Cycling a new brackish tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-03-2008, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Cycling a new brackish tank

HI, my name is Steven and Iíve been keeping fish for about 6 years now (I have a 20 gallon freshwater tank thatís fully cycled and has one 10Ē pleco, a female better, a Chinese hill stream loach, and a couple mollies I wish to get rid of) and am currently setting up a 10 gallon brackish tank for a single figure eight puffer. I have the tank set up, have a filter for a 20 gallon tank set up with it, a heater, an air pump to aerate the water, and the salt already added. Iíve had the tank running for about 4 days now with no fish in it as I know the tank must cycle before adding any fish to it (none the less a mess eater such as a puffer). Iíve done a large amount of research regarding figure eights as to make sure I can provide the best home possible for the little guy but I have one question I canít seem to find the answer for, I was considering taking the bio wheel from my fresh water tank (marineland emperor powerfilter) and dipping it into the brackish tank. I heard this would work to start the cycling process for another freshwater tank but I canít seem to find anything about doing the same for a brackish water tank. The SG in the brackish tank is low (I donít have a hydrometer that will read low enough but it 1 table spoon per gallon) and I was wondering if the bacteria from my fresh water tank will be able to take hold in the brackish tank if I take the bio wheel and swirl it around the brackish tank for a little while. Any help on finding the answer for this question will be much appreciated. Even if the answer is no itíll help me greatly as to what to do (I donít want to swirl the bio wheel in the brackish tank if the salt will kill the bacteria and make me have to re cycle my freshwater tank as well). Thank you for taking the time to look over my question.

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post #2 of 6 Old 07-13-2008, 07:07 PM
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I'm no expert, but I do not think that it would hurt the bacteria that are already in the filter. It should be fine. And a nice idea, I might add.

Sorry that no one got to you sooner.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-13-2008, 09:08 PM
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Why not cycle the tank with the mollies? They're actually brackish fish. Just make sure you change the salinity gradually as they're currently used to freshwater.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-14-2008, 12:25 AM
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Okiemavis makes a good point. You must have something for bacteria to feed on or it will die off. Bacteria needs a source of ammonia. As for biowheel swirling it around will not help much. Better to leave it in the tank until tank has cycled. You could also use some decorations or gravel from the tank with the biowheels. A cup full of gravel would be plenty. You can put it in the toe section of a piece of panty hose tie it closed and put it in the tank near the filter. When tank is cycled, take it out and pitch it.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-16-2008, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the help. i currently have a cup full of gravel in the tank and i have some fish food just sitting in the tank decaying to produce ammonia for the bacteria to feed off of at the moment. i was considering putting some of my baby mollies in there to cycle it but then i would have to remove them before adding a figure eight into the tank. the ammonia right now is at .50 and there's no nitrites or nitrates at the moment but hopefully there will be soon.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-27-2008, 02:49 PM
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Re: Cycling a new brackish tank

figure 8 puffers i think grow up to 12inches i dont think it would be wise to keep one in a 10gallon for starters...and as for cycling the tank dont use fish just get a bottle of biospira itll cycle it in a day or two just make sure you have a test kit at hand...
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