Sponge filter cycling

Written by allan on . Posted in Aquarium Tank

I have a small Discus hatchery with 3 20 gallon tanks with breeding pairs, one 75 gallon tank, 2 60 gallon tanks, and two 30 gallon tanks. I use the “Rainbow” brand double sponge filters (each sponge is about 6 inches x 2 inches. My large tanks have two filters (4 sponges) in them and the small tanks have one (2 sponges). I moved to a new home almost two months ago and I tried to preserve the biological cycling on the aged sponge filters by packing them in 5 gallons cans with aquarium water. When I setup my tanks in the new location I discovered 4+PPM of ammonia in all my tanks. It seems all my sponges had un cycled. I had to use a triple dose of Amquel daily to remove the Ammonia and all the fish became very lethargic. I recognized that they were under extreme stress. I changed over
to Ammo-lock, a product that doesn’t remove the Ammonia but converts it to a harmless state. It’s been almost two months now and I’m doing daily 80% water changes in every tank and cut down on feedings to once a day and still get very high ammonia readings so I continue to use the Ammolock.
I tried some of the over the counter products that are supposed to speed up the cycling process by adding bacteria to the water but I haven’t noticed any change. Is it possible that my sponges are no good anymore. I have never had to wait 2 months for the cycling process to activate.
Marineland make a product that is supposed to get a cycle going in one day but they are out of stock at least until July. My baby fish are dying even with the ammolock. Can you offer any suggestions?

Reply:
1. May be we are lucky in my country in Malaysia. Our water is not so complicated.
2. We use bare tank with aeration. That is all.
3. And we change water everyday.
4. We can’t afford to have all these products to maintain the water daily.
5. So our fish practically have built up antibody and immunity.
6. Why not try this way. I think if you buy the fish, which is imported from Malaysia, should save your problems.

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