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Always get at least the next size up aquaclear from the size of your tank. For example with a 10 gal you get at least an AC20, 20 gal at least AC30, etc... My 5.5 gal has an AC20 but I think an AC30 would be fine, too. Over-filtration doesn't exist unless your livestock like things mucky or with zero flow.
 

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Lots of variables there. Are you going to use seeded filter materials to get things going faster? What is your intended use for the tank: planted, fish, shrimp, combo? Are you doing fishless cycle w/ ammonia?
 

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The closer contact you get with a previously cycled seed sponge the faster it will get the new filter ready. I would take the sponge out of the existing filter and place it below the new sponge in the AC50. That way there is direct contact and flow between the existing bacteria and its new home. If you want you could take the carbon from the new filter and swap it in place of the old sponge from the old filter to take up space, but otherwise carbon is fairly useless. It's still going to take time to get the new filter up to speed on its own but this will help. I'm guessing you're still looking at a week or two before it's ready.
 
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