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If you have established tanks, do you cycle a new tank by....

  • transferring media?

    Votes: 16 84.2%
  • using TSS (or some other such product)?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other - please specify

    Votes: 3 15.8%
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Discussion Starter #1
Say you have established tanks.... how do you cycle a new tank?
 
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I would move some used media over to the new tank and maybe an ornament or piece of wood also, add a couple fish then test daily and do water changes as needed. Could also put a couple handfuls of gravel in a stocking and hang it near the filter in the new tank.
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Def. transfer media from the established tank. Since I have no room for "new" tanks, I just have to set up a QT tank every now and then or if I have to break down one of the smaller betta tanks, I'll still do the same.
 

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I usually transfers media. I also always add fast growing plants. A floater is a must for me. Then stock very lightly! Check parameters daily and address as necessary.
 

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I don't
I just add a lot of plants
I did it for my shrimp tank and never got ammonia or nitrite

Eric
 

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Transfer media.. and if I plan to add a good amount of fish then add fast growing plants as well. Always worked for me.
 

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I hate to throw a hammer(head shark) in here. And I really appreciate Jaycee asking this question. But the harder question, and the one most faced by new keepers is....

When you don't have an established tank, do you---

--- beg or borrow bacteria from your LFS
--- snaffle some from your fishkeeper brother-in-law
--- wait for it to fall out of the sky into your tank
--- use bottled bacteria
--- other
 

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Having 2-3 dozen tanks running at any given time with plenty of spare sponge filters running & mature I just take one from a tank, and set up another. No gravel, no plants, go from 10 fish to 100 on a regular basis. I'll get in anywhere from 100-500 angels on occasion, with minimal losses.

A mature colony of nitrifying bacteria is capable of doubling every 20 hours, easy math says ballpark it at 24 hours, a bit of cushion there as well. 50% water changes every other day for a week, 2x-3x dose of Prime depending on the stocking, no tests, no muss, no fuss.

As far as new fishkeepers, contact a local club, they're full of folks like me. I'll change out the floss I use for mechanical filtration every 2-4 weeks, depending on the stocking. This has more than enough nitrifying bacteria to start up your average hobbyist's tank, and ships easier than fish due to a larger window of temperature & time. I toss out way more than I ship, shipping costs the same as some magic bottle of goop, if you're local & pick it up it costs nothing.
 

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It's media and plants for me. If I know ahead of hand, I'll just put a filter (often times a sponge filter) in an established tank and let that gather BB and junk for a month. But plants. Plants all the way. Floaters and stems galore.
Me, too. ^.^

A lot of people also start their first cycle fish-less using ammonia, or even fish food. . .


Your poll is broken *pokes poll* Hmmmm. . .?
 

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First choice, no cycle, lots of plants and fish right away. It cycles along the way anyway but the plants negate the need for it.

Second choice, fishless using fish food.

I don't really see the benefit in using existing established media so having an established tank is of no consequence.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The poll is not broken - it shows exactly what it needed to, for the specific purpose it was intended for ;-) First cycles are not applicable.

First choice, no cycle, lots of plants and fish right away. It cycles along the way anyway but the plants negate the need for it.

Second choice, fishless using fish food.

I don't really see the benefit in using existing established media so having an established tank is of no consequence.

Jeff.
The benefit of using established media is an instant cycle.
 
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True! My bad! New cycles are off- topic!

^.^

Still going with 'media + plants ' on how to cycle a new tank. What's your method, Jaysee? How are you going to do the 125?

The poll is still broken, tho - it won't let me vote. Links me to the profiles. I'll get our computer guru on it. . .
 

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The benefit of using established media is an instant cycle.
Doing this the right way will mean an instantly cycled tank, it's cloning. Since it's instantly cycled would cloning even be considered cycling? From the start there's no ammonia or nitrite, and it runs no different from an established tank.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I transfer media. I agree with tolak, it's not really cycling to skip the cycling process. One of the things I like about transferring media is that it gives me an instantly mature tank. The whole "waiting for the tank to mature" issue is a non-issue, so I can add sensitive fish to a brand new tank.

I know everyone but me loves plants, but the nice thing about media is that you don't have to worry about the bacteria dying. I know I know, no one has plants die on them.... Too, not everyone keeps live plants. Transferring media is something that ANYONE can do.

Transferring media is how I cycled the new 125 (and every tank I've had except the first) but that was a bit different. I moved an entire canister filter over to the tank. It was not an instant cycle though, because the filter had been sitting (full of water and dirty media) for 4 months. Took a little time for the bacteria to get back on track.
 
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I know everyone but me loves plants, but the nice thing about media is that you don't have to worry about the bacteria dying. I know I know, no one has plants die on them.... Too, not everyone keeps live plants. Transferring media is something that ANYONE can do.
Its true. I agree with you and Tolak - transferring bacteria (however you get it from point a to b) is the only way to instantly cycle a tank.

I like to use plants as a kind of 'insurance.' A backup juuuuust in case. . . I learned during my first (and only) didn't-know-better fish-in cycle that plants can do a world of good in dropping the toxin levels dramatically, but if they aren't healthy and thriving, they only add to the problem. . .

And people do have plants die on them all the time! At this point I'm transferring plants and media from established tanks, so I know they'll do well in my new setups - and the plants themselves carry bacteria with them, too ^.^

I've seen a lot of people start tanks only using plants to remove toxins until the bacteria develops. I've seen this method work, too (usually in smaller, lightly stocked setups, like betta tanks). But too often I've seen it fail, and a newly stocked and planted tank dropped into a full-on cycle. . . this has happened to some of our planting gurus around here, people who know their stuff - so I think this is something that shouldn't be done by someone new to plants.

I've read about there being competition between plants and bacteria for the same food source, but I've never seen anything in my tanks that show this is true. . . I'm sure some sort of a balance is created, but plants 'sleep' at night, too. . . when my power failed for 5 days last summer (no light no photosynthesis from plants) my tank was stable throughout. So the bacteria IS in there, in spite of the green. . .

lol, sorry! Fun subject. I love to hear what people think about this one - looks like your poll (before it broke *pokes*) is showing that most of us are in agreement so far. . .

. . can't wait for that 125, J! I'd put the canister for IT on the another tank for a month or so, then just move it over to the new setup. . . 's gonna be awesome-sauce!
 

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Count me in with no plants, nearly all tanks have no substrate. Substrate is a maintenance issue, and just one more variable in a tank. Less variables, less potential for issues. Lights for plants would just kill the electric bill, I've already got 2 circuits running to the fishroom.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
. . can't wait for that 125, J! I'd put the canister for IT on the another tank for a month or so, then just move it over to the new setup. . . 's gonna be awesome-sauce!
The canister(s) for the new 125 had previously been running for 3 years before I unplugged them. They're definitely established and the one that's on the tank now is clearing any ammonia I add.
 
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