54g Cycling

Saobie
  • #1
So I have a 54g corner tank that is setup as of yesterday, 2/3 filled with water, with a sponge filter running, no fish in it (will be getting a few fish to help cycle later)

Now, since I plan to move all the fish from my 20 gallon into this new tank, I was planning to move all the already established gravel and water from the 20 gallon into the 54g as well, but for some reason was told by the pet store owner to only move half of the water? It makes no sense to me, wouldnt this significantly help the cycling process since 1/3 of the water is established, as well as a large sum of the gravel?
 
SixThreeOh
  • #2
I wouldn't move any of the water over. There's hardly any bacteria in the water column. Move the gravel and whatever filter is in the 20 over.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Ah, I see

Well, iv had the tank set up for a few days actually (the filter was put in yesterday). No fish, meaning no ammonia to start the cycle. Id also need to move all my fish into the 54 once I move the gravel there. In my current tank most of my fish are hearty but the concerning ones are my 2 angels, my snail, and my pleco

With all this in mind, when should I move the gravel and consider my tank established?
 
mattgirl
  • #4
Since you plan on basically moving your cycle and fish over to the new tank I would move everything including the water over to the new tank. I agree there is no bacteria in the water itself but it is the water your fish and bacteria are used to. By moving it over to the new tank and finishing it off with fresh water both your cycle and your fish will just think they have had a bigger than normal water change.

If the 20 gallon is cycled and well established you should have an almost instant cycle in your bigger tank. You may experience a minI cycle but just keep a close eye on the perimeters and you should be fine.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
So what you're saying is it would be safe to just move everything over right now?

After I do so I do the standard "wait a week to add fish, then add 3 at a time once a week til you have what you want" biz right?

EDIT: it should be noted that I can't move my filter over as there is no space on the side of the tank for it. Its kindav a weird design and I can't close the lid if I put my current filter on it (hence why we got a sponge filter)
 
mattgirl
  • #6
Move everything in the 20 over to the 54 including the fish. I would wait at least a week while keeping a close eye on the perimeters to make sure they are stable before introducing more fish.

edited to add: If you can't figure out a way to move your filter media to the new tank you won't be able to instantly cycle the new tank. Some bacteria lives in the gravel and all the surfaces in the tank but the majority of it lives on your filter media.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I mean, I CAN have the filter sit on the side of the tan, its just that the lid won't close with it on. While I'm not against having it just sit there with the lid partially open while it cycles faster, my mom and sister (who are mostly in charge of what I do and don't get to do with my aquarium, in part because my mom bought it) would be against the idea. I also did recently change the filter cartridges of my filter, the new ones are only maybe 4 days old

But assuming id be able to move all the gravel and the filter and its somehow ok with everyone, id still need to move the filter out at some point, because the 20 gallon is going to be reused for other fish. How long would the filter need to sit there before its considered safe to move it back?

EDIT: There is the prospect of moving my 10-20g filter to the 54g. Its, ofc, very small. But I (dont chastise me please) neglected to change its cartridge for like 5 months now? Would that work instead, it would likely fit on my tank due to its small size
 
mattgirl
  • #8
The fact that you changed out your filter cartridges kinda changes my original advice. You probably now know that changing them out threw out a lot of your bacteria. I know the makers of the cartridges say to do so but they aren't thinking about anything but selling more cartridges.

One should not change them until they are literally falling apart or water will no longer flow through them freely. Even then one should cut the fiber off of them and put that fiber in the filter housing with the new cartridge. That fiber is where most of the bacteria necessary to a healthy tank live.

Do you know for a fact that your 20 gallon tank is cycled. Have you tested the water and if so were the numbers 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates? If so then the tank is cycled and if you get the same readings a few days after changing the cartridges you may not have done much damage to your cycle.

to get an instant cycle in a new tank one needs that heavily seeded media to seed the new tank. Without it the cycle is going to take some time.
But assuming id be able to move all the gravel and the filter and its somehow ok with everyone, id still need to move the filter out at some point, because the 20 gallon is going to be reused for other fish. How long would the filter need to sit there before its considered safe to move it back?
To be safe it would need to be there for at least a month but the 20 would lose its cycle. You could move the filter back to the 20 after a month to reseed that tank though.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Well, to be fair, prior to changing the cartridges, the old ones sat in there for 3 months. I had actually kept the old cartridges in a bucket of water for a few days, and literally threw them out yesterday when I was told were not going to do it that way even though it makes a lot of sense to do exactly that

Typically I would change my cartridges once per month as described, but given your advice, I should probably do it less often? I mean in all fairness I often forget about it anyways

As for my water, we can test it but ill probably still get flak. Ill go see if we can test it now, if not ill have results tomorrow

Alright, for the whole reseeding thing that can work. The filter on my 20 gallon is actually a large duel filter (that barely even fits), think its designed for 36g tanks. So what id do is put the filter on my 54g for a month, then move it back to the 20 gallon for a month, then put the new fish in the 20g? Would I want to wait a month to put the new fish into the 20 gallon or will it not matter?

Bare in mind the 20 gallon will house 2 goldfish (1 dwarf species, 1 pretty large one. Ik they need more space, but the 20 gallon is definitely better than what they have now and they still seem pretty happy). And the small filter I could probably slap onto the 54g rn is currently being used on the goldfish current tank. The filter hasnt been changed in forever either
 
mattgirl
  • #10
Well, to be fair, prior to changing the cartridges, the old ones sat in there for 3 months. I had actually kept the old cartridges in a bucket of water for a few days, and literally threw them out yesterday when I was told were not going to do it that way even though it makes a lot of sense to do exactly that

Typically I would change my cartridges once per month as described, but given your advice, I should probably do it less often? I mean in all fairness I often forget about it anyways

As for my water, we can test it but ill probably still get flak. Ill go see if we can test it now, if not ill have results tomorrow
Water with ammonia has to be running through the media to keep the bacteria alive so sitting in a bucket of water won't keep it alive.

Tomorrow works for me 'cause it is past my bedtime anyway Talk to you tomorrow.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Lol alright. Thank for the advice, ill post the water parameters here when I get up
 
mattgirl
  • #12
Good morning. I just checked your profile and it says you don't know about the nitrogen cycle. Click on the blue words and that link will give you a basic understanding of it.

Basically it means growing enough of the right kind of bacteria. That bacteria is the cycle. You are not cycling the water (iow: growing bacteria in the water). You are growing it mostly on the filter media. Some will be growing on most of the surfaces in the tank but most of it is on the filter media.

In the simplest words. It is accomplished by the ammonia (poop) being provided by the fish (or pure bottled ammonia or rotting fish food) the ammonia is the food source for a bacteria called nitrite. The nitrites eat the ammonia and the nitrites are the food source for nitrates. There is no bacteria in there that eat the nitrates so we keep them in check with water changes.

In a cycled tank there will be enough if the bacteria living on your filter media to almost instantly convert ammonia straight to nitrates. The ammonia and nitrites will still be there but they are being converted to nitrates so quickly they won't show up in the tests. A fully cycled established tank should register 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates.

Without an ammonia source and water movement through the media the bacteria will die and the cycle will be lost. That is why you were told that the media you had setting in a bucket of water wouldn't work to save the cycle.

You mentioned that you also have a goldfish tank. Is it cycled?

If I am to help you with this I really need all the info.
How many tanks do you have other than the 20 and the new 54?
Are all the tanks other than the 54 cycled?
Do you have any media in the filter you have on the 20 right now other than the cartridges you replaced a few days ago?
What kind of filtration do you have on the goldfish tank?
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Sorry, at the time when I was making my profile I was confused on what nitrogen cycle meant because I had only ever heard it called "being established". I'm aware of the cycle xD

I only have the 20g, and a 10 gallon the goldfish are in. The goldfish tank is very well established, though the ammonia is probably a little high cus yno, large goldfish are in a small tank. We are currently testing the 20g

Both tanks have a cartridge filter. The 20 gallon has a large dual filter I believe is for 36g, and the goldfish tank uses a standard 10-20g filter

There is no other media in the 20g. It only has the 1 filter

Btw, ammonia and nirtrite tested at 0 each
 
mattgirl
  • #14
It is time like this that I am happy that I run extra filtration in my biggest tank. I keep 2 dual sponge filters in addition to 2 HOB filters on my 55 gallon tank. When I need to set up another tank I just pull one of the seeded sponges out and instantly cycle another tank.

If you don't need to set this bigger tank up right away you could run your sponge filter in either of your cycled tanks to seed it.

If the ammonia and nitrites are both 0 in your 20 it seems changing out the cartridges didn't cause a minI cycle so if you could run that filter on the 54 it should seed that tank but if you are wanting to keep the 20 running during this time you don't want to disturb its cycle too much.

I don't know what to suggest. Since you do understand the cycle I am sure you can figure out the best option to get the 54 up and running without messing up the cycle on your other 2 tanks. Between the 2 of them I feel sure you will find a way to seed this new tank. May not be pretty for a few weeks but sometimes we just have to do what we have to do.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Well, what I could do is move the 20g's filter, fish, water, and gravel into the 54g for a month, then move the filter back. But everyone will be very against that, so the best option is probably to put the sponge filter in the 20g

How long would it take to seed the sponge filter, given that my 20 gallon is well established and cycled
 
mattgirl
  • #16
Well, what I could do is move the 20g's filter, fish, water, and gravel into the 54g for a month, then move the filter back. But everyone will be very against that, so the best option is probably to put the sponge filter in the 20g

How long would it take to seed the sponge filter, given that my 20 gallon is well established and cycled
I can't give you an accurate time line but I personally would run it no less than 3 weeks. Depending on how big the sponge filter is will determine if it can handle 54 gallons of water. Is it designed for a tank that big? I normally use sponge filter for much smaller tanks but I do know there are some much bigger than what I have. Depending on how big it is you may need to run more than one.

Is it possible to move your goldfish and their filter over to this tank to cycle it? At least they would provide enough ammonia to feed the cycle.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
As I figured, my mom is highly against all these suggestions. Kinda fed up with being talked to like I don't know anything I'm doing

Theyle probably say not to do it. Apparently were going to our local petco to talk to the girl that we usually do because that's the only person they trust. We were gunna get a few tetras and do a fish in cycle. I could suggest doing the gldfish instead, that is if it will save us time given they produce way more poop. If it won't save any time ill go with the tetras since I was gunna get more anyways
 
mattgirl
  • #18
Good luck with your new tank. I know it has to be hard when there is more than one person making the decisions.
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
You bet it is. My mom is against me getting really any more fish. "I don't want to get a bunch of new fish" but the tank is triple in size and iv done my research and everything

Thanks a bunch for all your help so far!
 
Saobie
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Thought you might like a little update

So starting tomorrow ill be moving my heartier fish (all minus the 2 angels) into my 54g for 2 or 3 weeks, and then getting new fish. My mom went to the store and were following what they told us we could do

Also not getting any cories (my mom won't let me, says 8 fish is too much), so instead I plan to get a gold honey gourami and possibly a black sailfin molly (my mom dislikes the black ones, but I want color variation and a lot of my fish feature bright colors)
 

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