Newbie Questions - Filters And Additional Tanks

  1. Stephanie0823

    Stephanie0823 New Member Member

    Ok, couple of newbie questions - I’m going to get a bigger tank so I can have a proper school of white skirt and Glofish Tetras (I have a 10 gallon now that just finished cycling) I’m planning on doing a fishless cycle using some of my tank water from my cycled tank and some of the deco from it as well.
    1.) How much “old” tank water should I add? And should I do water changes on new tank and use “old” water as replacement water while it’s cycling. The new tank will most likely be a 37 gallon

    2.) If I decide to set up 10 gallon as QT tank once everyone is moved to new tank how do I maintain parameters during time when there aren’t any fish?

    3.) I have HOB filter - I was told to take out the media and swish around on dirty tank water during water changes so as not to remove beneficial bacteria. I think they mean the removable white cartridge. But then I read that the plastic is where the bacteria is, not the removable white filter cartridge itself. Which is correct??
     
  2. bryangar

    bryangar Well Known Member Member

    1) There is no point in adding old water into your tank, add fresh declorinated water. If you want, since your 10 gal is cycled, use the filter on your new tank or add the media or cartridge into your new filter to seed that filter with beneficial bacteria.

    2) To keep it cycled you’ll need to keep adding a source of ammonia. You can probably keep a betta or something in there or some snails then move it to your community tank when your qt tank is needed.

    You can also have an extra filter, a sponge filter or a hang on back, on your new tank that will be cycled and whenever you need to use your qt tank, take the extra filter off and it will instantly cycle your tank.

    3) What kind of filter is it? Everything that is in your filter has beneficial bacteria and removing or changing it out a piece will cause your tank to either lose it’s cycle or cause a mini cycle, where you get an ammonia or nitrite spike that can harm or kill your fish. Washing it in some old water to unclog it will remove very little BB.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Stephanie0823

    Stephanie0823 New Member Member

    Ok thank you for that info! I honestly have no idea what kind of filter - it’s a HOB that came with the tank - it was a complete starter kit, everything you need to get going kind of thing. Being as this was my first tank I felt it was a great way to go - Little did I know at the time a 10 gallon is way too small for what I want. I also had no idea I would get so addicted! The filter is a black box with some plastic pieces and a rough white filter that fits very snug in between some of the plastic pieces. I know I sound like an idiot - but I tossed out everything so I have no info on what type of filter. I can’t even remember if it has carbon or not. I can look in the morning - Sorry.
     
  4. SegiDream

    SegiDream Well Known Member Member

    Yeah if the filter cartridge has carbon in it you will want to remove the carbon after 30days. You can cut it out and keep everything else.. White fabric like stuff and plastic pieces of the cartridge etc keep all of that. I like to use cut to fit filter media pads or sponges. It makes no sense to me to pay big bucks for filter cartridges when there are other filter media options that last foreverrrrr.

    But as previously mentioned, maintain the cycle in your 10g. Now is maybe a good time to start adding some extra media to get it seeded and ready for your larger tank. Once you have the new tank and filter, move the 10g filter media into the new filter and tank.

    Run extra media or a 2nd filter in your larger tank and then you can pull it at any time for the quarantine if needed. However, keep in mind several medications can kill a cycle so if you start a qt knowing you will use such meds, you might want to save the seeded media until after medications are done.
     
  5. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

    Ditch the cartridge. It is a collosal waste of money. Get some aquarium sponge either at the LFS or at lowes/homedepot. Also get a bag of lava rock from lowes or home depot. Put that in your filter instead of the cartridge and run it. If you have two filters do it to both and run them. This will greatly enhance your filtration capability and it severs the tie to the aquarium business joke of those cartridges.

    The carbon you really dont need. I know there are some that say you need carbon but you really dont. Carbon has its uses and they are limited. With proper water changes and the lava rock filtration style you will have a much more effective filter. The carbon btw does nothing for ammonia or nitrates or nitrites
     
  6. bitseriously

    bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    Chief, the way you write this it sounds like you're saying toss the just-cycled cartridge now, and start all over with new media. Wouldn't it be better to run new and old together for a while, to get the new media cycled before tossing the old? Or am I misunderstanding?

    Do you have any fish now? It sounds like you don't, so why not just take everything from the 10 (substrate, decos, filter media, heater, etc.) and transfer it to the larger tank before getting any fish? The filter that came with the 10 won't be able to sustain your fish in a ~37, so you'll need to upsize your filter. If you get something like an Aquaclear 70 or Tidal 75, you could put the media from the small filter right in the larger filter, and not lose any of the bb.
    After a month or so, the media that comes with the larger filter will carry enough bb to sustain your larger tank on its own, and you can then return the media from the 10gal filter back to that smaller filter on the smaller tank if and when you need a quarantine tank.
     
  7. leftswerve

    leftswerve Well Known Member Member

  8. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

    If there are no fish tossing the cartridge now wont matter. However you can run parallel operations with lava rock and the cartridge for a week just to see the lava rock. If you really want some media get a mesh bag fill it with lava rock and pop it in the tank for a bit then you will have ready to go media.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Stephanie0823

    Stephanie0823 New Member Member

    I do have fish now - 2 Tetras - they are the reason I’m getting a bigger tank because in my inexperience I didn’t realize I would need more than 3 fish so my 10 gallon won’t be big enough for a proper school. Once I get the 37 gallon up and running and stable I want to have a couple of schools in there, a little variety, just haven’t decided what yet aside from the Tetras.
     
  10. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

    Ahhh ok. Get some lava rock at home depot 5lb bag 10 bucks. Put some in your tank for a week then you can throw away the filter cartridge
     
  11. SegiDream

    SegiDream Well Known Member Member

    If you want to seed new media leave it in there at least for several weeks. I recommend trying to use more than one stage of filter media for your main filter. Like sponges along with ceramic rings,bio balls, or lava rock for example.