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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #477

I used to breed Discus and when I needed to set-up a fry/breeder tank
quickly, I would fill up the new tank about half way with tank water from a
well established populated tank, and run a sponge filter in an established
tank for 3-4 hours, and move the sponge filter to the new tank.

Rarely did I experience an ammonia or nitrite spike, and when I did, it was
small and only lasted a day at most.

- Jeff

> Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 01:32:34 -0700
> From: "L. Kraven"
> Subject: Re: Keeping Quarantine Tank Filter Media in a Planted Tank
> Mr. Booth said this :
> Since we don't get new fish all that often, we normally don't have an
> quarantine tank. We have a 29 g tank in storage that we use when the need
> arises but it needs a filter seeded with bacteria to function. My plan was
> to keep a bag of Eheim media (Ehfistuffofsomekind) in the sump of a
> filter. When needed, the media would be put in a 2213 canister to run the
> quarantine tank.
> We tried that recently and it didn't seem to work. After two days, we
> noticed ammonia building up in the quarantine tank. We've resorted to
> frequent emergency water changes and replaced the media with bioballs from
> one of the trickle filters. Luckily, the quarantinees are doing fine but
> self-image of "expert aquarists" has taken a beating.
> To which I say:
> George,
> How long did you keep the Ehfisubstrat (??) in the sump of the trickle
> filter?  Assuming that you added it after the tank was cycled and
> ammonia into nitrates, I would imagine the bacteria is pretty much in
> balance with the waste being produced.  That being said, my understanding
> how that balance is played out is this:
> Once the bacteria colony is the right size for the amount of waste being
> produced, the amount of bacteria that dies and the amount that grows back
> replace it (assuming they are not immortal) should be about the same,
> into account the fluctuations for when the fish eat (and thus excrete) a
> or when they eat less.  If you are to "seed" this new media with bacteria,
> and you simply place it in the sump in a bag, most of the contact area
> be between the bottom of the bag and the glass in the sump where small
> amounts of bacteria may be.  The rest of the contact area will be water,
> where you hope that free floating bacteria "colonies" will land on the
> ehfi-stuff and grow into a sizable bacterial colony you can transfer to
> quarantine tank.  However, if your bacteria is in balance with your waste
> production, the process may be very slow because there is no excess "food"
> for the bacteria to feed on and rapidly multiply to populate the media
> You'd have to rely on the relatively slow process of the bacteria
> out (bio-diffusing, if you will) to cover every available surface, but
> have to wait for it to do it at the rate at which bacteria die and are
> replaced, because just adding surface area does not mean you get more
> bacteria (I think).  This is compounded by the fact that sitting in the
> sump, there's no generally readily available source of bacteria to
> into the waiting filter media besides what incidentally "passes by".
> Suggestions:
> 1.  Place some used filter media in with the bag, thereby seeding the
> with close-proximity bacteria to speed up the spreading process.
> 2.  Possibly remove some of the existing bio-media from your working
> Once you have a sizable colony, the bacteria can reproduce to fill the
> nutrient gap with extreme speed, so by removing some, you are forcing a
> quicker "spread" of bacteria.
> If you do both these, you may force the media bag to "mature" much faster.
> Then, you can add back the media you took out after the bag is "matured"
> allow everything to fall into equilibrium.
> These are just thoughts, and could possibly be deeply flawed.  They should
> be taken with large grains of (solar) salt. I am not a scientist,
> biochemist, nor indian guru.  If these suggestions maim your pet llama, I
> not to be held responsible.
> Neil from So. Cal
> - - Whose pet llama was maimed in an unfortunate hair algae incident.