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Old 08-01-2004, 09:05 AM   #1
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transitioning tanks

In about 3 weeks, I'm going to be moving my fish from their current 10 gal tank to a 40 gal tank. I know all about the whole cycling process, but I'm looking for advice on what's the best way to use the bacteria currently in the 10 gal to populate the 40? I would just throw the filter media from the 10 gal in the 40 and let it run it's course, but that would involve the fish in the smaller tank not having a filter running for a few weeks. I plan on doing a 50% water change when i set up the 40, and dumping that 5 gal in. I'm also going to add most of the rock from the 10 gal into the 40 to help. The other thing I'm worried about is that I'm going to cycle the tank without fish in there, as the 40 is at my new apt and the 10 is here at home with me. so i wouldn't be there to take care of any fish I use to cycle the tank. Is there something I can leave in the tank to supply an ammonia source? I've heard of marine people cycling tanks with shrimp in cheese cloth. Wouldn't somthing similar work just as well? Also, I'm thinking about just running the filter with the main sponge and leaving the carbon out for the cycling process. The the tank is cycled I'll go back to the carbon. That is unless someone can suggest a better media to fill the basket of a magnum canister with.

thanks
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Old 08-01-2004, 10:05 AM   #2
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I would use the media from the 10-gal and put that into the big filter, but leave the actual filter running on the 10. If there is any gravel from the 10 you could use to seed the 40 that would help, as well. Does the 10 have a biowheel? I have found that just tossing an established biowheel into a cycling tank helps immensely, even if it is just floating.

You can use a shrimp, or household ammonia if you could stop by once a day to dose it. The shrimp method is more appropriate if you are not going to be around. You could also try one of those vacation feeding blocks, as that will slowly decompose and provide an ammonia source as well.

Some people use carbon and some don't. I don't use it unless I have been treating with meds and want to clear the tank. Otherwise, I don't find it is necessary. That's personal preference, though, and I don't think it is of great importance.

Good luck with your new tank and your new place!
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Old 08-01-2004, 10:35 AM   #3
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IDK if this works but when you do the change put the water you siphone out into your new tank and also use gravel from the current tank. Good Luck
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:52 PM   #4
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yea, my biggest problem is i'm trying to seed the new tank from my old while keeping the old tank up and running. The two tanks are also about an hour and a half from each other. I was going to seed the new with gravel and about 5 gal of water (all i can really spare if I want the old tank to stay healthy). The filter on the 10 gal is unfortunatly a cheap top fin HOT filter. Not all that great, and I'm not running media in it. Just the sponge. My new bio wheel set up for the magnum will be here in abot a week tho. So I plan on just dunking those in the old tank for another week to let them start to culture, then transfer them over. I'd really like to get this tank cycled to the point (in three weeks) that I could add my current fish and not have a problem. It's only 6 cherry barbs and 2 corry cats, so the bio load is dinky for 40 gal, so I think as long as I take some steps to seed and fast cycle, they should do fine. I'm also thinking about running zeolite media in the filter for the first month or so to control any extranious ammonia while the tank settles.

Now, I don't mind not running carbon in my filter, as it doen't last very long anyway, but the magnum has a fairly large media basket and is designed to be used with media. I'm assuming they took this into account when designing the pump and figuring flow rate. So I do feel the need to put something in the basket. I'll have bio-filtration taken care of with the dual bio wheels up top, but are there any other media besides carbon that would have a usefull effect?
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Old 08-01-2004, 08:28 PM   #5
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Get yourself some ceramic noodles and some kind of coarse sponge type media (don't know what does or does not come with the filter), and then a filter floss for fine particles.

I would recommend against using any kind of ammonia removing product in the filter if you can avoid it. It will stall the process, and you can protect the fish with water changes if necessary. If you have to, you have to, but consider carefully.

Your water does not really contain much in the way of bacteria, so I would not be concerned about adding it to the tank for cycling purposes. However, when the day comes to move your fish, that is when you will want to use as much of the old tank water as you can, because the similar water added to the new tank will ease the transition for the fish. Is there a difference in the water parameters between where you are and where you are going?
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:09 AM   #6
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The media canister sits at the center of the canister and all the water is drawn through it. The top comes off, so I can throw whatever I want in there and it holds a fair amount of stuff. Around this is a floss filter, so it has plenty of mechanical filtration as is. What benifit would adding cermic noodles have? I've seen several of the materials that fluval sells for use in their filter, but I thought they were only effective in a trickle unit. Would bio balls in there be effective? Don't know how well bacteria will culture in that environment. Probably not that well, but that's why I have the dual bio-wheels on there too.

Do you think that the tank will be ready for a small amount of fish after letting letting it sit for about a week with biowheels that have been sitting in a fully cycled tank for the week previous and with the addition of the old gravel? I can always just bring up the established tank and do the full 6 week cycle if need be. Also any thoughts on bio-spira. I've heard it works miracles, but I have no clue where to find it.

As for water conditions....I live in Indiana. It's all hard as a rock around here.

thanks for your help.
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Old 08-02-2004, 11:11 AM   #7
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I do think there is quite a bit of bacterial colonization inside a canister filter, and thus the ceramic noodles make a great spot for this. Bioballs will do the same thing, so that's what I would do. The more media the merrier!

If there is an ammonia source in the empty tank with the Biowheels then it might be ready for fish after a week. I have had Biowheels finish an already started fishless cycle in three days.

Bio-Spira is not available currently (they ran out of bacteria, believe it or not, and have spent the summer growing more, so it is supposed to be available in Sept)- and I do strongly endorse it. I have used it many times on my tanks and others' tanks, and it works 95% of the time. The other 5% I repeated the dose and it was cycled the next day. I think there were handling issues that affected those batches. The great thing is that you can fully stock your tank on the same day - and for fish that are territorial this is a major plus.
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