Trying to avoid a cycle in my new tank, how long until a filter should be seeded?
I'm in the planning stage of a tank that will be more than likely 7 gallons, give or tank one gallon. I have a sponge filter on it's way in the mail and I also already have a piece of driftwood I plan to use in the tank. I also have some marimo balls and java moss that will be used in the tank. I plan on putting all of this in my established 29 gallon tank & having the filter run for a while to get seeded.
Is this a good idea to avoid cycling the tank? How long should I have the filter running in the established tank to make sure there is plenty of bacteria colonized on the filter? I can also put some of the new substrate in a bag into the tank to seed that as well if you think it would help.. I sortof want to do that as an extra safety measure.
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You would be looking at leaving the sponge filter in the tank for at least 3-4 weeks to help it seed with bacteria.
The substrate same time, a mesh bag or womans stocking can be used to hold it while seeding takes place.
What do you plan on keeping in the tank? as 6-7 gallons is not a lot of room for anything really.
It's a very good idea to have a tank cycled before adding any fish. Seeding the tank is a good method of getting that done. You still want to wait a month though for the new filter to get seeded in the established tank.
The instant method is using already established media from an established tank. This is a lot easier if your established tank has a canister or Aquaclear style filter that has media compartments. That way you can take a bit, while leaving enough to keep your established tank going.
Live plants help, but the moss balls and Java Fern are very slow growing so they won't contribute much. Floating plants, and fast growing stem plants can do wonders. Some have had luck instant cycling with plants that way. I haven't been quite that lucky, but much milder than without.
I agree that you need 2-4 weeks (longer is better) to seed a sponge filter with beneficial bacteria from an established tank to place in a new one. But a caution is that there may still be a mini cycle depending on the bio-load you place in the new tank. If you pre-seed the filter sponge, only add a fish or two at one week intervals to best ensure success.
And of course, routine water tests best ensure against dangerous ammonia or nitrite spikes.
Note: We sometimes get tricked into thinking that the beneficial bacteria lives in filters alone. In fact, in the established aquarium, there is far more BB in the substrate than the filter. Don't get me wrong, the filter is a great platform for BB to grow as the water flow provides a steady stream of food and oxygen - but the filter is not the only BB condo in town.
Btw Jen, love Charleston (a visitor years ago)....especially old Charleston down by the water. I hope they got everything restored from the bad storm a few years ago that tore it up pretty bad.
Ok, thank you. Good to know. I will make sure to get some substrate soon so I can get that in the current tank too. That gives me plenty of time to plan! :) I know that sponge filters do hold a lot of bacteria, but I'm trying to get as much of the plants and decorations in my current tank to build up bacteria in as many surfaces as I can. I can also add some pennywort to the top of the tank, although I would probably replace that with a smaller sized plant later. I will be putting more plants in, just haven't decided what because I haven't decided on whether I will buy a 7 gallon or build a 7-8 gallon.
As of right now I am probably going to stock with shrimp. I may, but probably won't, get a few nano rasbora or pygmy cories but figured I would do more research on that if I do decide to go down that road
I have also been wanting a dwarf puffer, but I'm pretty sure a sponge filter wouldn't be sufficient for a puffer.. I will probably go for a shrimp tank. I haven't decided on which might be easier.
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New question I just thought to ask:
When I do get the tank, should I put in the substrate and some (treated) water and start sprinkling in a bit of fish food like I am starting as fishless cycle.. and then once another 2-4 weeks pass (depending on when I get the tank, but I'm saying once the filter has been in the established tank for four weeks) will this help with the tank adjusting? With the seeded sponge filter, plants, and driftwood, would I be able to add some shrimp to the tank?
I know shrimp have a low bioload but need healthy water too.. I already have ghost shrimp from my 29 gallon I'm willing to test the water on.. if I get shrimp it'd be red cherries since this would be my first go at a shrimp tank.
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