the nitrogen cycle

  • SemiExperiencedJason
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SemiExperiencedJason replied the topic: Re: the nitrogen cycle

The first stage is a sponge thingie
The second is activated carbon
The third is some kind of bag filled with grey stuff that is supposed to clean up the ammonia.
What are the ceramic things you were talking about?
I think I read something about those, but thought it was hogwash. Now I'm interested since YOU brought it up :) And what are bioballs? Never heard of those
Also, it's not letting me approve your friend request for some reason :(

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  • Nina_W
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: the nitrogen cycle

oh my!

So you basically have no biological filter media in there at all? No wonder you're not seeing a cycle

You need media in your filter with a large surface area so that your bacteria can grow on it, a large enough surface area that it can sustain enough bacteria to take care of your entire tank's ammonia production.

The first stage - the sponge, is likely a mechanical filter, and this is at this point, the only place where bacteria has lots of surface area.

Activated carbon does not do much of anything - Except to remove smells (which hides warning signs of a crisis) and to remove funny colours from your water (again, often hiding a crisis) or to remove medication. But it only works for a week or two, then it's clogged and useless at best, at worst, leaking stuff back into your tank.

The ammonia cleaning stuff - need more info, but most chemical products used to remove ammonia or nitrites or nitrates need frequent replacing and or recharging.

Bioballs look like little plastic death stars - and provide a large surface area for bacteria. They work best in a filter where water runs over them constantly, so lots of air. Ceramic rings are a porous material with again, lots of surface area (just check, you want biomedia, and not just flow disrupting ceramic rings).
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