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Bio bag filter

This is a discussion on Bio bag filter within the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; I have had my axolotls now for about a month. They're growing really fast, they eat well, poop, and overall ...

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Old 25th April 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bio bag filter

I have had my axolotls now for about a month. They're growing really fast, they eat well, poop, and overall seem very healthy.

I do however, believe I did not cycle my tank properly, and I've come here to ask questions about it before. I cycled the tank for two weeks, and once the parameters were good and the water was clear, I added the axolotls. Within 24 hours, the water was murky. It has continued to stay murky, even after a few 50% water changes. I assume maybe the tank is still cycling, but parameters are staying at healthy levels.

I have heard many use only sponge filters, and I have had a biobag in mine. is this a mistake? Should I take it out, or will that cause my tank to cycle all over again? I've never had this much of an issue with cycling a tank for fish, so I'm really perplexed (but understand they're different animals).

I hand feed with tweezers, and don't leave uneaten food to linger. I do poop pick up 2x a day. It's a 20 gallon for two small axolotls (under 6 inches), they have sand substrate, but only a small amount of sand is in there, and I feed on a white plate. I did 50% water changes every other day for a week, but have since slowed it down to every 3-4 days. water temp in consistently between 62-66 degrees F.



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Old 6th May 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default 回复: Bio bag filter

The murky water is likely due to an algal bloom, which usually occurs in the early stages of tank cycling.

When you say "the parameters are fine", did you mean ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Because these are the things that we measure when we are trying to cycle a tank.

I'm guessing that you unfortunately likely didn't cycle your tank as it usually takes between 6-8 weeks. Did you add an ammonia source to cycle your tank before you added your axies or did you just let the water sit? You can find out more about tank cycling here

You can cycle your tank with your axies in it, though you'll have to do very frequent large water changes (which it sounds like you're doing) so they don't suffer. Fish-in cycling is generally not recommended but its a common mistake to make. Your axies will be fine but I would highly recommend investing in a API testing kit to measure ammonia, nitrite and nitrate (optimal levels are 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite and 20-40ppm nitrate) so you can tell when your tank is cycled and you can go back to once weekly water changes. Its also important to be able to tell when something is wrong with the tank further down the line so the problem can be fixed quickly!

I haven't heard of a biobag but as long as its a filter that pulls water through a sponge-like substance its fine, you just need a place for bacteria to grow that you can then filter the water through. Definitely don't take it out as you'll lose your bacteria, same goes for the sand. You need all the surface area you can get for the bacteria to grow.

Regardless it sounds like you're pretty doted to your little guys and you're giving them lots of attention so as long as you follow the steps above and get a handle on the cycling i'm sure they'll be fine :)



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