Seeding a filter...

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muelleh

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I have just put a sponge filter in my cycled 5 gal and plan to remove the HOB filter once the sponge filter has developed enough BB to avoid a mini-cycle (this is for my betta - he can't take the turbulence of the HOB filter). How long is this likely to take? The betta is back in his bowl and I will be keeping the BB fed with ammonia.

Thanks!
 

Meenu

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It takes about 4 weeks - but why do you have the betta in an uncycled bowl instead of an uncycled, but filtered and heated 5 gallon tank?
 

Kunsthure

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Meenu said:
It takes about 4 weeks - but why do you have the betta in an uncycled bowl instead of an uncycled, but filtered and heated 5 gallon tank?
+1 to both parts of that response.

-Lisa
 

claudicles

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While seeding it you also need an ammonia source so the best thing would be to put your Betta back in. There are ways to slow down a hob if you need to.
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I would recommend that you put the betta back into his cycled tank. You can cut a filter sponge to fit (a bit larger actually) the out flow area of your filter. By cutting it a bit larger, force it to fit and then you want have to tie it down and it won't float into your tank. This will slow down the current.

What is the Gallons Per Hour (GPH) of the hang on back (HOB) filter you are currently using?

The media you want to seed (sponge filter) I recommend that it be in the tank 4 weeks to be on the safe side.

Ken
 
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muelleh

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I have tried everything to reduce the turbulance: stuffing filter material in the outflow; cutting a water bottle and wrapping it around the outflow to disperse the turbulance....while all helped somewhat, he was still clearly not doing well. He would hang out in a corner, barely move, and wouldn't eat. Even when I unplugged the filter so the food would just sit there on the surface. When he started listing to one side, I took him out. He is happily blowing bubbles in his bowl (1.5 gal) and is back to swimming around, eating, flaring, etc.

The filter came with the tank and I am guessing it must be a 5-15 gal one (I threw the box out way back when I set it up and cycled it (fishless). I am going to move it to my 10 gal when I am sure the sponge filter is doing its job.

Anyway, I am not going to put him back in there until I know that the tank is cycled with the sponge filter.

I am feeding the tank with a few drops of ammonia every day, which is what I did to cycle it in the first place. It took about 3 weeks. I was hoping that having a filter already running it it would speed up the seeding of the second filter...
 

sirdarksol

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Since you're dealing with a less-than-ideal situation that isn't really your fault (some filters are just too large for a tank, no matter how much you try to cut the flow), you've got a difficult set of decisions to make. I think you're doing well.
While I agree with Ken that, normally, you want to give a piece of media 4 weeks to build a nitrifying colony, in this case, putting the betta back earlier isn't really going to change things.
In fact, if you wait 4 weeks, you might as well just put the betta back in now, pull the HOB filter, and proceed through the cycle with fish. Chances are that the cycle will be complete within four weeks.
I'd suggest waiting one week, to give the sponge filter a chance to pick up a good amount of seed bacteria. The plants in the tank will also be carrying a good amount of bacteria (especially if it's something with a lot of surface area, like Java moss). Feed the tank somehow; either drop a single piece of fish food in each day, or add a small amount of liquid ammonia, if you have some from fishless cycling. Do water changes on the bowl every day (I'm sure you know that). Then, when you move him back, watch ammonia and nitrite levels like a hawk until you're absolutely sure that the tank is cycled.

Good luck.
 
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muelleh

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Thanks! I also have some Stability (I know there is controversy about it) which I could use too once I move him back. He's been in a bowl for at least a year so I'm used to daily water changes :)
 

sirdarksol

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I have not had seen any difference with Stability (yet), but there are some members who have seen pretty quick cycles that may or may not have been influenced by the product. That's the reason I'm doing the tests with it, and why I encourage others to do the same.
The other thing you could do is move a few extra plants (like if you have a clump of Java moss in another tank that you can move to this one) into the tank.
 
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muelleh

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I have a small anubis that I was planning to transfer...I'll go ahead and do that. And I am going to use the Stability since I bought a huge bottle of it in a panic about a mini cycle in my 30 gallon (thankfully over). I figure it really can't hurt anything and might even help. I haven't read any discussion about it, but I kind of wonder if one Betta can produce enough waste to keep the BB fed.
 

sirdarksol

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Even the smallest fish will produce enough waste to keep some nitrifying bacteria fed. A tank will only have as much nitrifying bacteria as can be supported by the amount of food going into the tank. Therefore, a colony supported by a betta wouldn't be enough to support, say, a pair of dwarf gourami.
 
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muelleh

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Thanks so much for all your help!!
 
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