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Old 01-31-2008, 05:23 PM   #1
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Instantly cycling a new tank....is it possible?

I thought this could be an interesting topic for discussion.

I realize that generally patience must prevail and the fishless method of cycling is preferred, but just as a discussion topic...

Do you think it is possible to instantly cycle a tank?

If so, how?

If not, why not?

I know there are products like Bio-Spira that claim to, and there are things you can do like putting a filter from a "clean" established tank onto the new tank. But does this give an adequate amount of nitriying bacteria?

There must be ways, otherwise how do people move, or move their tanks around, or tear them down and re-scape them?


Just incase you are wondering why this question...
I am considering re-doing the aquascape in my low light planted tank including new substrate...but it is full of fish and I am afraid of killing off too much of the beneficial bacteria
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:27 PM   #2
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yes you can, if you use a mature filter, as well as some mature water. You will always have at least a mini cycle... but not much. I have moved my fishes several times and have only lost one or two that was stress related.
but for substrate change, you will want to do it a little at a time, as the bacteria will not have grown yet in a new substrate to do it all at once
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:16 PM   #3
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I have cycled tanks instantly by running the filter I plan to use on the new tank on an old established tank for 2-3 weeks as well as adding the new substrate in a mesh bag to the old tank to establish bacteria.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz View Post
I have cycled tanks instantly by running the filter I plan to use on the new tank on an old established tank for 2-3 weeks as well as adding the new substrate in a mesh bag to the old tank to establish bacteria.

This is tried and true.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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Yup, I agree with that.^ But Bio-Spira, provided you have a fresh batch and use it correctly, can do the job as well.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:09 AM   #6
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The only issue with Bio-Spira is that a lot of stores don't realize it has to be refrigerated at all times.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:00 AM   #7
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I have never done it buy would think as long as the developed beneficial bacteria are there consume the bioload. It should be ready to go. Usually cycling is the growth of the bacteria to handle the inhabitants
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:18 AM   #8
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Use lots of plants! http://www.rexgrigg.com/cycle.htm
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:02 AM   #9
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Another vote for Bio-Spira. When I set up my aquarium last year, I used Bio-Spira (you can find posts I wrote asking about it in the archives here) - it worked like a charm. A day or two and my fish were ready to go!

As the earlier posters have said, though, only use Bio-Spira if you get it from a store that keeps it refrigerated. It's live bacteria so it has to be kept cold until you use it. This means that once you bring it home, stick it in the fridge until you use it.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:16 PM   #10
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Cycle under 2 weeks!?

Today marks the 13th day from when I first filled my tank. After my countless hours of research and total devotion to this hobby, I realized it would take about 4-6 weeks to completely cycle. Though I was disappointed, I decided to be patient and wait it out. Well a couple days ago I tested out of curiousity and noticed that my tank seemed to be "cycled." So I have decided to post the results not only of my tank, but for my tap water as well (after 24 hours).


Tap Water Results:

pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 1.0
Nitrate: 5.0
Nitrite: 0


Tank Water Results:

pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 5.0
Nitrite: 0

Could I have possible obtained an insanely fast cycle of under 2 weeks?! Please respond with any feedback because I am really curious if I really did it.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:57 PM   #11
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I'm another vote for "yes, definitely". Two options, as have already been mentioned...either with mature foam from a filter (I've done this several times, starting even a new shrimp tank without any losses) or with live plants (although this requires slower stocking). I never fishless cycle.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:34 PM   #12
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Its possible to have cycled the tank within 13 days but with the addition of any ammonia source you may see another cycle as the bacteria are still babies and do take time to slowly develop even after the main cycle unless you get matured (adult) bacteria from another source. So adding a fish may still create another mini-cycle. Was there enough ammonia to jump start the growth of strong enough bacteria to handle the absorbtion of fish waste.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:04 AM   #13
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I second the vote for the planted "soft cycle". I started a few years ago with an unplanted and it was a long painful process...then went planted and it was much easier on future tanks.

I recently set up a tank without plants just to grow out snails and guppies...but that was painful enough that I ended up putting plants in it too!
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