Quarantine question


New member
Ok I have a 55g quarantine tank, bare bottom few pieces of PVC HOB filter and a protein skimmer. The question I have is how does it stay steady or non cycling without a sump. when I change the filter pads in hob filter wont it re cycle ?


New member
Take a piece of string and tie a new filter on it, let it hang in the tank for a few days to get the bacteria started than replace the old filter with it.


New member
You should only change the Chemical filters...leave the biological filters ...if they get too nasty, rinse them in tank water [while doing water changes]


New member
The bacteria population which is usually referred to as "being cycled" lives all over all surfaces which are in contact with your saltwater. So yes, when you change the filter, that new surface will be clear of bacteria and will need time for them to grow on it. But how much surface is on that filter pad vs. the rest of your system? I'm guessing its a fairly small proportion. Not enough to get worried about.

In fact a bigger issue is just having the tank there with no livestock in it. Remember that being "cycled" means your bacteria population is in equalibrium with the waste production of the other living things in the tank. During times when there are no fish in the tank, that waste production will be very low to non-existent. This effectively removes the food supply of the bacteria, so their population will decrease. So when you innitially add new fish, the population of bacteria will be too small to keep up. But again probably not a huge problem unless you added a bunch of fish at once.

In all cases though, just test your water when you make changes and you will be fine.


New member
ok so like the whole back glass and bottom that are never cleaned will hold enough bacteria. and to solve the problem of no waste over the times with no fish can I just throw in a pinch of flake food every few days ?


Registered Member
My 02

If your not in a rush ... then keep some foam filter media tucked away in your sump or behind your LR in your ST. This filter media will develop beneficial bacteria and after 3-4 weeks you can place this foam filter media in your QT powerfilter and have "instant cycled" QT. If your in a "stocking mode" then I suggest you keep plenty of extra filter media in the ST/sump so you can have a ready supply .. this allows you to breakdown and sterilize the QT after each use.

If your in an emergency situation then you might consider transferring the filter media from your ST filter (if applicable) to the QT filter ... this has the same effect as discussed above. Even transferring a piece of mature filter media will help "seed" your QT filter media and it will have a positive effect.

You should be prepared to do significant water changes if you don't have mature filter media in your QT ... and even with a mature filter media you should note that many fish meds may kill off beneficial bacteria so major water changes may still be required.