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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys
I guess i cant resist but to set up another tank, however this new tank wont be planted as heavily as my previous one so my question is.

Can i use water from my established tank and just set up the tank in one go? (meaning adding livestock day one)

or do i need to cycle my tank?
 

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When I set up my 10 gallon, I added about 4 gallons of one week old water from my 28 gallon, and then filled the rest with new water. I added cherry shrimp the next day and all was fine.
 

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There is limited benefit of using "old water." The benefit comes from gravel and filter media. If you can run the filter from the new tank on your old tank for a few days to a week, that will be a significant help. You can also put gravel in an old stocking, or nylon bag, etc, and leave it in the old tank to get bacteria going on it.
 

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I believe that the best thing to do is to use the sponges of the established filter. Drain and squezze them in a clean container and just dump the dark brown fluid in your new tank.

Don't worry - the stuff settles quickly and *should* contain a alot of beneficial bacteria.

I heard that from Tom Barr first and I do believe it is one of the few simple and truly beneficial things one can do.

The other option is to buy commercial bacteria but my experience with it has not been too good. One of the brands raised the Phosphate up to 15 ppm instantly - probably the bacteria was already dead. The filter sponge method should get you the freshest bacteria.

--Nikolay
 

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Where in So-Cal are you? Your lfs should be happy to give you the 'mulm' Nikolay is talking about. And if you were in San Diego I'd say it's a pity...I just cleaned out my filter and there was plenty of good stuff in there.
 

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I agree with the others about needing the established bacteria from another tank. The old water isn't going to do much of anything in cycling terms.

I've always tried to stick with the same type of filters from tank to tank, so I take some of the media that's been in the old tank filter for at least a few weeks, plus any rocks, ornaments, or anything else you can steal from the old tank to boost the bacteria buildup in the new tank. The mesh bag of old substrate is alway a great help as well. The more surface area something has on it, the better it is in a new tank.

The only commercial product that I've heard really works for helping the cycle is Bio-Spira, but it's been sold out almost everywhere for nearly a year. I guess a few places are getting it back in stock again though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What about this. i'll run my filter in my established tank for afew days then when i'm ready to set up my new one i'll do the sponge trick niko said and while doing a water change i'll fill some/most/all (which?) of the new tank with the old water.

Only problem is i plan to have some white sand as substrate, should i put the mulm beneath the sand or will it go away. (wasnt too sure if you meant 'settles' as in sink to the bottom or vanish)

Assuming i do all i say. is it safe to stock on day one? (or when should i?)
 

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Pseuro said:
What about this. i'll run my filter in my established tank for afew days then when i'm ready to set up my new one i'll do the sponge trick niko said and while doing a water change i'll fill some/most/all (which?) of the new tank with the old water.
Running your filter on the old tank is a great idea. That will allow a good colony of bacteria to become established. When you're ready to set up the new aquarium, just switch the new filter to that aquarium. I don't think you'll see much benefit from using the old tank water. If it were me, I would start with fresh water, adding a dechlorinator.

Pseuro said:
Only problem is i plan to have some white sand as substrate, should i put the mulm beneath the sand or will it go away. (wasnt too sure if you meant 'settles' as in sink to the bottom or vanish)
The white sand will show the mulm. It would be best to put the mulm on the bottom of the tank, and then add the mulm.

Pseuro said:
Assuming i do all i say. is it safe to stock on day one? (or when should i?)
I think that if you (1) add mulm to the substrate and (2) have a well established colony of bacteria in your new filter it would be okay to add live stock to the aquarium within a day or two. I usually let the plants begin to take hold and then add the fauna about a week later, but that is usually just due to not having time to both setup the aquascape and purchase fish all in one weekend.

I hope that helps. Look forward to seeing your new aquascape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, thats helps me out alot

however, it's a small whisper powerhead filter (for 10gallons) and the media has active carbon in it. Will this be ok if i run it on my old tank for only afew days? (33 gallons) or will that lead to a disaster? I'm hoping the effects are minor so i can get some bacteria.

My new tank will consist of only probably javamoss, no c02/ferts, lot fishload.
Will it be ok to use the normal filter medias that contain carbon? or should i use osmething else?

Thanks for the help everyone,
 

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Pseuro said:
however, it's a small whisper powerhead filter (for 10gallons) and the media has active carbon in it. Will this be ok if i run it on my old tank for only afew days? (33 gallons) or will that lead to a disaster? I'm hoping the effects are minor so i can get some bacteria.
I think the key is that you will be adding the new filter to your old aquarium, not replacing the existing filter. So, for the next few days, you'll be running two filters on the aquarium. This should not cause any problem for your old aquarium.

Pseuro said:
Will it be ok to use the normal filter medias that contain carbon? or should i use osmething else?
If I were doing this, I would remove the carbon. The carbon, when new, can remove some of the fertilizers that you are adding to your aquarium. I would replace the carbon filter media with a sponge.
 

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I'll reiterate on the old water - save yourself some time and skip it; it's not going to do anything to help your new tank cycle. :)

If you plan to have a heavy fish load and a light plant load, when you do add your fish, do so gradually since you don't have a ton of established media you're going to be adding. A few days on the old tank isn't going to build much up. A few weeks is better.

If you start out with a few fish at a time you're bacteria will be building up in the new tank, and it will make it easier on all of them to be slowly added, instead of one big load at one time, which would probably cause an overload and kill some of them.

Good luck. :)
 

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I recently set up a new tank using the gravel from an old tank that had been broken down and rinsed a few days earlier. I added fish on the second day and the test results indicate that the tank has been fully cycled the entire time.

Old water works if you have NOTHING else. There isn't much bacteria that likes to hang out in the water column.

Something else you may try is adding a plant or two from another tank to the new one. The leaves of plants are usually very good places to find the kind of bacteria you're looking to populate your tank with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think i've set up the tank too fast.
I've had the new filter in my old tank for 2 days and i dont think it's enough. (i also squeezed mulm from my old tank's filter into the new tank).
As im getting ammonia readings at 0.5 with 0 at nitrate and nitrite.

I've moved the shrimp to my old tank to prevent any poisoning.

Now the question is: should i leave the new filter in my new tank to slowly cycle the tank, or move it back to the old tank and collect more bacteria from the old tank and try again?

I'm under a time limit cause some of my cherries are pregnant and i dont want them spawning in my old tank to become food. Also my fish in my old tank tends to bother the cherries too.. so i dont want them to stay there long.

sorry for the bother.. thanks for helping
 

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Call around to your local fish shops and see if you can find some BioSpira. The shops here in Austin have started regularly carrying it again within the last few months, and I know of two that have it in stock nearly all the time now. They both said that it's pretty readily available from Marineland now, so they can get it when they ask for it. It ain't cheap, and it's not an instant fix (it still takes two or three days for the bacteria to really get going well) but it'll do the job very quickly. If you find someone who has it in stock, make sure they keep it in the refrigerator.

Going with the tank squeezin's and filter pad in the old tank for a couple of days will shorten the cycling a good bit, but it still takes "a while" - I wouldn't trust the tank for probably at least a couple of weeks (longer for a heavy load) without outside help like BioSpira. I used old tank water, and took one of the well-established Biowheels from my Emperor 400 and put it in the new Emperor 280, and had pretty much an instant tank - but you can't do that in your case. Also, the denizens of my instant tank weren't delicate, high-dollar fishes (Swordtails and Endler's) so I knew they could tough it out. I still watched the water quality closely, and tested for all the "nasties" two or three times a day for a week. The ammonia and nitrites never blipped, and the nitrates did their usual slow crawl upward.

HTH
 
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