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-   -   Cycling filter in separate established tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium-equipment/cycling-filter-separate-established-tank-90870/)

mfc133 01-17-2012 03:27 PM

Cycling filter in separate established tank
 
Hi all,

I'm starting a new tropical tank after a 10 year hiatus from the hobby. I just picked up a 55gal/stand/LED hood combo. I've always had success with biowheels, so I will probably be going with an emperor 400 for filtration.

My question is with cycling. Even though they have the additives today I know cycling a tank can be difficult. I have a friend who lives close by with an established 50gal tropical tank. Would it make sense to run my emperor as an additional filter on his tank to establish the bacteria? He has also offered to give me a good portion of his tank water.

Has anyone had success using an existing aquarium to kick-start the cycle on a new tank?

Nubster 01-17-2012 03:42 PM

His tank water will not help but running your filter on his tank will certainly seed your media and help speed up your cycle. I'd give it 2 weeks on his tank to really seed it well. I use my main tank to seed media for other tanks and it works great.

zof 01-17-2012 06:30 PM

I'd see if he would lend you some filter material or gravel from his tank and go ahead with your tank that way, given keeping the bio wheel submersed during transport could present a problem, but should work just remember to keep all your bio material submersed during transport.

mfc133 01-17-2012 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zof (Post 954266)
I'd see if he would lend you some filter material or gravel from his tank and go ahead with your tank that way, given keeping the bio wheel submersed during transport could present a problem, but should work just remember to keep all your bio material submersed during transport.

Luckily we only live 10 min away, I should be able to keep the bio-wheel from drying out on the way home.

I'm sure he'd let me take some gravel/filter media as well.

I plan to add my gravel, heater, water, etc. to the tank the day before. Now to keep the cycle going ammonia must be added to the water. Would it be wise to immediately add some hardy fish or use an artificial source of ammonia for a while, like allowing flake food to decompose in the tank?

zof 01-18-2012 06:34 PM

I'd just add fish since you are pre seeding your filter, you should figure you should be able to put about 1/4 of the stocking you friend already has in his tank as that's probably roughly how much bacteria you will pull over just watch your ammonia levels.

beetlebz 01-19-2012 11:33 AM

It can work, and has worked :) just keep in mind that near daily ammonia testing will be required and possibly water changes to help keep things in check during the cycle (seeded or not). And personally id get some seachem prime or other water conditioner for emergencies only.

mfc133 01-19-2012 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beetlebz (Post 956017)
It can work, and has worked :) just keep in mind that near daily ammonia testing will be required and possibly water changes to help keep things in check during the cycle (seeded or not). And personally id get some seachem prime or other water conditioner for emergencies only.


Yeah I will probably check water parameters twice a day for a while and I'll be prepared to do frequent water changes as needed. My friends tank is a decently stocked 50 gal, so I think I'll be good adding 2-3 zebra danios at first. I am lucky in that I have a pretty big LFS right across the street if a problem arises.

Thanks for the advice guys, it's good to hear from people that have successfully done this before.

After all this I still think the "convincing your girlfriend to put a fish tank in the living room" cycle is way harder to get through than any other aquarium cycle :shock:

beetlebz 01-19-2012 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mfc133 (Post 956169)
After all this I still think the "convincing your girlfriend to put a fish tank in the living room" cycle is way harder to get through than any other aquarium cycle :shock:

Im often on the other side of that argument. given her way we would live in one giant fish tank. Wanna trade? :lol:

mfc133 01-20-2012 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beetlebz (Post 956654)
Im often on the other side of that argument. given her way we would live in one giant fish tank. Wanna trade? :lol:

Oh you woudn't want that, every aquarium stand that didn't perfectly match your living room decor would have to go :rofl:


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