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*** been having issues lately with my 72 gallon bow front as far as water conditions. alot of it being, just the lack of attention *** been giving it lately because of my schedule. i know my nitrates are realllllly high (at least according to petsmart when they tested my water... i really need a test kit).

my 72 bow front is built for sw (built-in corner overflow) and i have a 20 gallon sump (which includes pre-filter, drip tray, bioballs, and then a big filter pad before the pump. now *** been cleaning the prefilter somewhat regularly, but lately *** been noticing crud (probably left over food, and poo) on the bottom of the sump.

my question is.... if i change out the pre-filter pad, the main one, and clean the sump, can i rely on bio-balls and in-tank stuff(sand, fake plants, etc) to keep bacteria alive and to seed the new filter pads? without having it "cycle" again?
 

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my question is.... if i change out the pre-filter pad, the main one, and clean the sump, can i rely on bio-balls and in-tank stuff(sand, fake plants, etc) to keep bacteria alive and to seed the new filter pads? without having it "cycle" again?
Yes, that's what I've been doing for years. As long as you have a sufficient quantity of biomedia. It doesn't take a lot.
 
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