12-12-2012, 02:20 PM
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As mentioned above, bacteria live on surfaces- not the water.
I have used "gunk" to cycle a tank. (I vacuumed my tanks lightly, and rinsed all my old filters in a bucket of tank water. After it settled, I poured off the clear water and dumped the gunk into the new tank along with a tbsp of raw sugar. Once the gunk settled, I added fish.)
However, the clear water contains no significant bacteria. When we (members of this site) come across people who need help, all we can do is mention things that we would do (and have done) in similiar situations. When people say "Well X told me to do Y, and I did it." its hard for us to not hear "I trust person X's advice more than yours. You must be wrong.", even though its not what was meant.
I feel like we've offered all the advice we can, hence I don't have much to offer (other than waterchanges, add plants, dose bacteria/sugar etc)
Adding bacteria won't do much with such a large starting fish load. Water changesis all I can advise, but I would do much larger ones (50% daily, or enough to bring ammonia to 0. Adding a double dose of prime and bacterial supplement after each waterchange. Adding a tablespoon of sugar directly to the filter can help, but "bacterial supplements" already have sugar. No reason to dose both.