Cycle new tank with water, fish and filter from established tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Carol Stream, IL
Posts: 2
Cycle new tank with water, fish and filter from established tank?


I'm new to the forum and also to planted tanks and would like to hear if the following method would work.

We currently have a well established 30gallon bow front that contains fish only and would like to use 5-10 gallons of that water along with the HOB 75gph filter, some decorative rock along with the 6 fish we have to help establish/cycle our new tank.

The new tank is a 47gallon column with the following:

  • Eco-complete topped with Super Naturals Peace River
  • Fluval 406 canister filter
  • Fluval 200watt heater
  • Current USA Satellite +Pro 18" fixture
  • Hydor nano circulation pump
  • GLA pressurized CO2 system with inline Atomic diffuser

I am looking to include low to moderate light plants.

My plan was to set up the new tank with the plants and then add approx. 5 gallons of water from the established tank along with one large rock, the fish and also the HOB filter hoping that this could seed and support both the fish and plants.

I will be monitoring the levels and making water changes as needed and no additional fish would be added until the tank is completely cycled.

Please confirm is this would work or suggest any alternative methods along this same line.

Thanks in advance,
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 07:11 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 6
Assuming that the old tank had no substrate (i.e. the biofiltration capacity all resided in the filter) and the newly purchased plants don't start dying, you'll be fine. Otherwise, transfer the gravel as well, as this is where the main biofilter capacity might be. You can remove it later from the surface of your Eco-Complete once everything is seeded and stable. And be careful, adding plants relatively gradually, to make sure there's no mass die-off of the plant matter to overwhelm your nascent biofiltration in the presence of the fish. It is unlikely but could happen with, say, mail-order, emersed-grown plants.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 07:15 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 747
i don't think you will have any issues.

I have set up/torn down various tanks using the methods you describe. using media from an existing, up and going filter always speeds up the cycle.

i would monitor the tank closely in the beginning to make sure everything happens, but it should work fine.

i completely disagree about using old substrate - that will just make a mess and be a PITA to clean out

- Praecox Dwarf Rainbowfish, Glowlight Danios, Ember Tetras, Scarlet Badis, RCS, Assassin Snails, Neirite Snails, Black Molly, Dwarf Gourami

-20G L -
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 09:32 PM
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Location: Pflugerville, Tx
Posts: 7,360
Moving the water does some good in the way of keeping water parameters normal but nothing much for the bacteria as it is on hard surface items more than the water. No problem, there. But moving the substrate is not much help as the bacteria will be on or near the surface as they need O@. Once moved and buried, they will be of little help and die. Moving the filter where we hope a lot of the bacteria is living is a big plus as the filter and media are designed to hold bacteria. There will be some lost on the old walls, etc. but the existing should jump up to replace that very quickly while you are also giving more water to dilute any pollution created. Same pollution from the same fish but divided more to make fewer PPM?
I would expect not trouble but it always pays to watch and maybe do some extra testing. The fish will often be the first to let you know when they act in odd ways more than just the normal new tank nervous stuff.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Carol Stream, IL
Posts: 2
Thanks for the responses, I will stick with my original plan then and see how it goes.

Stahoo is offline  

cycle, new tank set up

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