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Speeding up cycle with water from mature tank
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Nadia
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Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Location: WA

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)15:28    Post subject: Speeding up cycle with water from mature tank Reply with quote

I read somewhere in a discussion thread on this board that if you use 25% water from a mature tank in a new one, you basically have a mature "new" tank. Is that true? I'm trying to set up a 10 gallon, and it would be so convenient to simply put 2.5 gallons of water from my mature 25-gallon in it, and top it off with dechlorinated warm tap water. But it sounds too easy to be true...
Has anyone ever tried this trick?
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Kagh't
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Joined: 06 Sep 2003
Location: over here

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)16:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's a myth, it's true that adding existing water will speed up the cycling process by transfering some beneficial bacteria, the only immediate way to set up a new tank is by putting an exisiting mature filter in there, or media from a mature filter.
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Mario
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)16:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nadia, the majority of bacteria responsible for cycling live in a biofilm on your gravel, glass and in your filter. The fastest way to instantly cycle a new tank is to take the filter you will use on the new tank and run it for a week or two in an already established tank. This will start a nice colony of bacteria. When you transfer the filter to your new tank, these bacteria will quickly multiply, making cycling nearly instantaneous.

Good luck... mario
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Irons
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)16:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes time to get a tank fully cycled. Every surface of the tank becomes covered in the bacteria. Your gravel is on of the important area. Added will help some, but better than that is taking your media from your current tank and squeezing into the new. Better yet replace your media (floss) in the old tank, cut to fit the new and put it in there. Once the tank is matured replace the media. I recently "quick cycled" a 3gallon tank with the media and gravel from a 10. Because it is only a betta I haven't had any problems with cycling.
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)16:40    Post subject: It's not the water... Reply with quote

It's not the water that you need. It's the bacteria. Is there a way to run the filter of the new tank alongside the filter of the old tank for a week or 3? Then move the filter to the new tank. You ought to be able to avoid most cycling.

If the filters have the same cartridge, you could move the old cartridge to the new tank and put a new one on the old tank. The old tank would be OK, assuming that the gravel and decorations had a lot of bacteria on it (Don't gravel clean at the same time) and feed lightly for awhile. Best if you are taking some of the fish along with the old cartridge.

You can just clean the old filter really well, like if it's a canister, and dump all that nasty water into the new tank.
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Nadia
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Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Location: WA

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)16:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, everyone!
I had already transferred one plant and some gravel from the old tank, but the filters are completely different sizes. Can I just drop the used 25-gallon carbon filter into the 10-gallon tank, and take it out later?
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)18:59    Post subject: Don't drop it in Reply with quote

You could put in in front of the new filter, or cut off bits of it and put that in front of the new filter. You want it to be in the filter in the area of high flow, especially if there isn't much of it. But don't just drop it in, you would really be wasting the bacteria, they'd die without the flowrate.

It takes time for the bacteria to multiply you see. They have to sense that there is food for them to start multiplying. Sitting in the tank, they will easily process the food that lands on them and when that is cleaned up they stop feeding, but in the high flowing filter they are exposed to the constant stream of food.

You might want to cut out a large part of the old filter to transfer to the new filter, but keep some of that old stuff for the new cartridge in the old filter too! (this is why running them alongside is easier, you multiply before you divide) A bit of overfeeding in the old tank will help the multiplication.

If you have moved plants into the new tank, you can add a bit of fish food and just leave that with no filter for a few days (assuming no fish) as you run the two filters together in the old tank. If you physically have room to do that of course. The decaying fish food gives the gravel bacteria something to eat to keep them alive without you adding ammonia which also works but can create a monster of an algae problem in a planted tank.

When I set up my Q tank recently, I ran the filter for a week or so with just plants in the tank. I was actually surprised to see brown bio-slime in the filter as I didn't add any food, just a bit of squeezings from the old tank. When I moved one fish to the tank, I squeezed the filter again. Then again when I added more. No ammonia or nitrites on this tank ever.
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