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Thread: cycling a filter in an established tank? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-27-2013 08:35 PM
wendyjo Is your tank glass or acrylic? If it's acrylic then just remove half the water, put the tank in a shallow box of some sort so it won't tip over, and move the whole thing (with the fish in it) since you're not going far. I've done this plenty of times with my 5 gallon acrylic tanks during power outages when I moved them to my sisters house until our power came back on. Then when you get to the new house just plug it back in and add come new water. Easy as pie.
01-27-2013 06:26 PM
Elliriyanna Thanks I have to keep the gravel and the filter Media wet also ... Luckily we are only moving like 15 minutes away

Off topic ... I HATE moving
01-27-2013 03:00 PM
CrypticLifeStyle Home depot sells 5 gallon buckets for $2, $1 seal-rite lid. When you move, fill the bucket with the water. It will help in the new tank, even if the BB is minimal, it still helps, and we're only talking water from a 5 gallon tank.
I have moved so many times, and each time i just fill those orange HD buckets with enough old water to fill 50% of the tanks at the next location, and it's always helped keep things normal. Especially if your new location's water is even the slightness different from your old water, there is the mineral difference, and other things, and the older tank water mixed with the new wont stress the fish out, as much as different water, from a different source. Your conditioning the fish for the change which will take place with water changes as the old water goes out, new water goes in.

You ever go somewhere hours from home, or far far away for a few days, and get the farts haha. It's usually the water, and the minerals, and dissolved organics in it. Even the human body has to change to different tap water from different places
01-26-2013 04:54 AM
Originally Posted by OldJedi View Post
YES, simply hanging the filter you intend to put on the new tank on the old one for a week or two will do the trick. No need to make it any harder than it needs to be.
LOL THANK YOU ... Short sweet and to the point ... and I love the Yoda
01-26-2013 04:32 AM
OldJedi YES, simply hanging the filter you intend to put on the new tank on the old one for a week or two will do the trick. No need to make it any harder than it needs to be.
01-26-2013 02:26 AM
Elliriyanna Fishless cycling is WAY too overwhelming for me or I would be doing it on my current tank
01-26-2013 02:10 AM
Diana Read my answer to your other post. I included the complete instructions for the fishless cycle in that thread.
This will work to grow the same bacteria whether you want to keep frogs, fish, shrimp, snails, or any other fresh water livestock in the tank.
There are some notes about adding a starter culture of bacteria to jump-start the bacteria colony.
Here are some more notes:

Nitrifying bacteria grow in a bio film, stuck to surfaces. There is so few of them in the water that it is not a good source of starter colony. It is safe to do a 100% water changes on an aquarium and lose so few bacteria that there is not even a blip in the test results.
If you have an established tank with a cycled filter, you can add another filter, add filter media, or any other variation you want, hoping to grow some bacteria on it. You can remove from the cycled tank some of the hardscape, plants or other things, hoping to transfer some bacteria.
If the livestock level in the donor tank remains the same, then the bacteria population will remain the same. Adding more media for the bacteria to grow on will not increase the total number of bacteria.
If some of the bacteria grow on the new filter media, then you remove the filter you are removing the bacteria.
If you remove some of the hardscape items you are removing bacteria.
Keep on testing the established tank, and do water changes as needed until the bacteria colony recovers. I have removed as much as 25% of the filter media from a well established tank (several years old) and not had a problem. Note that 25% of the filter media is not 25% of the bacteria. The bacteria grow on many surfaces, in the tank, and on the equipment, so it might be as little as 1/8 of the bacteria.

But if your main tank is only a 5 gallon there will not be a whole lot of bacteria, unless the tank is WAY overstocked. You probably will not be able to take enough bacteria from that tank to support 3 ADF any more than you could add 3 ADF to the tank and hope for no mini-cycle.
If the tank is 'way overstocked' what will happen to the water chemistry when you remove enough bacteria for the new tank, but keep the same number of fish in the old tank?

No matter how you slice it your aquariums only have enough bacteria to support the livestock that is in there now. When you want to buy more livestock you need to grow more bacteria. Best and fastest and safest way to do that is with the fishless cycle.
01-25-2013 08:56 PM
Elliriyanna I was going to add in in a mesh bag for like a week but your method is easier on everyone.

I really do appreciate the patience and all the help
01-25-2013 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by Elliriyanna View Post
Blue I love your idea plus then I wont have to disturb my plants
And you won't have to mix and match substrates.
01-25-2013 08:46 PM
Elliriyanna Unfortunately they are different filters ones a 5 gallon one is a 10 so its not possible ...

Blue I love your idea plus then I wont have to disturb my plants
01-25-2013 08:22 PM
Rostasteve Just take the filter media (part or all) out of the 1st filter and put it into the second filter...assuming that's possible with your filters. Your 1st filter will regrow bacteria just as it would when you replace media during maintenance. This will make your 2nd filter usable immediately.

Your idea of running both filters in the original tank will work too, but I'd give that 1-2 weeks.

I've used both methods and prefer moving the media because it's faster and easier.
01-25-2013 07:58 PM
Originally Posted by Elliriyanna View Post
oh thats a great idea i have to buy something to put over the filter intake so i will use the same material to hold the gravel

Originally Posted by Elliriyanna View Post
OK here is my idea ... put gravel from my established tank plus plants ( grown in my established tank) and run the filter in the 1st tank .. will all of this together help?
OR put as much new substrate into a mesh material of some kind, and leave it in the old tank while the new filter is also running on it. That way you have a seeded filter and matching substrate.
01-25-2013 07:44 PM
Elliriyanna OK here is my idea ... put gravel from my established tank plus plants ( grown in my established tank) and run the filter in the 1st tank .. will all of this together help?
01-25-2013 07:40 PM
shloken38 No one said there wasn't bacteria in the water. It is minimal at best. If you want to seed a new tank, you need to use gravel, decorations or filter media from an established tank (best option). If you use just the water from the old tank in the new tank, that bacteria will die off before it starts to grow. You will basically be starting from scratch.
01-25-2013 05:14 AM
Water Column

There is bacteria in the water column.......
Aquarium Aerobic Bacteria and Anaerobic Bacteria are in the water column. They is more bacteria in the filter and gravel but it also found in the water column.
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