09-21-2007, 12:15 PM
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What kind of filter are you using on your tank? And how do you have it set up?
There's many options of where to put the mature media. You could purchase filter media bags and if the chamber is big enough inside the filter, you can put it directly in there. If there's no room inside the filter, again, you can place it inside a filter bag (or even a cut up panty-hose) and have it dangle in front of the filter's waterfall, or anywhere in the tank really, as long as there is adequate water movement.
Another thing you can do is get rocks and decorations from an established tank and place them in yours - they are all home to bacteria colonies; even a hand-full of gravel dropped on your gravel bed.
You do have a liquid test kit, right? That is an important tool used when cycling a tank. Basically, after you place mature media in your tank or filter, you want to test the water at least a couple times a week to see where you are at. You're familiar with the nitrogen cycle right? In the end you want to have no trace of ammonia or nitrites, and a trifle amount of Nitrates, like under 30ppm. When removing the media I'd remove it slowly - don't just suddenly take it all out after the cycle, that could restart the whole cycling process and lead to problems if you have fish. You want to give it some time, even after the test results say you're cycled - that way it gives your tank and filter time to develop their own bacteria colonies on top of the ones added by you.
Sorry for the long post...kind of went on and on...
Hope this helps a little.