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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Let's Settle This For Once And For All!

This really really irriated me alot.

Apprently people think that putting "tank water" and old media into the new tank and keep it circulated with water will keep the bacteria alive and cycle the tank in the weeks to come.
Remember there is no fish in the tank or anyting.

I have told alot of people on Youtube (I watch their video) that just cause you keep them in there doesn't mean ..that the bacteria will stay alive and cycle your tank.

The bacteria can't go for more than a day or two without any source of ammiona or waste/poop that you get from the fish to actually keep the colony growing and alive.

But all I get was I don't know anything and stop tell me what to do.....etc...

I would like all input on this so people can once TELL me THAT I AM WRONG.
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:12 PM
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Youre wrong IMO. Even if some of the bacteria died, wouldnt the waste from it logically produce the desired ammonia to keep at least a portion of it alive? And it makes logical sense that mature bacteira will reproduce faster than newer bacteria. Anytime I have added used filter media to a new tank, it cycles faster than a new tank without. I dont agree that you should use old tank water, you should always use fresh water, but old media will send you on your way faster.

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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:14 PM
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Wouldn't adding decaying plant matter work as an ammonia source in place of mulm?

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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Youre wrong IMO. Even if some of the bacteria died, wouldnt the waste from it logically produce the desired ammonia to keep at least a portion of it alive? And it makes logical sense that mature bacteira will reproduce faster than newer bacteria. Anytime I have added used filter media to a new tank, it cycles faster than a new tank without. I dont agree that you should use old tank water, you should always use fresh water, but old media will send you on your way faster.
there is no fish or any source of waste
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Wouldn't adding decaying plant matter work as an ammonia source in place of mulm?
no plants either..nothing
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:16 PM
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I have heard from Dr. Tim May that they are more resilient then we give them credit for sometimes but are no where near as hardy as most seem to think, if that makes any sense at all. I was told that a week would be fine without an ammonia source since with old substrate and such there will still be organics breaking down to keep them fed. With all new stuff such as substrate, plants, decor, filters, etc..... I am not sure if that would be the case since they isnt anything left decaying.

Lol take that for what its worth and the fact that I have left tanks running empty of livestock for a week before and never had a mini cycle even, but again that was with everything in the tank for over a year, just removed the fish.

I prob confused more ppl then anything!

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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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I have heard from Dr. Tim May that they are more resilient then we give them credit for sometimes but are no where near as hardy as most seem to think, if that makes any sense at all. I was told that a week would be fine without an ammonia source since with old substrate and such there will still be organics breaking down to keep them fed. With all new stuff such as substrate, plants, decor, filters, etc..... I am not sure if that would be the case since they isnt anything left decaying.

Lol take that for what its worth and the fact that I have left tanks running empty of livestock for a week before and never had a mini cycle even, but again that was with everything in the tank for over a year, just removed the fish.

I prob confused more ppl then anything!
everything is new in the tank.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:37 PM
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Your right. Adding old tank water does practically nothing. The bacteria attach to surfaces. Adding mulm or mature filter media to a new tank with no fish or anything is a waste of time. A tank simply will not cycle without living things in it. It is a bucket of water at that point.


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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Your right. Adding old tank water does practically nothing. The bacteria attach to surfaces. Adding mulm or mature filter media to a new tank with no fish or anything is a waste of time. A tank simply will not cycle without living things in it. It is a bucket of water at that point.
Thank you. I rest my case as I thought I was the only one that is stupid in this hobby and keep getting diss at.
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:46 PM
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I too have gone a week fishless in a tank and not even had a mini cycle. I think the bacteria (and ive heard this from others experience as well) can last around a week without any significant source or ammonia/nitrites. However im pretty sure they CAN'T go weeks and weeks as is your real question without any source of food. Old tank water might make the bacteria last longer as it may have particulate that will continue to break down, but IMO won't make a real difference. So I say that they are wrong that it can go weeks, but that bacteria is indeed as benjammin said more hardy than we give it credit for.
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:48 PM
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water and filter media or any item from established tank, placed into new tank to cycle, bacteria will die due to lack of anything to...feed off of

add fish food or raw shrimp youd get from the store. right? bacteria will use it and break it down...anything rotting ina a tank will cause ammonia.

live plants dull the high levels, not cycle. just help

i see it a lot, heard it a lot, people would say to cycle a tank run it, but you would need to add something for bacteria to "feed off" and breakdown or it dies. basics of life.
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:51 PM
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Another thing is that if you really want to fishless cycle, just try take the time and do it without cross contaminating tanks. I understand the allure of kick starting a tank with stuff from another tank, but if you aren't adding fish that day then I would aim to have the tank run a cycle on it's own, dosing ammonia, etc.


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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:53 PM
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Id agree. Ive set up tanks in the past with mulm from established tanks only to have to start over cause I let it sit empty for too long before adding my fish.

Now when I start up a new tank, Ill do the same with adding the mulm, but Ill feed the tank even if there are no fish in it.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz_16 View Post
water and filter media or any item from established tank, placed into new tank to cycle, bacteria will die due to lack of anything to...feed off of

add fish food or raw shrimp youd get from the store. right? bacteria will use it and break it down...anything rotting ina a tank will cause ammonia.

live plants dull the high levels, not cycle. just help

i see it a lot, heard it a lot, people would say to cycle a tank run it, but you would need to add something for bacteria to "feed off" and breakdown or it dies. basics of life.
Exactly. The shrimp is a good method. Easy as pie and you don't have to find pure ammonia, does it, or test everyday.

Keep in mind though, that old water is almost useless. The bacteria in it is negligible. You only need it to keep the media wet until it's in the new tank (once it's dechlorinated of course).

You also want to get something living in the tank as soon as you find there is no ammonia in the tank. If not your will 'un-cycle' the tank as the bacteria dies off from no food source.


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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 05:03 PM
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Hmoobthor, you did not specify whether or not fish and plants were being added with the old media.

The idea that adding mulm and filter media from another tank is so you can add fish and plants right away, completing the cycle. They are part of the cycle, therefore without them, your tank won't cycle, even if you try to add a "bacteria starter" from another tank. And also I think the idea behind adding old tank water is that you are adding something you know is safe for bacteria, as opposed to using tap.

True, the tank won't be cycled immediately, because it will tank time for things to balance correctly, but it does help.

Also, where the heck is everyone getting their information? I see nobody claiming to be microbial biologists or anything of that sort, so why is this, IMO made up, information being thrown around if nobody studies the life cycles of denitrifying bacteria? If you don't know, then research! Don't make up!

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