11-19-2010, 04:44 PM
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Its called cloning a tank. You simply setup the tank and add enough mature media to fully cycle the tank. Seeding a tank is when you use mature media to kick start a cycle, but not enough to cycle it completely. A well established tank can have 1/3 of its media removed/replaced and it will be fine as long as no new stock is added for 2 weeks. A properly cloned tank will not show ammonia or nitrite at all from setup. Only difficulty with cloning is doing it properly. You remove up to 1/3 mature media from one tank and add it to a new tank, basically that new tank can support up to 1/3 the current bioload of the mother tank. Of course the issue is every tank is different so guidelines are hard to setup. A fully stocked 55gallon for example could clone a 15gallon for full stocking, but not a 40 gallon. It could still clone it, but you have to estimate fish load and can't go over that 1/3 bioload level from the mother tank. Basically it could be cycled instantly, but not fully stocked. You clone it and stock it properly to start with then its not an issue. Then your back to the wait 2 weeks and increase bioload by 1/3 and repeat until you are fully stocked. If you clone a tank wrong you can cause a mini cycle in the mother tank or the cloned tank.
I have setup a new tank and had it fully stocked within the hour( actually bought tank and fish at same time), often I will add fish and not clone it till a few hours later.