Finally finished nitrogen cycle

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by wcsmik, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. wcsmikNew MemberMember

    but i had a few questions. its been 3 months since i've started on the nitrogen cycle without fish. anyways, when it comes to changing my filter is it ok to just buy a new one and drop it in? from my understanding the bacteria colony builds in the filter itself correct?? and just to clarify nitrate level of below 20ppm is safe?
  2. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    If you change the filter, when the old one starts falling apart and not by what the manufacturer states, place the new filter somewhere in the housing to seed the filter with the bacteria. Do not just replace the filter. A minimum of 4 weeks seems to be the safe timespan before you remove the old filter. If you just replace the filter without seeding it, you will lose the established cycle because a majority of the bacteria colony is on the filtration media (so yes, you have that correct).

    Yes, below 20 ppm is a safe nitrate level. I believe it is said that up to 40 ppm is still safe, but I don't like to push things to their limit. Congrats on completing your nitrogen cycle the fish friendly way :)!
  3. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    Chevyguys info is spot on imo. Just to clarify, your must place the new filter cartridge in the filter housing, simply placing or suspending it in the tank itself will not generate the population of bacteria you'll need imo. I've seen alot of people take "seeding" the new cartidge as just putting it in the tank so just wanted to make sure. :)

    I'd leave it in 4-6 weeks and as far as the nitrates I'm with Chevyguy.
  4. wcsmikNew MemberMember

    i agree chevy hit the spot with all the information.

    thing is though my filter area is very small and only allows enough space for 1 filter. what would i do in this case???
  5. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    What type of filter is it? Theres no empty space anywhere in it to put media? Also, when you get a minute, filling out your aquarium info is helpful to members when answering your questions. You can click "forum actions" on the top bar and then "edit profile". :)
  6. wcsmikNew MemberMember

    not sure what kind of filter it is, but this is the tank i purchased.

    its basically a set that comes with everything i need (for a beginner like me lol). theres only enough space for 1 filter where the filter is placed...

    i will go ahead and edit my profile. thanks.
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Okay, for that tank/filter, I would go out and get an aquaclear sponge. They are cheap, easy to cut and they last forever. I would cut it to fit the filter housing, then cut an X on the top and put that over the filters intake strainer. After 4-6 weeks (being safe), you can take it off the intake and put it in the filter, replacing the media you had. Then, you will never have to change it - only clean it when you notice the flow slowing down.

    here's my 5 gallon.
  8. wcsmikNew MemberMember

    so you replaced the filter with a sponge (im assuming the bacteria colony grows on the sponge as well?)

    sorry im a little confused on what you are trying to say.
  9. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    You got it right. Yes, bacteria will colonize the sponge. You really shouldn't have a bioload requiring more than that in a 5 gallon tank.
  10. wcsmikNew MemberMember

    ok. and for cleaning the sponge, just use old water to clean it off correct? tap water will kill the bacteria?
  11. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    In a small tank like that, and because the tank is new, I would just use tank water. My tanks are well established; I clean them with tap water with no ill effects. Your tank will get to that point too, but for now it's best to er on the side of caution.