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I am in the process of cycling a 55 gal. tank with medium planting to be used as a temporary home for the fish from my 125 gal. planted tank while I move the 125 gal. to a different spot in my basement. I stupidly added Humic acid to the glass bottom of the 55 gal then added FloraMax, EcoComplete and some gravel - what a mess. I wound up tearing the entire tank down and rinsing filters and everything in the tank to get rid of the brown coloring.
Now the 55 gallon has been cycling for about a week using Dr. Tim's bacteria, ammonia with his instructions with Ammonia down to .25 PPM and Nitrites down to 0 PPM after the last 24 hour test with nice clear water. However, I noticed that I am getting a beige colored film on the front glass and some hardscape. Is this normal during recycling? I have not cycled a tank in some time! According to Dr. Tim you are only supposed to do a water change when you have 0 PPM for both Ammonia and Nitrite after 24 hours and you are about to add your first fish so I have not done any water changes. Thanks to all responding members for your info and advice :smile2:
 

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I suspect the brown substance is diatom's that often appear in newly established tanks and go away after a few week's with no intervention from you.
If your 125 gal is still running,I would rob some filter media from the filter on the 125 gal, and place it in the filter of the 55 gal to help increase bacterial colonization and shorten the maturing or "cycling" process.
Can borrow 25 % of filter media from your already 'cycled 'tank with no issues for the tank's inhabitant's.
 

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Nitrifying bacteria are have a reddish (Nitrosomonas) color (look in the bottle if the liquid is the same color). But it would sound like they are collecting on the glass. You might want to wipe it off and let the filter suck them up so the bacteria establish on the media instead.
If not bacteria, then maybe it's still some humic acid in the water?
Or it's just biofilm along with bacteria or humic acid collecting on it.
Or yeah, I guess it could be brown "algae" (diatoms), common in newly set up tanks.

Just so you know, you can email Dr. Tim's website and he/his team, could give you their advice. I don't know their recommended procedure.

But if the ammonia converts to nitrites and then to nitrates in a timely manner, then the tank is cycled. However, the dosage that you have been cycling the tank at, may be a lower bioload (ammonia, nitrite levels) than the bioload you are going to be bring over (the fish bioload from the 125).
Those dosing instructions are generally for a average stocked tank. Usually a fish stocking from a 125 going into a smaller 55 would equate to overstocking. So as you can imagine, a overstocked tank may constantly be pumping out over the 2ppm ammonia levels you were dosing. So the beneficial nitrifying bacteria colonies you have established, are probably not large enough to deal with larger bioload (larger fish load, less water volume for dilution, more ppm nitrogen). So it may be cycled, but not adequate size bacteria population for the incoming fish load. Though don't worry too much, nitrifying bacteria reproduce/double every 24 hours or so. Would be wise to keep an eye on nitrogen levels through the first few days though.

If this was possible for your situation, you could have simply taken the filter from the 125, put it on the 55, put all the fish from the 125 into the 55 and you are done. All you really need is the cycled/established filter to handle the nitrogen aspect.

If the nitrogen cycle is complete like a fully cycled tank is supposed to, then it's done cycling. The water change might be recommend before adding the fish, just to lower the nitrate levels and any extra ammonia or nitrites that may still be present from the dosing.
 
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