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-   -   Should I use filter from old tank 4 new one? (

zomblue 09-21-2009 01:29 AM

Should I use filter from old tank 4 new one?
Hi again!

Tonight I'd like advice on setting up my 2nd 10gal (putting the 30gal on hold until I get a hood/light).

I was wondering if I should use the filter from my existing tank (been running about 4 months) to help put bacteria in my new one? Same filter size for both & it's time for a new one in the old tank.

I was also told I could do a 1/2 water change on the existing tank & put the change out water into the new tank (then using fresh/treated to finish the fill).

Will these things help speed up the cycle as I've read?
Can I do both - or should I just stick to one or the other?

I did one boiling water rinse on the used gravel (from the 2nd tank I bought) & have the rest of what I need to set this one up, wanting to set it up tomorrow - so will check back in the morning for responses...

:-) as always thanks in advance for any input!

1077 09-21-2009 06:25 AM

I would just slap the used filter cartridge from the one that needs changed ,into the filter of the new one. Not much bacteria to be of help in the water from the established tank. Do be sure and provide a source of ammonia for the bacteria to feed on in the new tank after you switch the used filter cartridge to the new tank.
Do also be aware that these cartridges can be rinsed in old aquarium water you take out during water changes numerous times before they actually need replaced.

zomblue 09-21-2009 10:11 AM

ty for the input -
as for adding a source of ammonia what exactly do you mean?

I also didn't know you can reuse the cartridges - anything to help save
money w/this hobby is cool.

redlessi 09-21-2009 10:30 AM


Originally Posted by zomblue (Post 246257)
ty for the input -
as for adding a source of ammonia what exactly do you mean?

I also didn't know you can reuse the cartridges - anything to help save
money w/this hobby is cool.

I always rinse my cartridges until they almost fall apart before replacing them. They last for a fairly long time, unless you have the ones with activated carbon in them. Most people say they need to be replaced or remove the carbon.

Since using a filter from an established tank gives you an almost instant cycle, you can add a fish or two, that would be the source of ammonia. Be sure to test water parameters and do partial water changes until it looks good. Dont add too many fish at first.

1077 09-21-2009 10:54 AM

There is beneficial bacteria in the filter material from the established tank. It needs a source of food. In the aquarium the food consits of fish waste,fish food,and ammonia that fish produce through respiration as well as poop. The bacteria breaks this food down first in to nitrites,.and then nitrAtes ,but initially it is ammonia, You can simply add a pinch of food every other day,or place a couple small fish in the tank to keep the bacteria alive. Without a source of food, the bacteria will begin to die off. Adding too many fish at once will overwhelm the bacteria. Is why it is always best to add one or two fish with a week in between new additions to the tank. In this way the bacteria can adjust to the bioload or,number of fish and the waste(ammonia) they produce. It's a bit more technical than this but not much.
There is in the filter cartridges a colony of this beneficial bacteria and by rinsing the filter material out in old aquarium water during water changes,we can preserve this bacteria and get more mileage from the cartridges or pads,sponges ,etc. (note) Always use old aquarium water for swishing the filter material around during cleaning. Using tapwater that contains chlorine will destroy the bacteria. most folks will swish the filter material around in the tank water they take out during changes until the material begins to fall apart. Companys that make the cartridges would like for you to change them frequently = more money for them. The carbon in most of the filter cartridges is exhausted after a couple weeks and it then becomes home to the beneficial or nitrifying bacteria that we wait so patiently on to develop when first setting up an aquarium. So the more mileage you can get from this material,, the better. Some could prolly explain this better but I hope you understand. I have broken my "specs" and am entering this while nearly blind.

zomblue 09-22-2009 11:42 AM

WOW! Thanks so much for all the info! - You explained that WAY better than what I'd read before I really appreciate it 1077!

Now my problem is that in all of the bargain boxes of used bits I've bought $2-3 - the filter system that matches my other doesn't work (only thing I've found broken so far), really got some great I had to go buy a different one - & that scraps the use old filter idea for now.

I do have other tanks to set up in the future tho, so I will check around for another system like the one I have & try using the old filter. Thanks again for the reusing filter info - that will save a bunch & I understand it now.

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