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Is This Okay To Do? (Tank Cycle)
I have two 10 gallon tanks, one is being used, the other is not. I had wanted to switch my fish to the unused one because I wanted to "deck it all out", and make it better than the current one. I was told that I can just "treat" that tank as I would water changes, and put 50% of their current water in and 50% of new water, or more "old" and less "new". Is this true? If not, what other ways can I cycle a tank without using fish? I got lucky with my first tank and none of them died when I put them in, but I don't want to do that again because I don't want any of the fish to die to cycle the tank? Any suggestions/ideas? Thanks, Meg
The nitrifying bacteria that cycle a tank and keep the nitrification cycle working do not live in the water. They colonize solid surfaces, all of them under water--gravel grains, wood, rocks, plant leaves, tank walls and of course filter media. The only way to transfer any of the bacteria to a new tank is to move over some of the solid material--and provided it has been in the existing tank long enough to become colonized with sufficient bacteria.
Using "old" water is actually more harm than good. Not only are there no nitrifying bacteria in it, there are pathogens, ammonia, and whatever else which is not good to introduce to a new tank where there are insufficient bacteria to handle the new ammonia produced by the fish let alone the old stuff too.
If you have live plants in the new tank, they will, if there are several of them, use the ammonia from the fish and prevent a cycle or "new tank syndrome" as it is known. If no live plants, then transfer over bacteria as mentioned above, and put one or two small fish in the tank. Bacteria must have a constant source of ammonia or they will die off within a few hours. And the ammonia produced by one or two small fish will not be enough to harm the fish but will provide "food" for the bacteria to live and multiply.
+ 1, as always. :-)
If you're "reconstructing" the currently running 10g anyway, just pull its whole filter over to the "new" one, possibly the gravel as well if you wanna keep it, fill with FRESH water (but use conditioner) and be done with it and safe :-)
Thanks for the tips, all. I don't have any gravel in it now or plants because it was the only fish and I've been told by several that you don't need gravel for Guppies. Either way, I want to re-do the tank and put plants (not live) and rocks (not live) and make it real nice in there. Thanks for the posts!
Okay, what about this? Can I put my two fish in seperate containers to hold water and do like a 75% water change and add the substrate and plants (not live) and whatever else I want in there plus the conditioner? Then it's like doing a partial water change, except adding substrate and plants? I want to do this the easiest and safest way for the fishies. I hope I'm not annoyingly asking, but I want to ask before I make a major mistake!
Easiest way is as Angel described. Rinse the new gravel.. place it and the decor in the empty ten gal with a heater,water,and conditioner. Once the tank is up to temperature,then move the fish and the filter to the newly set up tank.Placing fish in holding buckets can stress them needlessly.
Okay, I'll do it Angel's method then. Thanks. :) Off to set up new 10 gallon now!
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