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Setting up a new filter with Seachem Matrix

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  • Setting up a new filter with Seachem Matrix

    I'm replacing one of the canister filters on my 55 gallon freshwater tank and will be using Matrix as the biomedia in the new filter. Should I put some of the old biomedia into the new filter? If so, when can I remove the old biomedia out of the new filter and run just Matrix as the biomedia?

  • #2
    Thanks for the post, GSDMom!

    By putting some of the old media in your new filter, you will certainly help with the cycling of the new media. Once you have fully established the new media and you no longer have ammonia or nitrite in the water, you can remove the old media and replace it with new Matrix. I would use Prime and Stability as if you were cycling a new aquarium. Here are some tips:
    The product Stability will seed all of the bacteria colonies needed to develop a healthy nitrogen cycle. Thus, by the end of the first week of dosing, your tank should have had some readings for ammonia and possible nitrite if an ammonia source was added. However, it may take some time after these first seven days of treatment with Stability for the bacteria colonies to grow to match the amount of waste available in the tank. The actual cycle process can take anywhere from 1 week to 8-10 weeks depending on the system.
    If you are seeing some ammonia or nitrites, then the bacteria should be working to convert ammonia through the cycle. The rate at which these bacteria colonies grow is dependent on stability of pH, temperature, availability of suitable surfaces on which to grow, and many other factors. We have heard of tanks that have been completely cycled by a few days after the week of treatment with Stability, but most tanks require at least three weeks total to cycle completely. To facilitate/speed up the cycle, you will need a continued source of ammonia. This can be from fish, fish food, or household ammonia.
    You can use Prime every 48 hours to keep your ammonia and nitrite bound in a nontoxic form until your tank is fully cycled. This dose will detoxify 1 mg/L of ammonia or nitrite, and should be plenty to prevent any harm to your fish from these compounds. If you want to give the system another boost, then you can use a booster dose of Stability at any time to add some additional bacteria in the event that some has been compromised during your cycle time. In addition, a good bio media such as Matrix (Seachem. Matrix) in your filter would also help as it would give more surface area for colonization of beneficial bacteria.
    Prime can be used to detoxify up to 5ppm of ammonia as each recommended dose will detoxify up to 1ppm of ammonia. If you have high ammonia or a combination of ammonia and nitrate, you can safely dose up to 5x the recommended dose.

    I hope this helps!