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Old 03-17-2019, 03:48 PM   #1
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Starting a new 20 gallon tank need advice to cycle

As the title says Iím am starting a new 20 gallon tank need advice to cycle. This is my second tank my first was a 5.5. I had the problem of that I didnít know I needed to cycle it first before I added fish and slowly was able to get everything situated and Iíve had it for over three months. Mainly because I have an albino Cory Dora in there I decided to get a 20 gallon long tank so I can get a school of them. Itís going to be half sand half gravel. I have some plants in there. I have a Fluval HOB filter on it. Iíve done a few water changes to get the cloudiness from the sand out. Had this issue as I wasnít sure exactly how to wash stand. Now that the water is clear and I have plans Iím ready to start a cycle. My 5.5 gallon tank is fully cycled and I do have a sponge filter around the intake. I was thinking about adding the sponge into my new tank while Iím trying to cycle it. Would it be a good idea to maybe put some water from my 5.5 gallon into the 20 gallon? I was planning on using Harlequin rasboras to cycle it. Iíve heard they are very hearty fish and will survive the cycle. Also know that from research that they should work with my betta. Is there anything else I should possibly do to help with the cycle. Iím planning on keeping my 5.5 gallon tank so I wasnít going to move any of the plants from that tank to my new one. I was however going to put some of the hornswort into my new aquarium. Any other advise please. Iím using seashells right now to get my pH up to a seven (my tap come out 6) and then Iím hoping to be able to start this process. Also when it comes time to move my fish and dwarf frogs if I have the pH as well as the temperature of the same on both tanks can they be moved immediately or should there be some sort of process for me to do that?
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:08 PM   #2
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Moving that intake sponge to the new tank will do more to colonize the new tank with beneficial bacteria than transferring any water. In fact, if you move some of the filter media from the media chamber of the fluval to the new tank's filter, you'll probably be close to cycled already. I would add just a few fish at first, so they can produce waste that will feed the bacteria. Wait a week, then add a few more. With patience, you should be fine.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:30 PM   #3
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My older tank has a top fin cartridge filter got the fluval for my new one. So I don’t think I can move any of that bacteria, can I? I don’t want to risk losing to much bacteria from the old tank. Also how should I handle transferring the fish when it’s time.
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:26 AM   #4
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You could clip a few inches out of the old one and add it to the new tank. Also although it sounds all wrong, to take the filter from the established tank and gently swish a bit of muck from the filter pad into the conditioned new tank.

Just give it a little time to clear the water. It helps get a bunch of bacteria into the tank and go into different places in the tank to settle in, like into the substrate too. If the pad is really, really dirty dip it in a cup of water a time or 2. Seriously just a quick dip dip (not swish) and then gentle swish a bit around the new tank.

Make sure to match up the new tank water in a bucket with the old tank water to acclimate. Bring your other babies into the new tank and start out slowly. For stocking if you're doing a group of Cories, just wait until the tank has stabilized and running well before bringing them in.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:48 AM   #5
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Thanks that sounds like a good idea. So far I’ve just put 9 harlequin in there as I hear they a good cycling fish. I did get some driftwood from petco that I was told should also have some beneficial bacteria on it. So far after two days I’m at 0 everything. It should be about a week to see some increases correct? I’m also thinking of moving a moss ball from my old tank to this one. I’m worried about loosing to much in the old tank if i do this. Is that a good idea? It is a 5.5 with two dwarf frogs, betta, Corey, and nerite snail but also counting the moss ball has 7 plants in it. Sorry to keep asking I just want to do this tank right. Last tank (long story) was cycled with a betta, frog, a Cory, and a few shrimp. Not what I should have done. Didn’t lose any of them thanks to help from here.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:34 AM   #6
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Moss ball wouldn't be of enough value to move. I would value it for the biofilm it has for the shrimp, and keep it with the shrimp.

Keep the testing up on the tanks, more frequently on the new tank. Your new tank will start to get more ammonia from food and fish waste incrementally, and you will see it depending upon how much BB is already utilizing the ammonia waste and then the part it can't keep up with with take it up.

Since you have some BB it could take a bit longer. Take it slowly feed lighter than usual /not to starve the fish, just a little less so that you can watch it and catch it when it goes to unsafe territory.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:17 PM   #7
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I have had excellent success using Tetra SafeStart Plus to "instantly" cycle tanks on startup. I started a 20 high a few months back with 10 cardinals, some SafeStart, and never looked back. The ammonia tested as high as 2.0 ppm at times, but SeaChem told me that was to be expected and I never saw any evidence that fish were stressed. After two weeks, the tank was completely cycled: no ammonia, no nitrites, and visible nitrate production.

I have also used it in a 10-gallon QT tank when I didn't have media to transfer from the display tank, and again, everything went very well. I would highly recommend it.
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