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Jessibel 12-29-2010 12:20 PM

Would it be crazy to cycle with water from classroom tank? (Cycling New 14 Gal)
Link to origina lthread with all information:

Everyone has been so helpful so far with advice on the new 14 gal. tank I have @ home... But the more I learn about cycling a new tank, the more I've been wondering... Would it make sense to take water from my 2.5 gal tank in my classroom and bring it home and begin a new cycle in the home tank?? I have had a zebra danio in there for 18+ mos. with zero problems... he is healthy and active. We are taking back the Pleco and the Giant Danio later this afternoon... I'm going to have Petco test water samples from both tanks while I'm there... if everything looks okay, would it be safe to bring my zebra danio home tomorrow and use his water in the new tank to get the cycle going? I'll be home to monitor the tank levels, etc. from tomorrow night until Monday morning...

I'm not sure if this is the right idea... I *think* I'm beginning to understand the whole cycling thing and I've read that other people moving fish to larger tanks are doing similar things to bring the beneficial bacteria etc. to the new tank... Would it also make sense to pop the little old filter in the new tank for a few days?

The tank & equipment at work are mine, so obv. none of this would be an issue if it is, in fact a good idea... Please correct me if I'm way off track here... I might have the completely wrong idea about how cycling works!

Thanks again!

spike0544 12-29-2010 01:13 PM

I would use some of the gravel or filter media rather than the water from the established tank.

redchigh 12-29-2010 01:26 PM

Or just run the old filter in the new tank for a week or two. That would work well.

jeaninel 12-29-2010 01:40 PM

You're not way off track...just slightly. The beneficial bacteria (BB) colonizes mainly in the filter and also on the hard surfaces in the aquarium. There's very little, if any, BB in the water itself so using the old water won't do any good. But using the old filter media along with a handful or two of gravel placed in a nylon stocking or just moving over your established filter from your little tank would really help to jump start your cycle on the new tank. If you're going to take down your 2.5 gallon, just move over the whole filter and run it alongside the filter in your 14 gallon. If you want to leave your 2.5 gallon running, take a bit of the filter media (if there is enough to share) and some of the gravel for the 14 gallon. Be sure to watch the parameters on your 2.5 gallon tank after you do this just to make sure you don't through it into a mini cycle. But with only one fish in it I think you'll be ok.

RTBS 12-29-2010 03:20 PM

i agree with a few replies... filter media is easiest way to go...

Jessibel 12-29-2010 03:23 PM

I came home from work to find the little GloFish stuck in the filter intake... still breathing and thrashing a little... Shut down filter and he was able to swim out but only made it for a few more minutes. :cry: My 5-year old is devastated.

So here's the plan. We are returning the Pleco and the Giant Danio right now... Will also have water from both tanks tested. Tomorrow I will bring home the small tank and transfer some gravel and the small filter as well as the Zebra danio into the larger tank... So there will only be the Zebra Danio and the Diamond Tetra in the tank... Does this sound like a good plan?

cbirk 12-29-2010 04:14 PM

It can help to use some gravel from that tank rather than the water, as the bacteria you want live there. However it is only balanced to handle the bio load of the one fish you have in the 2.5, so it will still be important for you to only add a couple of fish at a time so that more bacteria can grow to handle the increased waste.

Jessibel 12-29-2010 06:34 PM


Originally Posted by cbirk (Post 545298)
However it is only balanced to handle the bio load of the one fish you have in the 2.5, so it will still be important for you to only add a couple of fish at a time so that more bacteria can grow to handle the increased waste.

Thank you all for the very helpful information! When I went back to Petco and explained the dilemma, the fishguy first tried to argue with me that the pleco & danio were perfectly suited to a 14 gallon tank. I finally cut him off with "Listen, I'd rather return them now and possibly come back for new ones and add them to my tank when it is stable, than run the risk of killing them. Take them out of this bowl and put them back in your tank, please." He stopped arguing at that point. :roll:

He tested the water from both tanks (alas, with a strip) and said the levels were fine in both.

Tomorrow I will bring home my 2.5 gal. and transfer Zippy (Zebra Danio) into the home tank, along with his little filter and some gravel. He and Shimmer (the Diamond Tetra) will be roomies until the tank is stable enough to add more fish. How long approximately do you think that will take?

I ordered the API Master Test Kit and it will hopefully arrive quickly. I also asked one of the pre-school parents who raises Ciclids and she was happy to share with me the name & location of a nearby LFS. :wave:

Thanks again Everyone! Any more I should know?

mjbn 12-30-2010 12:31 AM

Well here's the thing.. Danios are very strong, hardy fish. You can keep him in the tank while it's cycling because they CAN withstand the process. It is actually very common for people to use a small school of danios or minnows as "cycling" fish becuase tehy are KNOWN for being able to live through the process. And it is also good because that way, your tank will keep getting the needed ammonia to help grow the bacteria to stabilize your tank. Hope this helps. I have experience using white cloud mountain minnows as "cycling fish", and they are just as strong as danios. Give it a try.

james7139 12-30-2010 04:28 AM

not to be rude but just because they CAN doesnt mean they WILL or SHOULD.i think cycling with a fish is pretty cruel.

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