Ammonia remover and cycling

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by mawelch74, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. mawelch74Valued MemberMember

    Hello. I'm in the process of filling and beginning a fishless nitrogen cycle of a 30 gallon long tank. I am using the ammonia method. My question is regarding filtering media. I have an AquaClear 200 filter with foam, activated charcoal and an ammonia remover. Should I use the ammonia remover while I'm cycling or leave it out until the cycle is completed? I don't think it would matter as I'll be adding ammonia through the process, but I also don't want to hinder the process by removing the added ammonia through the filter. It seems counter-intuitive. This is my first aquarium so I want to do it the right way rather than chancing it. Thanks for any help in advance!

  2. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Not sure what the "ammonia removing" pad is, but sounds counter-productive to me too.

  3. mawelch74Valued MemberMember

    It's this:  

    It's not really a pad. More like a mesh bag with ceramic rings in it. Sits at the top in the filter, after the sponge and the activated charcoal.

  4. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    If it were me I'd remove it and get rid of it.
  5. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    Ohhh! That's the bio-max! No, you do NOT want to remove that. The bacteria you are trying to grow during the cycle will mainly live on the bio-max. It's your main form of bio-filtration.
  6. mawelch74Valued MemberMember

    I thought so, but wanted to make sure. Thanks very much!!
  7. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    No problem!
  8. orandagalValued MemberMember

    Hi Mawelch74,
    I may be overstepping my bounds, and if so, someone please let me know. I believe you need to go back and buy the biomax, instead of the amonia remover. If you look at the box real close, the ammonia remover is your second layer (sits on top of your filter) and what you need is the biomax to sit on top of the charcoal bag which would be the top layer. The only reason I say this is because I also have the Aquaclear and also purchased the "ammonia remover" not really paying attention to the box thinking it was the biomax. If I am incorrect, someone please let me know. There should be 3 layers, filter, charcoal (or ammonia remover) and then biomax. ;)
  9. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Another thing is that activated carbon isn't necessary, so you can replace that with another biomax pack. It's a personnel choice to use or not. You then have to replace the activated carbon every 3-4 weeks as it gets exhausted.
  10. orandagalValued MemberMember

    Thanks Christine,
    That is good to know. I'm still kind of new to this myself and learning as I go, and appreciate any help I can get :)
  11. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore.

    You've gotten some really good advice. In my AC filters I use double biomax and the sponge. I do not use the ammonia remover at all as it is counter productive with having a strong cycle and a stable tank. The carbon I use only when needed, i.e. removing meds or helping to reduce the tannins or other impurities in the water. As stated carbon should be replaced monthly.

    Good luck cycling your tank. Congrats on going fishless!
  12. mawelch74Valued MemberMember


    I'm pretty sure I have the right thing. I believe I misidentified it in my original post and looking at the box right now, that's exactly what I did. On the side there's one of those "also from AquaClear" blurbs touting the ammonia remover and some other item.


    This is good to know. Will I have any problems cycling with the activated carbon layer in the filter? I've no problem with replacing it with another BioMax, but is this something I can do after I've cycled the tank? It will most likely be a month before it's cycled and I'll need to replace the carbon insert anyway.
  13. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    The carbon doesn't do anything to the cycling or after. It's job is to remove odors, discoloration, medications and heavy metals from tap water. Most water conditioners we use remove heavy metals.

    You can use it if you like. Just needs replacing monthly to do its job or it just becomes part of the biological filtration.

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