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Re: Filter wool as a bacterial substrate

Gitte asked:

"This begs a question:  How does filter wool (as opposed to carbon), cause
bacteria growth in the tank instead of the filter?  I thought filter wool
would be a better biological filter than carbon."

<<<<<<What I did was ditch the carbon
filter and replace it with filter wool, which I change frequently, so the
bacteria grow in the tank rather than in the filter.>>>>>>

I doubt that he was using carbon as a site for bacterial colonization. He
replaced it with filter wool which is frequently changed. The filter wool
isn't causing the bacteria to grow elsewhere - the aquarist is the cause. It
doesn't matter if filter wool has more or less area for attachement of
bacteria - if the material is changed frequently enough, no substantial
amount of bacteria will build up on it, and it will function purely as a
mechanical filter. It takes time for bacteria to colonize any substrate and
to multiply to the point where their number is large enough to handle
bio-filtration (that's why tanks take around a month to initially cycle).

He is depending upon the bacterial colony which lives on the surface area
inside of the tank for biological filtration. If it doesn't have a chance to
become established in the filter, the population density of bacteria in the
rest of the tank will just increase to match the bioload present.

James Purchase