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  1. Question Cycling--confused!


    0 Not allowed!
    So for some reason, the cycling process is confusing to me and I need some clarification/help!

    I currently have an established 5gal that I've had up for a year with live plants, 1 Betta, and 1 Oto. I'm in the process of setting up a new tank...Aqueon 15gal Column, that I'll be moving my fish over to and also adding some Neons to as well.

    I set the tank up this past weekend. Eco-complete, half of the live plants (the others should arrive via mail this week), and some larger rocks from my 5gal.

    I've read that you can pretty much instantly cycle by using media from an established tank, so my question is, if I throw my bio-wheel from my 5gal into my new tank, is that an effective way to cycle? Also, how will I KNOW when it's properly cycled? This is the part that confuses me the most. Ammonia is supposed to spike and then go back down? I just don't understand at what point I'm supposed to know "Okay, it's good to go!".

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    If you are moving all the stock over from the 5gal, I would take the entire filter, not just the bio-wheel, over to the new tank. Run it and your new filter together for a month or two until the second filter gets seeded. Then remove the old filter. Let the new filter run for a couple more weeks before adding new stock.

    You need a test kit. When ammonia, and nitrites read zero with the test kit, then "it's good to go!"
    But remember, the BB need a source of food - you can't transfer the filter over and not keep any fish in the tank - you have to transfer the filter and the BB's food source (your fish) to the tank at the same time.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I do have the complete API test kit--everything is reading at zero.

    So let me make sure I'm understanding you...I can put the filter and bio-wheel into the 15gal, AND the fish at the same time right away and just monitor my levels everyday? Will I still see an Ammonia/Nitrate spike when I put my current two fish in?

  4. Default


    2 Not allowed!
    With your old filter on the new tank, and the same stock, you will not need to create a cycle- you basically hijacked the 5g. There should be no ammonia spike UNLESS you add extra fish.

    Run the new filter with the old one, then very slowly add more fish to your tank. If you add too fast, your bacteria won't be able to keep up.
    20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!

  5. #5

    Default


    4 Not allowed!
    You have to understand how the cycle works and what it is for, and the rest will be quite evident.

    In a mature, healthy aquarium, beneficial bacteria consume and convert harmful ammonia from fish waste Into to less harmful nitrate, which can be removed by water changes. Accumulating these bacteria is known as the cycle.

    I would not recommend just moving the filter to the new tank. The Bacteria and the fish are dependent on each other, and if the fish stay in one tank and the filter goes on another, the fish will be poisoned while the bacteria starve.
    If you move both the fish and the bacteria simultaneously, nothing will happen because the same amount of fish bioload is still being balanced by the same population of bacteria, so there will be no spike of ammonia/nitrite.
    Since the bacteria population fits the fish population, you also cannot add large amounts off fish at the same time. New fish must be added a few at a time, to allow the bacteria population to grow. Adding too many fish at once will suddenly increase waste production faster than the bacteria can handle, resulting in toxins in the water.

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post
    You have to understand how the cycle works and what it is for, and the rest will be quite evident.

    In a mature, healthy aquarium, beneficial bacteria consume and convert harmful ammonia from fish waste Into to less harmful nitrate, which can be removed by water changes. Accumulating these bacteria is known as the cycle.

    I would not recommend just moving the filter to the new tank. The Bacteria and the fish are dependent on each other, and if the fish stay in one tank and the filter goes on another, the fish will be poisoned while the bacteria starve.
    If you move both the fish and the bacteria simultaneously, nothing will happen because the same amount of fish bioload is still being balanced by the same population of bacteria, so there will be no spike of ammonia/nitrite.
    Since the bacteria population fits the fish population, you also cannot add large amounts off fish at the same time. New fish must be added a few at a time, to allow the bacteria population to grow. Adding too many fish at once will suddenly increase waste production faster than the bacteria can handle, resulting in toxins in the water.
    Thanks! Explained that way, it has clicked with my brain (and thank you to everyone else for the information too!). My only remaining question is, the filters are two different brands/sizes; where do I put the old filter and should I leave the new one too so the BB colonizes on that one as well?

  7. #7

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Yes, you should run both filters on the new tank to which you have transferred your fish. I just did this with an upgrade from a 26 gal to a 40 gal. I also bought a new filter for the 40. I moved 13 fish plus my AC50 filter from the 26 over to the 40. I added the new C4 filter, so I now have 2 filters running on the new tank. I have not increased my stock yet as this new tank has only been running for two weeks. I have not done any water testing but all fish are doing great in their new digs. The 26 gal with the AC50 had been running for several years, so there's plenty of BB in that filter to support the fish I moved, while the new one starts to colonize.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by SueD View Post
    Yes, you should run both filters on the new tank to which you have transferred your fish. I just did this with an upgrade from a 26 gal to a 40 gal. I also bought a new filter for the 40. I moved 13 fish plus my AC50 filter from the 26 over to the 40. I added the new C4 filter, so I now have 2 filters running on the new tank.
    I just realized that I should have specified from the very beginning--I was meaning the INSERT for the filter when I've been saying 'filter' and not the filter machine itself. Unfortunately the filter for my 5gal is built into the hood so I would only be able to move the insert to the new 15gal, but I'm not sure where I should put the old filter in the new tank. This is about the same for the bio-wheel; the new tank's filter does not equip a bio-wheel and the bio-wheel holder on the 5gal is built into the hood.
    Last edited by Lauratron; 04-02-2014 at 01:45 PM. Reason: Added more information

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    A lot of the BB live on the other surfaces of a filter, so moving only an insert might not be enough to support the bioload in a fully stocked tank.

    The safest course of action would be to take the insert from the 5gal (make sure it's a good few weeks old), and put it into your new filter, if you can make it fit, filling the remaining space up with fresh media. (What type of filter is on your new 15gal column?)

    At that point, you could initiate a fishless cycle in the new tank, using the method found in the Cycling section of the forum. The process would be accelerated due to the seed material helping colonize the rest of the media.

  10. #10

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by bean_there View Post
    A lot of the BB live on the other surfaces of a filter, so moving only an insert might not be enough to support the bioload in a fully stocked tank.

    The safest course of action would be to take the insert from the 5gal (make sure it's a good few weeks old), and put it into your new filter, if you can make it fit, filling the remaining space up with fresh media. (What type of filter is on your new 15gal column?)

    At that point, you could initiate a fishless cycle in the new tank, using the method found in the Cycling section of the forum. The process would be accelerated due to the seed material helping colonize the rest of the media.
    She can't do a fishless cycle in the 15 gal using the seeded insert - she would have no filter media in the 5 gal where the fish would have to stay.


    Can you fit the insert from the old filter into the new filter? If you can, it should have enough BB on it so you can transfer the fish to the 15 gal. Check your ammonia and nitrite levels to make sure both are 0 - then wait 2 weeks and then you can start adding a few fish every 2 weeks.

    If you can't use the seeded insert in the new filter, you will have to do a fishless cycle on the 15 gal and leave the fish in the 5 gal with the old filter and insert until the 15 gal cycles. Once cycled, you can add all your fish at once.
    Last edited by gronlaura; 04-02-2014 at 04:58 PM.
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