Cycling-- Filter or no filter... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Cycling-- Filter or no filter...

Ok I started cycling my 20g tank, I have a Penguin 200 on it. Do I put the filter in while Im cycling? It's been awhile since I did my 55g. Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 06:36 AM
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If you still have the 55g, transfer some of the filter media of 55g to your 20g to instantly cycle the tank.

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Oh never thought about that! But what do I move? My filters are 2 diff sizes, I do have some carbon that has been in there for about week/week half will that do any good?
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 10:56 AM
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Set your tank up the way you want it with everything except fish. Filter, heater, plants, rock, wood...whatever. Then you add a source of ammonia to start the cycle. Media from an existing filter on a cycled tank will jump-start the cycling, but the bacteria will die off if you don't provide ammonia immediately to feed the bacteria. I always put in a fish or two, and dose the tank with "Cycle" (there are other similar biological products) which does the same as the filter media. Some prefer fishless cycling and use fish food for the ammonia; add flake food the same as you would if the fish were in the tank, and as the food decomposes the bacteria will multiply. But the ammonia source has to be maintained throughout the cycling period, i.e., add flake food every day, or if you use a fish it will produce ammonia.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I know all that stuff, that is how I did my 55g tank (which was my first) I waited about a month then put 2 zebra's in there and bam it went through full cycle and up and running. From what Lupin said though, can I put the carbon from my 55g in there, will that do any good? I've got down the whole cycle process I was just asking if I put a brand new filter in while I cycle or not and didn't even cross my mind about putting something from other tank in there
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigk_54 View Post
Yeah I know all that stuff, that is how I did my 55g tank (which was my first) I waited about a month then put 2 zebra's in there and bam it went through full cycle and up and running. From what Lupin said though, can I put the carbon from my 55g in there, will that do any good? I've got down the whole cycle process I was just asking if I put a brand new filter in while I cycle or not and didn't even cross my mind about putting something from other tank in there
Filter media is anything that is in the filter, so putting media from an existing filter will jump-start the cycle as I said. But it does not instantly cycle the tank, it still take 2-8 weeks. The jump-start, whether it be filter media, gravel, or "Cycle" type biological stuff just makes it smoother provided there is ammonia in the tank.

Personally, I (and several others on this forum) do not use carbon in regular filtration. It serves no real purpose and may be detrimental to the biological cycle, in my view. Certainly in a tank with live plants, carbon should never be used; it removes nitrates.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Byron thanks for all the help! I realized that it wasn't going to instant cycle. I use stress zyme to start off my tank with. I didn't use carbon until just a bit ago, I was having some water problems and guy at LFS told me to try some and see what it would do, other than that haven't ever used it! Ill just stick with letting my tank go through cycle like I did with my first fish tank, as I say feeding my gravel :)

BUT..... Do I still need to put the filter cartridge in the filter? I have the penguin 200 so it has a bio wheel just need to know if I have to put the filter in.... Thanks for all your help
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigk_54 View Post
Byron thanks for all the help! I realized that it wasn't going to instant cycle. I use stress zyme to start off my tank with. I didn't use carbon until just a bit ago, I was having some water problems and guy at LFS told me to try some and see what it would do, other than that haven't ever used it! Ill just stick with letting my tank go through cycle like I did with my first fish tank, as I say feeding my gravel :)

BUT..... Do I still need to put the filter cartridge in the filter? I have the penguin 200 so it has a bio wheel just need to know if I have to put the filter in.... Thanks for all your help
You're welcome. Guess I can't answer this last question, since I have no experience with the Penguin filter. But if it will fit, and you have ammonia in the tank, go for it.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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no no Im talking about the filter that came with it. A brand new one, do I need that in while cycling
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-26-2009, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bigk_54 View Post
no no Im talking about the filter that came with it. A brand new one, do I need that in while cycling
Yes, of course. The filter is an integral part of cycling the tank. I thought I'd answered this earlier when I said to set up the tank with everything (filter, heater...) except fish. Then add ammonia and the cycling starts.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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