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Hi all,
Is it possable to start cycleing my 55 gal tank without a heater? I am ordering it but it looks like its about a week out.I also plan on seeding it with media from my 10 gal tank .
 

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as long as the tank is in a room comfortable to humans you should be fine.

my .02
 

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Just slower. I can't recall at what temperature it stops but I am sure it is lower than room temperature.

Seeding doesn't actually make any difference, the bacteria/archaea don't move so they don't propagate throughout the tank so the tank colonies develop as they would normally with or without the "seeding" media. It's really only good if you need the have the ammonia handled due to fish already in place as it acts as a buffer.

Jeff.
 

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Welcome to the forum and the hobby!

It also depends on where you are and how warm your house is. This time of year I can easily keep tropical fish without a heater. The tank stays about 78F with no problem. I would certainly say go ahead and start it. It may be slower, but it is better than nothing!
 

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Seeding doesn't actually make any difference, the bacteria/archaea don't move so they don't propagate throughout the tank so the tank colonies develop as they would normally with or without the "seeding" media. It's really only good if you need the have the ammonia handled due to fish already in place as it acts as a buffer.

Jeff.
Do you mind explaining your reasoning on this?
 

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The nitrifying organisms are sessile so do not move about, they adhere to surfaces by excreting a film and staying there. Placing a bag of media containing a stationary set of organisms can only serve to oxidize the ammonia and nitrites, not spread the organisms. It is accepted that these organisms are not in the water, which is why transferring just water is of no value, so that refutes the seeding premise alone.

The only reason that it might accelerate the process would be due to the ammonia concentration being lowered by the established organisms to below the 1ppm threshold for the nitrite oxidizers to start propagating sooner or perhaps having a method of oxidizing the nitrite to nitrates to help mitigate the nitrite spike.

An example where it would actually work as a seeding would be to use established sand and mix it with the new sand in the permanent substrate. This would become part of the bio filtration directly which would serve to start the process with a higher number of organisms permanently in place. The mixed sand grains would be in direct contact with many other sand grains and this direct contact could conceivably work as a seeding.

Jeff.
 

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as long as the tank is in a room comfortable to humans you should be fine.

my .02
exactly.

Seeding new tanks with established media has worked without fail for me. Over the years I've done it nearly 30 times. Some people move a small portion of established media and grow it by dosing with ammonia. It's what is often recommended in your situation - when starting a much larger tank from a smaller one.

Jeff - what you mention about mixing sand is no different than using media in the filter. The bacteria colony transferred will grow and colonize the new media it's in contact with. That's what it means to seed a filter.
 
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I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I agree with Jaysee on this.

Adding a bag of substrate to a high flow area or the filter works because it increases the amount of initial bacteria present in the tank. That in turns cuts down drastically on the time it takes to establish a full colony. Seeding by using a filter from an already established tank will work even more quickly.

For example, let's be ultra conservative and say with seeded media I add twice the amount of bacteria that occurs naturally in the tap water. I've saved myself time because I've lost a day or two in the amount it takes for the bacteria to double. The more bacteria initially added will ultimately result in a faster cycling process.
 

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I'm guessing Jeff misunderstood the OP statement regarding media and was thinking water instead of filter media. Jeff?

Of course seeding a new filter with old media from an established tank jump starts the cycle as a colony or portion thereof is simply being transferred. (Just need to ensure an ammonia source is also furnished to continue to feed the crew).

Also I once saw an interesting youtube entitled 'instant cycle'. Operators of a fish store demonstrated 'instant cycle'...they squeezed clean a sponge filter from an established tank in a cup of water that quickly turned almost black. They added this to the filter of a new tank setup. Really similar to adding a bacteria supplement, but from a known fresh source.
 
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Also I once saw an interesting youtube entitled 'instant cycle'. Operators of a fish store demonstrated 'instant cycle'...they squeezed clean a sponge filter from an established tank in a cup of water that quickly turned almost black. They added this to the filter of a new tank setup. Really similar to adding a bacteria supplement, but from a known fresh source.
I've actually done this method, although I overdid it by using squeezings from multiple sponges. I created a mess, but I did get the desired (and I'll admit somewhat suprising to me) result.
 

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FWIW

All this seeding and growing bacteria is moot when the tank is started with lotsa fast growing plants. The plants consume the "extra" ammonia directly preventing the cycles.

Meanwhile the bacteria are still growing and who cares if it takes days or weeks to reach full levels? Afterall there is no ammonia spikes either way.

Then when the bacteria have grown and are processing the ammonia, the plants reluctantly consume the resulting nitrates for nitrogen.


Later on should something go bump in the night and ammonia increases, the plants are there to consume the "extra" ammonia preventing dangerous spikes and/or possible crashes.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #14
GREAT info all !!!! well added the sand to my brand new 55 gal. after much thought and a ton of time on the web I think I may make this a mbuna tank.I only fought with the fact that I love bottom fish like corry's and loaches,any Ideas on what bottom fish may fit in with this type of haplochromine cichlids
 
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