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TOPIC: Using old filter media to cycle new tank?

Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64129

  • decal08
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Hi everyone!

I was planning to purchase a nano aquarium and was wondering if i could use some of the old filter media and add it to the new filter. Aside from that, I had other thoughts in mind
- will it have any benefits over just cycling with the new filter media?
- how should I place it, intake -> old -> new; or intake -> new -> old?
- anything special i should do with the tank i got the filter media from?
- Should I also take water from the established tank?

I saw a nice deal for the Dymax IQ5 (13L / 3.4gal. any feedbacks from this? too small? I read that water evaporates too fast, and the acrylic get scratches easily), and i was planning to put some plants in it and maybe small fishes (recommend me what kind!) or shrimps.

I'm excited!
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64131

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13 Liters wht are most likley more 10 or less Liters of water is not propper sized to keep fish long term. I had some high breed bettas in the past in cubes, without filter but heavy planted and the smallest cubes i worked with was 25 x 25 x 30 cm 20 Liters and two hands of Java moss per tank.

Your tank size is only good for snails or a couple of shrimps.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64134

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Using media from an established tank is the accepted/recommended way to "instant cycle" a new tank/filter.
There is nothing to be gained from using water from an established tank.
The bacteria that form the bio filter live on the surface of filter media, on your substrate, on the walls of the tank and on any deco in the tank, not in the water column itself.
:)
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64135

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toom wrote:
13 Liters wht are most likley more 10 or less Liters of water is not propper sized to keep fish long term. I had some high breed bettas in the past in cubes, without filter but heavy planted and the smallest cubes i worked with was 25 x 25 x 30 cm 20 Liters and two hands of Java moss per tank.

Your tank size is only good for snails or a couple of shrimps.

I see. I thought it was enough for small guppies. Thank you for the heads up! I'm having second thoughts now on getting that tank.

tom wrote:
Using media from an established tank is the accepted/recommended way to "instant cycle" a new tank/filter.
There is nothing to be gained from using water from an established tank.
The bacteria that form the bio filter live on the surface of filter media, on your substrate, on the walls of the tank and on any deco in the tank, not in the water column itself.
:)

Learned a lot from this! But then I realized, am I killing the beneficial bacteria every time I clean the inside of the tank walls with sponge? I usually do this during water change :blink:
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64136

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The technical answer is yes but it's not going to have any impact. When it comes to these bacteria, more bacteria can live on a single piece of biomax type ceramic ring than can live on all four walls of the aquariums.

A single quality biomax ring has the available surface area of about 2" of gravel in a 10 gallon tank.

We are talking gazillions of individual bacteria. Astronomical numbers that we really cannot comprehend. What's on the wall of the aquarium are like pennies to Bill Gates.
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64143

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Woah. All this time I thought it was 'more surface area = more bacteria'. Thank you all for your inputs!

I'll be using some of the ceramic rings and the white stuff on the new tank. I am now thinking about if I should still get that small aquarium

Thanks!
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64146

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Decal....you're spot on in that 'more surface area = more area for bacteria to live'. Notice that kmuda said a 'quality' biomax ring.

A quality piece of Biomedia is designed to have jillions of microscopic pores all over the surface of its structure - providing more surface area for microscopic bacteria to dwell. Glass, gravel, treasure chest air stones etc... are relatively smooth (ie. they don't have many microscopic crevices for bacteria to set up camp & dwell) compared to a single piece of biomedia.
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64152

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If you have the space, I'd suggest a 15 or 20 gal (60 or 80l) tank. 10 gal or 40l is about the minimum for anything but bettas, and if you want to have a school or two of tetra-sized fish and a small catfish or two you really need the extra space. However, I can say that I have two 10g (40l) tanks, each with about six or seven small fish, and they work out great. Just remember not to overfeed! I have to do two 75% water changes on my sister's tank because she continues to feed too much food and the algae and gunk build up fast.
20 gal 2 Angels, 3 Panda Corys, 2 Ghost Catfish
10 gal 5 Zebra Danios, 3 black neon tetras
10 gal 6 serpae, 2 otos
5 gal 1 betta
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Using old filter media to cycle new tank? 2 years 6 months ago #64178

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Thanks for the input!

Is there a minimum number of tetras we should keep in a school?
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