Filter media transfer - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-20-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
Tracy Bird's Avatar
Filter media transfer

29 gallon cycled and running with fish for 3 months with an Aquaclear 50

Starting a 55 gallon wth an Aquaclear 70.

If I take the seeded sponge from the 29 gallon and insert it into the Aquaclear 70 will I have a cycled 55 gallon?

*** By removing the seeded sponge from the 29 gallon and replacing with a new unseeded filter will the cycle be disrupted and cause me problems in the 29 gallon such as ammonia and nitrate spikes?
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-20-2012, 10:00 PM
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It will help the 55g cycle quicker but it will NOT instantly cycle it. The beneficial bacteria are mainly in the filter but also in the substrate and on decorations.

If you remove the filter from 29G then you essentially remove the bacteria in which case you would start the cycle again.

You would be better off starting the 55g doing a fishless cycle using pure ammonia, if you do that you would be able to fully stock the 55g once the cycle completes.

If you remove the filter you will essentially have 2 tanks cycling.

Find out about fishless cycling here -

You would need to find pure ammonia with NO added ingredients....ace hardware usually have them in.

Last edited by Byron; 01-21-2012 at 06:40 PM. Reason: changed the link article
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-20-2012, 10:07 PM
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I did exactly that with a 40 g and it tested out in a couple of days. Putting as much seeded product into my new set up as possible. As an experiment I set up a tank with 2 seeded hydro V sponge filters, live plants, seeded gravel, and 50% of clean water from a water change to see if I could cycle a tank faster for my tiger barb fry. Due to overcrowding and poor water quality I had to find them a new home fast. Within 2 weeks I transfered the fry with no problems.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-21-2012, 06:53 PM
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Your live plants handled this. If there are sufficient live plants they will easily assimilate or take up all the ammonia/ammonium which is their preferred source of nitrogen.

While all new tanks must technically "cycle," one can achieve this with no impact on fish and no discernable ammonia or nitrite. All it takes are sufficient live plants (some reasonably fast growing) with no more fish than what will not overload the balance.


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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