Seeding a Canister Filter from old tank

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chipster55

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Thank-you for your timely and informative response. This is a wonderful site and I have been reading many of the questions and comments which have answered many questions. I too have not had a tank since my younger days and things have sure changed. I was not planning on putting the betas together. I guess I will keep them as is for now. I have one more question but this may not be the right forum for it. As I said I am setting up a second tank and I don't quite understand how to help the biological process from my existing tank. I have a canister filter for my new 75 gallon tank and a power filter with two compartments in my established tank. I also heard about adding gravel which is a possibility because the gravel is all natural color. Do I add the whole bio cartridge or just the white sponge. My canister has four levels so there is plenty of room. Also is there something else to add to canister filter beside the charcoal. Charcoal is all I have in it right now. If I need to go to another forum with this question that is fine...but you sound very knowledgable. Thanks
 

Gunnie

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I'm not quite sure how to answer you. I would set my canister up exactly as listed in the instructions. As you get more comfortable in how your canister works, you can change a few things later. If it tells you to use both, then that is what I would do. It sounds like the sponge and bio cartridge are where your bacteria will probably be hanging out for the most part, and your carbon area is for the disposable stuff you will have in there. Carbon is perfectly fine to have in your filter, and you can change it each time you do a cleaning of your canister. It's not vital to the health of your tank, and most folks only use it when they are removing meds from the tank. Others swear by it, and say it keeps their tank crystal clean. It's really personal preference. I prefer to not use the carbon, and fill my canisters with more bio balls or ceramic rings instead.
 
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chipster55

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Thank-you for your reply. Could you please explain the bio balls and ceramic rings such as what they are and what they do. I guess I didn't ask my question very clearly last post. I am trying to find out how to use an established tank to help start and speed up the cycling in a new tank.
 

chickadee

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Could you tell us the Brand and Model of the Canister you are using and the PowerFilter you are using.  Maybe that would help get an answer.  I know enough about them to know that you need to have BioBalls or rings or something for the bacteria to grow on.  They should have come with the canister.  There should also have been some sponge or pads of some kind with it.  There should be a basket or two inside of it and the bioBalls or rings go into one of them as it will serve as the place where the biological filter grows.  It will not be disturbed during most canister cleaning as to wash it will disturb your bacterial bed.  Now for the rest, the portion of the filter media you take from the power filter to put inside the canister should not be the whole part of either thing.  Just a piece of the media is all you put in.  What ever the replaceable part of the media is (most often replaced) just take a part (like half) of it and place it in with the bioballs for the first while until the tank is cycled.

Now we will see if anyone else has further to add.  Here is a sample of what the BioBalls are about.  I would use the Ceramic filled in the chamber.




Rose
 
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chipster55

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I have a Cascade 1200 canister filter (350 gpm). It is made for aquariums up to 150 gal..mine is 75 gal. I read your link to Bio Balls. But I don't understand how these will fit in the compartments of my filter. The bio compartments are rectangular and measure appr 8 X 4 X 1 (inches). Each compartment has the white filter media and one has a grey colored sponge (which I assume is the Bacteria sponge) which is located in the compartment on the bottom of filter. My power filter in my established tank is what I consider a normal two compartment filter which hangs off back. I don't know the brand but can get it if needed. There are white filter pads (which I put charcoal in) in each compartment which are located right next to the gray sponge. Do I cut the gray sponge in half or the white filter pads. Also is there any order (top to bottom) in canister filter that is preferred for optimal bacteria growth. Would a second gray sponge put in another compartment help any. And lastly once I get bacteria seeding done how long will it take to cycle. My older tank is in perfect chemical balance now. I hope these questions make sense. Thanks for your help.
 

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You're gonna have to play around with it. I can't tell if the media already included with your filter completely fills up those baskets or not. The baskets at number 7 is where the bio balls or ceramic rings would go if you used them. I would put it together and see if there is extra room in those baskets. If so, I'd put the bio balls and/or ceramic rings on the bottom of the basket(s) and the floss pad or coarse sponge on top to kind of hold them in the basket because they will be loose. You can also buy these little media bags to put the media in and then put it in your filter. It looks like the ceramic rings are available for this filter by Cascade (bottom right hand corner of the diagram). They call them bio rings. They may actually not be ceramic at all. Check the price of these and compare to other brands. As far as I'm concerned, ceramic rings are ceramic rings, and the brand doesn't matter. The prices vary greatly.
 
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chipster55

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The media does not fill up the four filter compartments. I have charcoal in one tray and the bio filter in another with the last have just floss pads. My local fish shop recommended to use Zeolite Pro filt-a-packs in one of the trays. Have you heard of this and if so is it useful. It supposedly is useful for ammonia control after your tank is cycled. Thanks for your help..I will try out the rings..
 

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I would save the zeolite for when you need it. Your bacteria needs that ammonia to stay alive. I have some tucked away for when ammonia is a problem in the tank.
 
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OK Thanks
 
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