Instant cycling? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Instant cycling?

I'm wanting to start a little 10gal tank soon after being out of the hobby for years now (and possibly and/or a 29gal) I don't really remember the cycling process, but I do remember that I think if you have a filter running on an established tank, that you can put it in a new tank for an instant cycle. Is that correct?

At my work there are three huge fish tanks that have been running for years. Healthy, no issues. I've asked, and I'm allowed to attach as many filters as I'd like to seed the media.

So my questions are

1. Can a filter running on an established tank be used to instantly cycle a new tank? Or at least speed up the process?
2. If so, how long should it run on an established tank before transferring to a new tank?
3. They use canister filters, can I just add my own media and not bother attaching a HOB?

Thanks so much!


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 10:46 PM
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1. Yes. To some degree at least, don't know that I'd call it truly instant. You still need time to build up enough mass in the filter/tank to handle whatever load you have but it will significantly speed things up. I usually do that when I start up a new tank. I'll run the new filter in parallel with another on an existing tank and then move one or the other over depending on what I'm wanting to do.

2. A couple weeks? Probably could get away with less time but I'd rather let it run for a while and get a better mass established. Some just toss some old media in the new filter and call it good and go. I'm not usually in that much of a hurry and have plenty to do otherwise as far as setting up the tank so I just let it run for a while.

3. You can. Again, still need time as above but that will get things started at least. Ammonia -> nitrites usually goes pretty quick when cycling a new tank. What typically takes forever is getting from nitrites -> nitrates. Seeding it speeds that up a lot. You'll be able to see some conversion basically right away, just a matter of how much it can handle and how stable it is. I'd probably go slower stocking it with a HOB since there's not as much there working for you.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerpuppet View Post
I'm wanting to start a little 10gal tank soon after being out of the hobby for years now (and possibly and/or a 29gal) I don't really remember the cycling process, but I do remember that I think if you have a filter running on an established tank, that you can put it in a new tank for an instant cycle. Is that correct?
Thanks so much!
Simple answer on my experience, YES.

I bring new fish home all the time and put them in a new cleaned tank.

Take slabs of foam out of canisters, hang-on filters and/or air powered hydro-sponges.
Take some of their water too.
Make some new fresh water just like a water change.

I basically take a fraction of the filters and water.
The new tank set up works just like the one I took stuff from.

The percentage is up to you.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 01:17 AM
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just remember if you're planning seeding to have dechlorinator in the water before throwing in the seeded sponges from the old filters. you're never supposed to wash those in regular water anyways. it also depends on how big of a tank/media you've added as well. smaller tanks will cycle faster. you can always just throw in fish food too and leave it for the ammonia build up. i've always just left it for a month to be safe if its being seeded. or just check the water yourself with test kits before buying fish.
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