07-23-2011, 08:29 AM
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It would take perhaps weeks for a new sponge filter in an established tank to develop a new colony of bacteria...if it would even happen. Remember that the population of a beneficial bacteria colony is in proportion to the bio-load and other tank conditions.
I think what I might do is install the new sponge filter in the new tank, then 'clean' the old sponge [filter] in the new tank. Squeezing the established sponge in the new tank water will release sufficient bacteria to seed the tank which will inhabit the substrate, decor and new sponge filter.