we’re wanting to paint the stand first. Could I run the canister in a bucket and/or the gravel with a bubbler and keep it alive until then? Any other suggestions? My experience until today is mainly a 3 gallon nano with shrimp. Thanks!
  24. Hi I’m new to the hobby and have question. I just recently upgraded my 20 gal tank to a 40 and successfully moved my fish and everything is great on that tank. I want to now use my 20gal for a new fish. I know I can instant cycle using existing media but my question is How long does it take for beneficial bacteria to grow on new media placed in my established tank. Back story: I was using a Cartridge filter on my hang on back filter but got smarter and added filter sponge and filter rings which I want to move to my new tank to cycle it. I just don’t know how long the media needs to be in an established tank to be able to move to a new tank to instant cycle. Any advice would be great. again I’m new to this hobby about 6months so I’m still learning 🙂 thanks
  25. Hello everyone, I've gotten some feedback for this topic over on Reddit, but I was wondering what you guys though about a few beneficial bacteria questions I had: - How long can beneficial bacteria can survive without oxygenation (like when you turn off a canister filter)? - How long can filter media be out of the water before BB starts to die off? - Are there good rules of thumb to consider when doing maintenance? (like how long can the canister be off or sponge be out of the water?) It's my first post here, so sorry if I'm not following the rules.
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