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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would it be bad idea to save the old water from my next couple water changes and use it to fill a new tank in a week or so? I'm thinking a few buckets to help kick off the cycle a bit.

If there are no problems with this, will it actually help cycle or should i not go through the trouble.
 

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There isn't much in the water so unless you have to modify your water considerably from its state out of the tap, I'd be more concerned about keeping it fresh and not going sour on you. Good to do a change on the day you setup the new and use that fresh water though.

You'd get more benefit by pirating some filter media and seeding with some of the existing substrate and plants. Maybe trim a few plants and try to root the stems in prep.

If you have room, add some bio media to your existing filter now. Use it in the new when ready.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Only time I hang onto old water is when I'm keeping the fish in the water and moving them over to a new tank... and then I still replace at least 1/2 the water with fresh.

Old water really won't much help with cycling a new tank, but like everyone else has suggested, keeping the filter going with the media in it should.

Just don't let the filter sit turned off, as N-bacteria are aerobic and need a steady supply of oxygen to stay alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So my question was answered - thanks - now here is what is gonna happen, or what is planned.

I'm using ALL the plants from the old tank for the new one.
Once the new tank is setup for a day Im gonna:
Take the water level down in the new tank, about 75%
Pull plants from old, plant them in the new
Refill the new with as much of the old tank water as I can get out
Put the used filter pads into the bottom of the new canister
MIGHT also put some old substrate into nylons and let that chill for a while.

Thoughts?
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Sounds like a good plan to me.

You might suck up some mulm from the bottom of the old tank and throw that in between the new filter pads in the new filter, too. Mulm is full of N-bacteria and can help seed the new media.
 

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By far the best option is to heavily plant the tank from the beginning, then fertilize, provide CO2 and light, and the plants should take off growing. That will eliminate any need to worry about cycling the tank. It does help to add some mulm from the old tank under the new substrate, to jump start the bacterial growth there - at least there seems to be general agreement that this is a good idea.
 

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Hmmm, that's something I;ve never done, but I bet this would work.

Put a strainer on top of a bucket. Scoop old gravel into strainer and rinse with aquarium water with a little agitation. Use s disposable cup or something, you don;t want a LOT of water. What falls through will be full of mulm. Let it settle a bit, drain off as much of the water as you can, pour whats left into the new tank and spread it around. Then add the new substrate.

You didn;t mention old and new substrates. If they;re similar you can probably just lay a thin layer of the old substrate down and put the new on top.

For what its worth, my local LFS suggested laying down a thin layer of dry fertz in the middle of your substrate as you lay it down in layers. Said he does this in every new tank and that it provides new roots a good saturation of fertz at theri disposal as opposed to adding root tabs later. Can't vouch for it, but it makes sense. Can't hurt.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That makes sense, I'll try that to collect the mulm.
I hate how fine the old substrate is - it gets all over plants even 15" or so from the bottom, so I wasn't planning on using any of the old substrate in the new tank, though I'm thinking that because it's so fine it would remain on the bottom of the new layers, I'll consider this.
 

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Children Boogie
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you really don't need that much mulm. There are plenty of bacteria even in a cup full. And they reproduce quite fast in the right conditions.

Like hoppy said, enough of them are on plants even. You can save all the straining the substrate hassle.
 

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How big is your new tank? The bigger it is, the more it will benefit from a head start. If your old substrate is fine, you're right it will settle to the bottom. Put a thin layer down first if you aren't going to reuse it.
 
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