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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-26-2007, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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how to colonize substrate

that thread title may not be the correct terms... oh well

i'm setting up two new tanks for my mom and girlfriend... unfortunately everything is new but i can get some filter media for both from my current tanks.

one thing i'm wondering is... can i put a bunch of the new substrate (one will have plain black gravel [not going to be a planted tank] and one will have Schultz Aquatic potting soil [experiment]) in a mesh bag and plop it in an existing tank to get the beneficial bacteria built up in it? Will this help in the initial cycling of the new tanks?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-26-2007, 10:59 PM
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To me the easiest way to do it would be to put the filters on the existing tanks for a couple of weeks, then the filters would be cycled.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-26-2007, 11:25 PM
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yes,putting substate in a mesh bag would work, but unless you can get most of what you will be using into that mesh bag it wont have much effect.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by susankat View Post
To me the easiest way to do it would be to put the filters on the existing tanks for a couple of weeks, then the filters would be cycled.
of the three new tanks i'm setting up, this is only possible on one, MAYBE two... and the one it is possible on is currently doing that, it's the other two i'm worried about.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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yes,putting substate in a mesh bag would work, but unless you can get most of what you will be using into that mesh bag it wont have much effect.
two of the three tanks i'm setting up are pretty small so that wouldn't be hard at all. the other one could be a chore, but i've got a 55g basically fish only tank at home i could put a lot of temporary substrate in mesh bags in...

anyone have any recommendations for the best type of bag/holder to use?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 04:45 PM
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You can use a nylon stocking, also most pet stores will have mesh bags for filter media that can be used.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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You can use a nylon stocking, also most pet stores will have mesh bags for filter media that can be used.
thanks!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 05:13 PM
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if you could dig up some mulm (the nasty looking stuff between the substrate in your pre existing tanks) then put that into the new substrate while you are setting it up that would provide a great deal of beneficial bacteria.

when i set up my mini-m i usrd the "established" substrate from the cube then used the filter too. i found that purigen in the filter not only removed any bad nitrates but also cleared the water like a champ. i also used seachem stability, its a mixture of beneficial bacteria that help remove nitrated aswell.

i had no spike in ammonia or nitrite when i folled the above precautions.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 12:59 AM
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The easiest way would probably be to just take a used filter sponge from an established tank, and squish out all the dirty things into the new tank.

The mulm will float around, but eventually will settle in the new substrate.

That's what I do, take the pre-filter sponge and squeeze all that nasty stuff into the new tank. The pre-filter sponge has the most crap in it since it traps all the larger particles, then the smaller particles get stuck.

Looks terrible but works fine.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 01:23 AM
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I just go down to my LFS and buy some bio-spira. Add the plants, fill with water, add fish, add bio-spira, DONE.

I have not had a problem yet.

I woke up one morning and realized my living room turned into a fish store!!! HELP!!!!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 10:12 AM
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What if you took gravel from and established 10g and put it in the new HOB filter (media trays) like say a emperor 400 for a 55 g , and started it up, would that work or would there need to be a cycle in that as well?
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