Spuff Spuff
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 14:44
Keeping filter bacteria alive #1
We got a message from All Pond Solutions today saying that they are going to pick the tank up soon and process a refund because of an electrical fault with the hood.
Unfortunately, we had to unplug the lighting and built-in hood filter because we were very unsure of how safe it is so that filter media has pretty much had it now. But luckily, we have a separate internal 1200 lph filter running. I really want to keep this filter bacteria alive until we get a new tank but keeping it running in our other tank is not an option because it's in the bedroom and the filter is noisy as hell! I wondered if I pulled the powerhead from the filter and sat the media in the tank, would this be enough to keep it alive for a week or so?
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 16:04
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #2
Unfortunately no, the bacteria need flowing water, oxygen and food so this won't work over that length of time.

If you can, get a large bin/box and fill with warmed dechlorinated water. Run the filter on that, dosing with ammonia every day to keep the bacteria alive.
Spuff Spuff
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 16:09
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #3
Any idea where I can get ammonia in the UK from? From a shop preferably, so I don't have to wait for days for it to arrive in the post. It's seemingly impossible to find!
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 16:15
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #4
Afraid I don't----always get mine online for that reason. Try hardware stores, possibly Homebase, local chemist
Spuff Spuff
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 16:18
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #5
Thanks,
I just rang a local hardware shop and he says he sells it
I'm gonna go down and check it out now. If it's the right stuff, how much should I use per volume? And how often?
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 16:22
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #6
Treat it as a fishless cycle. Dose to about 3ppm every day checking ammonia/nitrite to see if your bacteria have survived/are rebuiliding. If the ammonia is only partially used in 24 hours only dose enough to get back to 3ppm. Use the calculator at the bottom of the fishless cycling article to calculate the dose. Get a small syringe to dose with as ammounts will be tiny - say a 1ml syringe maked in 0.1ml gradations. A chemist should have one for a matter of a few pence.
Spuff Spuff
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 17:59
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #7
Thanks for that!
I've setup the filter in a small 30L tank that we're not using. Added 0.9ml (approx) of ammonia in and took a reading with the API master kit and it was on 0.25-0.5ppm. Didn't seem enough so I've put another 1ml in and the best I get is 1ppm. Shall I just keep adding ammonia until I hit 3?
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 19:39
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #8
Seems very strange. How long after adding ammonia did you test? What strength is the ammonia? Is it pure (i.e just ammonium hydroxide with no added scents, surfactants or soaps)?
Spuff Spuff
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 20:32
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #9
It doesn't say much on the bottle, other than 'ammonia solution'. It's the Homecare Essentials one. I did the 'foam test' and it was fine, no foam. Had a quick smell ... DEFINITELY no added perfumes! lol
I did the test after about 20 mins. I didn't think it would take long for a 1200 lph filter to churn through 30 litres.
If all goes well, I should, in theory, be able to put that filter straight into the new 240l tank and it'll be pretty much cycled, do you think? I'll probably run it fishless for a little bit first before moving my fish into their new home, just to be on the safe side.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 4/3/2013 20:58
Re: Keeping filter bacteria alive #10
I reckon I've read somewhere that this brand is a lower strength. A full 3ppm dose would take around 12 hours to clear (as it's in part per million, volume of water is irrelevant).

I would add in small doses, testing about 2 minutes after each addition until you get to 3ppm. Add up how much that took, and then use the full dose 24 hours later if it's all gone. If it hasn't all gone, post up how much you added to get to 3ppm and we'll try and work out what strength it is so you can use the calculator and multiply by the right factor.

Are you certain the tank is 30 litres? You can put the dimensions in the volume counter on the right if you need to check.