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Cycling a new fresh tank with mature media?
Yesterday set-up a new 10 gallon tank for the overload of Guppy and Swordtail fry I'am getting! I have 2 tanks already fully mature, and I took 1 of the sponge filters out of my 25 gallon and added if to the new tanks filter. Will I still need to cycle this tank before adding a few fish? All I have in the new tank right now is a few live plants.
That's all I do - move media for an instant cycle.
No you won't need to cycle, but you do need to add fish quickly. You moved bacteria to the new tank but currently they have no food source since there are no fish present.
It takes the bacteria a long time to starve to death. Besides, there is plenty of food for the bacteria in the filter media to sustain the colony until it is stocked.
Yes, but in my experience its best to keep the media active. They can survive a few days without food but its best to avoid that. Typically when I clone a tank I stock it with fish, then move mature media to it 4-12 hours later.
Thanks for the help, I just added a few guppys to the new tank. I guess I should still watch my ammonia and nitrite levels?
IME the bacteria can survive on the waste breaking down in the filter for weeks, not days. My only point is that there is no RUSH. In a situation where you are moving a filter over, there's no need to move it before there are fish in the tank. However, in the case of a permanent filter on a variably stoked tank, like a quarantine tank, one should not feel pressure to get a new fish in the tank immediately.
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