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Faster nitrogen cycle

880 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Diana
am going to set up new 4 gallon nano tank, i have 1g and 50g tank running for while now. i was thinking about using sponge filter from my 1g tank into the new 4g tank. that 1g will no longer be used anymore anyway, unless i could keep cherry shrimp without filter and heater? answer that question also if you can.

next i have used lava rock in my 50g Rena xp2 filter like 2 months ago, i was thinking about taking some out from there and add it to my nano filter, will that help also?

i just want to speed up the cycle process because i cannot have too many tanks running in the house. i have galaxy rasboras, 4 of them which i need to transfer to my 4g nano tank on the same day when i first set it up.

is there any other method?

i don't want to use the substrate from the 1g or 50g tank because i want to setup with new substrate, i know that it would help to speedup the cycle if i use it from either of those tanks.


1st layer Peat moss.
2nd layer osmocote plus fertilizer pellets
3rd layer Peat moss again
4th layer flourite black sand or ecoComplete Substrate

how does that sound?
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Using filter media, in this case your sponge filter, is the best way to speed up a cycle so you should be good to go.
Layering substrate does not work very well, it will get disturbed, mixed... and then the peat will drift all over the tank. :-(

Also, peat is so light that gravity will pull the Flourite or EC under, and again, the peat is exposed to the water column and will drift around.

1st layer: dust in the peat so you can still see the bottom of the tank. Or skip it entirely.
Also in the first layer: Osmocote, other tablets
2nd layer: A single product like Flourite, EC or whatever you want.

If you want the black water environment that peat creates, add it to the filter.

Fastest cycle:
I have removed as much as 25% of the filter media from a well cycled aquarium and had not issue at all with the donor tank.
I have set up and fully stocked tanks by taking a little media from each of several tanks.
Filling the filter with well cycled media provides about 50% of the bacteria that is normally found in established tanks. More bacteria live on the leaves, rocks and driftwood. The plants are also part of the biofilter. If you are taking the decorations from an established tank there will be some bacteria on them, but not a lot compared to the filter media.

Net result is that a well planted tank, with a filter of used media can usually be fully stocked with a reasonable fish load the first day. In fact it is better. The bacteria would die out without a source of ammonia, so lightly stocking, or running it for a week or so without a source of ammonia is a bad idea.
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