Why is the filter brown in my new tank setup?

Django

I just set up a new 40-gallon tank. It has been sitting for about a week now. I intend to transfer all my fish from an existing 20-gallon and 10-gallon tank to the 40-gallon tank. I’ve noticed the filter cartridge turn brown and I’m not sure if it’s due to a piece of Mopani wood I put in the tank. I’ve had the Mopani wood for over a year. I had previously used it in another tank. I resoaked it in water overnight before putting it in the new tank. But anyway, any ideas? Should I be concerned before I begin the process of transferring my fish little by little. I’m attaching a couple of pics for reference.

Thank you
 

Attachments

  • 4A33E631-28FB-4385-A976-A51A96B434A6.jpeg
    4A33E631-28FB-4385-A976-A51A96B434A6.jpeg
    174.5 KB · Views: 16
  • BFBC7510-CC30-4F0D-8851-C733FC33AEBF.jpeg
    BFBC7510-CC30-4F0D-8851-C733FC33AEBF.jpeg
    171.4 KB · Views: 16

BigManAquatics

Might be a little bit of tannins and just plain dirt. Swish it in a bucket of tank water should help some.
 

RayClem

The other possible issue is that many tanks experience a bloom of diatom algae soon after the tank is set up. This is a powdery brown algae that collects on everything, but is usually easy to remove. Diatom algae has a shell comprised of silica, so it can only occur if there are silicates in the water. Some water sources are high in silicates which can cause diatom blooms to continue. In most cases, the silicates come from the new substrate. Once the initial spike of silicates is gone, the diatoms will no longer be an issue.
 

Django

Thank you, but do you think it’s safe to add fish?
 

MacZ

Thank you, but do you think it’s safe to add fish?
You write it's just set up. So I doubt it's cycled, so... no. not yet.
 

Django

I know all about cycling. I want to know if it’s safe to add fish considering the brown stuff in the filter that could be diatoms or excessive tannins.
 

MacZ

Oh. Absolutely, neither diatoms nor tannins/humic substances are a problem. Unless you want to keep distinctly hardwater fish like livebearers.
 

StarGirl

The brown stuff is from the Mopani Im pretty sure.

I do have one question though.
I just set up a new 40-gallon tank. It has been sitting for about a week now. I intend to transfer all my fish from an existing 20-gallon and 10-gallon tank to the 40-gallon tank.
Did you transfer Media from the 10 and 20 to the 40g filter? How did you cycle the tank?
 

Django

I didn’t transfer media from the 20 gallon nor 10 gallon because those tanks have snail infestations and I don’t want to introduce snails into the new tank. Yesterday I added 40 ml of Top Fin nitrifying bacteria starter. I want to start the transfer tomorrow by adding a couple of mollies.
 

MacZ

Erm... you can't introduce snails with filtermedia.

I want to start the transfer tomorrow by adding a couple of mollies.
Much too early.
 

StarGirl

I didn’t transfer media from the 20 gallon nor 10 gallon because those tanks have snail infestations and I don’t want to introduce snails into the new tank. Yesterday I added 40 ml of Top Fin nitrifying bacteria starter. I want to start the transfer tomorrow by adding a couple of mollies.
So you just let it sit for a week and then added bacteria starter yesterday?

Im sorry to say but that is not a cycled tank and you should not add the fish yet. Please read this article on The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle to understand what I mean.
 

Django

Where’s the article?
 

Django

So I read it. I know all about that. Isn’t that what the nitrifying bacteria does? That’s how I set up the 10 gallon and 20 gallon tanks. After neutralizing chlorine by adding Aquasafe, I added beneficial bacteria, aka nitrifying bacteria, then I was able to safely add fish. The bacteria will already be present in the water to break down fish waste and food. I did this before and had no trouble with the fish.
 

StarGirl

So I read it. I know all about that. Isn’t that what the nitrifying bacteria does? That’s how I set up the 10 gallon and 20 gallon tanks. After neutralizing chlorine by adding Aquasafe, I added beneficial bacteria, aka nitrifying bacteria, then I was able to safely add fish. The bacteria will already be present in the water to break down fish waste and food. I did this before and had no trouble with the fish.
No that is not the same thing. Just adding bacteria does not cycle the tank. You have to build the bacteria that eats the ammonia from feeding and fish waste. It takes roughly a month or more to fully cycle your tank. You have essentially been doing fish in cycles to this point, so that would be what you are doing now if you add the fish.
 

Django

I’ve never done fishless cycling and I’ve had fish for most of my life. I always start with a small number of fish depending on the size of the tank. After a couple of weeks or so I add another fish or two. During this time I monitor the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Is there something wrong with that method?
 

MacZ

Is there something wrong with that method?
When you know what you do, no. I am not a friend of it, but with people that have experience I won't argue. Just we all have to deal with a lot of absolute newbies here and by default a beginner doesn't know anything and the misunderstanding about the definition of cycled ticked our red flags, you know? For some posts you made the impression not to be experienced with fish-in cycling.

Seen too many cases with massive losses, one gets twitchy at a point. ;)
 

StarGirl

I’ve never done fishless cycling and I’ve had fish for most of my life. I always start with a small number of fish depending on the size of the tank. After a couple of weeks or so I add another fish or two. During this time I monitor the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Is there something wrong with that method?
Nope... as long as you are monitoring and changing water you are fine. I just wanted to make sure ;)

An alarming amount of people come to the forum and say they added bacteria and a month later their fish are dying. "Have you changed any water?" Yes ...the pet store told us to change 10% a month. We set everything up and cycled it for a week before adding our fish. A LOT of people think cycling is just letting it run with nothing in it.
 

JLDJ

Isn't the brown on the filter cartridge normal as it is just all the it has been filtering out?
Otherwise, filter medium would never need cleaning or changing.

BTW, I also have an Aqueon HOB filter . The little blue holder in front that holds a little anti Ammonia rectangle is not needed with a fully cycled tank..
So, I put it to better use by putting 4 bio rings in it

I also have a sponge pre filter on its intake This in its self filters out an impressive amount of and extends the life of the filter cartridge. The sponge can be rinsed out of course and reused many times befor needing eventual replacement :)
 

Attachments

  • 001_filterx1.jpg
    001_filterx1.jpg
    418.6 KB · Views: 6

Django

Yeah it’s really not necessary at all. It’s just something they added on. Based on the answers I’ve received, it appears that the brown stuff is not an issue of concern.
Isn't the brown on the filter cartridge normal as it is just all the it has been filtering out?
Otherwise, filter medium would never need cleaning or changing.

BTW, I also have an Aqueon HOB filter . The little blue holder in front that holds a little anti Ammonia rectangle is not needed with a fully cycled tank..
So, I put it to better use by putting 4 bio rings in it

I also have a sponge pre filter on its intake This in its self filters out an impressive amount of and extends the life of the filter cartridge. The sponge can be rinsed out of course and reused many times befor needing eventual replacement :)
Where did you get the bio rings?
 

JLDJ

I got the bio rings on e-Bay.
You have to get a bag full.... more than you really need but, they are not that expensive
There are various size bags and prices available. :)
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
7
Views
389
Tol
Replies
3
Views
154
jaydivingboard
Replies
11
Views
353
AliX33x
Replies
3
Views
350
Superswell
Replies
2
Views
308
Vicky98

New Aquarium Filter Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom