How long until beneficial bacteria is on a sponge filter?

devsi

I have an established 180L tank, and I just changed one of the air stones out for a sponge filter; for no particular reason other than why not, when I could get bubbles and extra filtration!

I’ve also got a much less established, but cycled, 125L tank. I’m thinking of moving the sponge filter over to the 125, when BB has developed on the sponge filter, and then replacing it with a new one in the 180L.

How long, roughly, so I wait for this to happen? Days? Weeks?

I might even replace both air stones in the 180L with sponge filters. The only downside that I’m aware of is they take up more surface area in the tank, but that’s a small price for better water quality.
 

carsonsgjs

Depends on the bioload of the tank really, but I’d have said weeks rather than days. When I have cycled new filters on existing tanks, I like to run them for at least 4 weeks before moving them out to the new tank. Better to be safe than sorry I suppose.

If both tanks are fully cycled though, it shouldn’t matter too much about which tank you run them on as you aren’t using the sponge filter to transfer a bacterial colony over in order to cycle the tank. Are you planning on replacing the filter on your 125 with this sponge filter when you move it across?
 

devsi

Depends on the bioload of the tank really, but I’d have said weeks rather than days. When I have cycled new filters on existing tanks, I like to run them for at least 4 weeks before moving them out to the new tank. Better to be safe than sorry I suppose.
Oki doki, that makes sense :) thanks!
If both tanks are fully cycled though, it shouldn’t matter too much about which tank you run them on as you aren’t using the sponge filter to transfer a bacterial colony over in order to cycle the tank.
The 125L is pretty newly cycled and I'm adding fish slowly. It certainly doesn't NEED the sponge filter, but it would help a little bit :)
Are you planning on replacing the filter on your 125 with this sponge filter when you move it across?
No, nothing like that :) The sponge filter is purely for additional filtration on-top of the internal filters I already have.
 

mattgirl

I like to give sponge filters at least 6 weeks before I consider them well seeded. I wouldn't count on them to cycle another tank before running them at least that long. As carsonsgjs said, if both tanks are already cycled moving a seeded sponge filter from one to the other really isn't going to accomplish any thing.

Running sponge filters in place of air stones is always a good idea. Not only do you have extra filtration but you will have what you need to start another tank once they are well seeded. I run 2 sponge filters along with 2 HOB filters on my 55 gallon tank. This tank is heavily stocked so extra filtration is needed. Even if it was lightly stocked I would still run the same amount of filtration though. We can never have too much. :)
 

devsi

I like to give sponge filters at least 6 weeks before I consider them well seeded.
Ah ok, thank you :)
I wouldn't count on them to cycle another tank before running them at least that long.
That makes sense and I’ll keep it in mind for the future for when I inevitably get another tank haha
As @carsonsgjs said, if both tanks are already cycled moving a seeded sponge filter from one to the other really isn't going to accomplish any thing.
Not even if one has been cycled for months and the other has just finished cycling? (Not that it applies now, if it won’t be seeded for six weeks, but I’m still curious)
Running sponge filters in place of air stones is always a good idea. Not only do you have extra filtration but you will have what you need to start another tank once they are well seeded
I’m currently running one sponge filter and one air stone. I am considering replacing the other air stone, but didn’t know if it was beneficial as it will sit right next to my internal/main filter and wasn’t sure if it wouldn’t end up doing much as the main would be doing the work?
I run 2 sponge filters along with 2 HOB filters on my 55 gallon tank. This tank is heavily stocked so extra filtration is needed. Even if it was lightly stocked I would still run the same amount of filtration though. We can never have too much. :)
I’d love to see a picture if you’re comfortable sharing :)
 

mattgirl

Ah ok, thank you :)

That makes sense and I’ll keep it in mind for the future for when I inevitably get another tank haha
Yep, MTS is real :D
Not even if one has been cycled for months and the other has just finished cycling? (Not that it applies now, if it won’t be seeded for six weeks, but I’m still curious)
The only way it would make a difference is if the one that has been running for months is more heavily stocked and you want to add more stock to the already cycled tank you are moving the sponge to. If both tanks are cycled, meaning both have grown enough bacteria to handle the bio-load, if you are not adding more fish adding more bacteria isn't going to accomplish anything. No matter how much filtration we have we are only going to grow enough bacteria to handle the bio-load of a tank.

When I talk about an established tank I don't mean one that has grown more bacteria. It just means we have given the bacteria time to grow on everything in our tanks. My tanks are all firmly established. Right now if wanted to I could conceivably clean all of the filters all at the same time and it would not affect the cycle in my tanks. The bacteria growing on everything in my tanks would pick up the slack and would replace the lost bacteria in a matter of just a few hours.

If I cleaned all the filters and all the decor at the same time it would be a different story. Doing this would remove too much bacteria and I would experience a mini-cycle that would probably last a few days. Back when I still had artificial plants and decor in my tanks I would pull all the plants/decor out a few times each year to bleach them clean. I knew doing this was removing a lot of bacteria so when I did this I didn't touch my filters.
I’m currently running one sponge filter and one air stone. I am considering replacing the other air stone, but didn’t know if it was beneficial as it will sit right next to my internal/main filter and wasn’t sure if it wouldn’t end up doing much as the main would be doing the work?

I’d love to see a picture if you’re comfortable sharing :)
I can probably describe better than I can show since the sponge filters are hidden. I have all my filtration lined up across the back of my 55 gallon tank. I have one sponge filter in each of the 2 back corners hidden behind plants. The 2 HOB filters are spaced equal distances from the ends of the tank and from each other.

My heater is installed between the 2 filters. I am not now nor will I ever be comfortable running an electrical appliance under water so the top of my heater is above the water line. It is situated an equal distance from the HOB filters. Locating it between the filters allows it to keep the water at the correct temp throughout the whole tank.

You may need to run more than one heater in your much bigger tanks. I do recommend they be located close to your filter(s). By doing so warmer water is pulled through the filter and dispersed throughout the tank. I do think they work more efficiently by doing it this way.
 

devsi

The only way it would make a difference is if the one that has been running for months is more heavily stocked and you want to add more stock to the already cycled tank you are moving the sponge to. If both tanks are cycled, meaning both have grown enough bacteria to handle the bio-load, if you are not adding more fish adding more bacteria isn't going to accomplish anything. No matter how much filtration we have we are only going to grow enough bacteria to handle the bio-load of a tank.
Ah right ok, so I think in this instance it would have helped because I'm adding fish slowly to ensure I have the correct amount of bacteria for my desired stocking.

Presumably, if I had a seeded Sponge Filter I could have got to my desired stocking quicker?
When I talk about an established tank I don't mean one that has grown more bacteria. It just means we have given the bacteria time to grow on everything in our tanks. My tanks are all firmly established. Right now if wanted to I could conceivably clean all of the filters all at the same time and it would not affect the cycle in my tanks. The bacteria growing on everything in my tanks would pick up the slack and would replace the lost bacteria in a matter of just a few hours.

If I cleaned all the filters and all the decor at the same time it would be a different story. Doing this would remove too much bacteria and I would experience a mini-cycle that would probably last a few days. Back when I still had artificial plants and decor in my tanks I would pull all the plants/decor out a few times each year to bleach them clean. I knew doing this was removing a lot of bacteria so when I did this I didn't touch my filters.
That makes sense, thank you :)
I can probably describe better than I can show since the sponge filters are hidden. I have all my filtration lined up across the back of my 55 gallon tank. I have one sponge filter in each of the 2 back corners hidden behind plants. The 2 HOB filters are spaced equal distances from the ends of the tank and from each other.
I don't think I properly described my question, so I've added a picture this time :)

You must be registered to see images


The newly added Sponge Filter is at the back, on the left. I also have an air stone at the back, on the right.

What I'm wondering is if there's any benefit to me replacing the air stone with another sponge filter, considering it's so close to the internal filter (big black box on the right), or if it would be pointless because the internal filter would be handling whatever the Sponge Filter could do in that space anyway...

Does that make sense or am I still talking rubbish :D ?

My heater is installed between the 2 filters. I am not now nor will I ever be comfortable running an electrical appliance under water so the top of my heater is above the water line.
Wait, what? I thought it was an absolute must that the heater be fully submersed or it'll break (LFS said it would blow up, which I took with a pinch of salt)?

You may need to run more than one heater in your much bigger tanks. I do recommend they be located close to your filter(s). By doing so warmer water is pulled through the filter and dispersed throughout the tank. I do think they work more efficiently by doing it this way.

That makes sense, and my heater is in the same housing as my internal filter so I think I've got that covered.

Thanks again :)
 

mattgirl

Ah right ok, so I think in this instance it would have helped because I'm adding fish slowly to ensure I have the correct amount of bacteria for my desired stocking.

Presumably, if I had a seeded Sponge Filter I could have got to my desired stocking quicker?
Right. In this instance the seeded sponge filter may have helped but only if the bio-load in the tank the sponge filter was in was higher than the planned bio-load in the new tank. The amount of bacteria doesn't depend on the amount of filtration. It depends on the amount of ammonia (the bio-load) being produced in the tank.
I don't think I properly described my question, so I've added a picture this time :)

You must be registered to see images


The newly added Sponge Filter is at the back, on the left. I also have an air stone at the back, on the right.

What I'm wondering is if there's any benefit to me replacing the air stone with another sponge filter, considering it's so close to the internal filter (big black box on the right), or if it would be pointless because the internal filter would be handling whatever the Sponge Filter could do in that space anyway...

Does that make sense or am I still talking rubbish :D ?
In this case I don't think adding/running another sponge filter will benefit this tank. Personally I've never used any kind of internal filter other than sponge filters. In my humble opinion they take up too much room inside the tank so I use HOB's for my tanks.
Wait, what? I thought it was an absolute must that the heater be fully submersed or it'll break (LFS said it would blow up, which I took with a pinch of salt)?
Oh my goodness. I am forever being shocked by some of the advice that some of these folks spout. I do have to unplug mine when doing a water change. We don't want it to come on when the glass isn't fully under water. That could cause it to break but the top of the heater doesn't have to be under water.

It is easy for me to remember to unplug and plug my heater back in each time. It is plugged in right behind the buckets I use to do my water changes. When I get them I unplug it. When I put them back in place I plug it back in.
That makes sense, and my heater is in the same housing as my internal filter so I think I've got that covered.

Thanks again :)
Does the internal filter stay full of water even when doing water changes? If it doesn't and the heater is out of the water (exposed to the air) during the water change I can see it causing problems should it come on while the water level is low.

Coming on isn't the problem. It gets very hot and then cooler water hits it. As you are refilling the tank the cooler water can cause the glass on the heater to break.
 

devsi

Right. In this instance the seeded sponge filter may have helped but only if the bio-load in the tank the sponge filter was in was higher than the planned bio-load in the new tank. The amount of bacteria doesn't depend on the amount of filtration. It depends on the amount of ammonia (the bio-load) being produced in the tank.
Ah right, ok. Thanks, that's helpful :)
In this case I don't think adding/running another sponge filter will benefit this tank. Personally I've never used any kind of internal filter other than sponge filters. In my humble opinion they take up too much room inside the tank so I use HOB's for my tanks.
Oki doki - I'll leave the other side as just an air stone, or I'll take it out completely, not sure yet. Thanks :)
Oh my goodness. I am forever being shocked by some of the advice that some of these folks spout. I do have to unplug mine when doing a water change. We don't want it to come on when the glass isn't fully under water. That could cause it to break but the top of the heater doesn't have to be under water.
So it's only the glass that needs to be under water?! Well that changes things!
Does the internal filter stay full of water even when doing water changes? If it doesn't and the heater is out of the water (exposed to the air) during the water change I can see it causing problems should it come on while the water level is low.

Coming on isn't the problem. It gets very hot and then cooler water hits it. As you are refilling the tank the cooler water can cause the glass on the heater to break.
It doesn't, no. It fills up and drains just like the rest of the tank.

So, theoretically (obviously I wouldn't do this), I could safely turn the heater on outside of the water and it would be totally fine? It's only the change of temperature that's the problem?!

My LFS made a BIG deal about never having the heater/filter running when doing a water change as it could literally blow up..... I'll put it down to just another set of advice :)
 

mattgirl

So, theoretically (obviously I wouldn't do this), I could safely turn the heater on outside of the water and it would be totally fine? It's only the change of temperature that's the problem?!
Right. When cold hits hot bad things can happen :D

I would be concerned about where your heater is. Concerned enough to unplug it when doing water changes unless it is low enough in the filter to keep it submerged during water changes. As long as the glass is submerged it should be fine.
 

devsi

I would be concerned about where your heater is. Concerned enough to unplug it when doing water changes unless it is low enough in the filter to keep it submerged during water changes. As long as the glass is submerged it should be fine.

First thing I do during a water change is to turn off everything but the lights :)
 

mattgirl

First thing I do during a water change is to turn off everything but the lights :)
And the only thing I turn off is my heater. Uptake tubes are long enough so I don't have to turn them off and it doesn't matter with the sponge filters. This is just another example of the variety of things we have to do or not do with our tanks. Each tank truly is unique.
 

devsi

I appreciate all your time/advice and knowledge :)
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
15
Views
932
Pfrozen
  • Question
Replies
6
Views
536
WrenFeenix
Replies
6
Views
936
coralbandit
Replies
11
Views
2K
kasra
Replies
3
Views
429
Rob Shannon

Random Great Thread!

Know of a great thread on Fishlore that should be on this list? Submit the thread link here:
Great threads on Fishlore

New Aquarium Filter Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom