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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

My tank broke recently, I've bought a new one but I obviously already have the inhabitant of the old tank, a Nerite Snail.

The new tank came with live bacteria which I have put in the filter media, I have put some of the old filter media in the tank, along with a decoration.

Will my Nerite be okay? I'll also add some of his water as he goes in.

How long will it take with a 'snail-in' cycle? Are Nerites hardy enough for this?


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What size is the tank? In any reasonable sized tank a snail will produce so little ammonia that there really won't be much of a cycle.
Best thing to do in this situation is to move everything from the old tank to the new tank.
There are beneficial microorganisms on all the surfaces, including substrate, driftwood, plant leaves and ceramic merpeople.
There are a lot of nitrifying bacteria in the filter media, so be sure to keep that.
The total population of nitrifying bacteria in the old tank is a balance between the amount of ammonia created by the livestock and the population of other things (such as plants) that remove that ammonia. If you have a lot of thriving plants the bacteria population will be fairly low.

If the only inhabitant of the original tank was the Nerite, then there will be "1 snail-worth" of bacteria on all those surfaces.
If you had fish or shrimp also, then the bacteria population will be enough to handle the waste from the fish, shrimp and the snail.
In both these cases a thriving plant colony will take in a fair amount of the ammonia, so there would be less bacteria.
As for how long a cycle takes:
The more bacteria of the correct species that you start with, the faster the cycle.
If you saved pretty much everything from the old tank you may not even notice a little blip in ammonia or nitrite, and the tank will be cycled in just a couple of days.
If you added Nitrospira species of bacteria (read the label, don't waste time or money on anything else) then there may be a trace of ammonia but rarely any nitrite, and the tank will be cycled in just a couple of days.

At the opposite end, if you had no source of bacteria to jump start the population, then a fish-in cycle can take several months.
A fishless cycle with no bacteria to jump start it will take 3 weeks. (Fishless includes 'snail-less' and 'shrimp-less' cycles- no livestock in the tank)
Another thought:
If your original tank had fish, snails, shrimp... that is, more livestock, then there would be a lot more bacteria.
If then you lost most of the livestock when the tank broke you would still have the bacteria, as long as they were kept in the right environment. (moist, high oxygen).
When you assemble the new tank, and use many of the things from the old tank, but only have one snail left there ought to be way more bacteria than the tank needs to handle the waste of one snail, so the bacteria will die off to match the available food.

Please add more details and perhaps we can figure out how much bacteria there is in the new set up:
Water test results from the old tank, especially nitrate.
Water test results from the new tank, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.
Size of both tanks, some details of the set up- filter, lights, plants, substrate, decor (might be easiest to post a few pictures).
How did you handle the change over?
How long did it take?
How did you store things like substrate, driftwood, and filter media?
What kind of bacterial additive came with the new tank?
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