Anything I Can Put In My Filter So I Can Automatically Cycle Other Tanks When I Get More?

Cole142
  • #1
I know people like "king of diy" do this. but I'm not sure what they use
 
BHK3
  • #2
Yes. A lot of people keep a spare HOB on their tank with media in it so that when thry start up a new tank they can grab the media out of it to jumpstar the new tank. Chunks of aquarium sponge/foam is common, though I've also done regular media (Seachem Matrix) in a bag so I could just pull the bag out. If you do this make sure to let the media cycle on an existing tank for about 4 weeks before moving it to the next tank.
 
Mike1995
  • #3
personally, for example, in all my canisters I try to put as much biological media as I can in them so that I can open them up and throw some in a new filter if I need to. With hob filters, I've used aquaclear 70s a lot. Since there's a lot of room in them, I sometimes put two or three bags of those little white pellet things fluval makes in the filters and when I start up a new tank, I just take one of the bags out to cycle it. I've done that with ehiems version of those things too.
 
Cole142
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Yes. A lot of people keep a spare HOB on their tank with media in it so that when thry start up a new tank they can grab the media out of it to jumpstar the new tank. Chunks of aquarium sponge/foam is common, though I've also done regular media (Seachem Matrix) in a bag so I could just pull the bag out. If you do this make sure to let the media cycle on an existing tank for about 4 weeks before moving it to the next tank.
So what if I put sponge filter type of sponge in my filter?
 
bitseriously
  • #5
So what if I put sponge filter type of sponge in my filter?
Sponge filters work by drawing water through the sponge, from the outside to the inside. If you place one in an HOB or canister, water will more likely pass around it. You'd get some bb colonizing the sponge, but not as much as if you physically set up the sponge filter inside the existing tank as a supplemental filter and actually had it working. Certainly it would be better than not seeding it, but it will only start the process, and shorten the time to being fully cycled in the new tank - it won't get you all the way there.
Also, the actual amount of bb in any (cycled and stable) tank is related to the bioload and amount of waste that is produced (from fish, and other sources) not necessarily the amount of media in the filter(s). Example, lets say 6 tetras are in a tank, and the filter has 1,000,000 bacteria (give or take a few dozen LOL). Adding a sponge, or more media, or another filter will not increase the number of bacteria, but they may spread out to new places. If you end up with 250,000 on a sponge, and 750,000 in the filter, and you take the sponge out to kick start another tank, you need to take into account that your source tank will be low on bb's. A small proportional change can be recovered from quickly (esp if you skip a feeding or two), but you may need to treat with an ammo/nitrite neutralizer while the bb compensate. Should be fine within a day or two.
 
Rythmyc
  • #6
Sponge filters work by drawing water through the sponge, from the outside to the inside. If you place one in an HOB or canister, water will more likely pass around it. You'd get some bb colonizing the sponge, but not as much as if you physically set up the sponge filter inside the existing tank as a supplemental filter and actually had it working. Certainly it would be better than not seeding it, but it will only start the process, and shorten the time to being fully cycled in the new tank - it won't get you all the way there.
Also, the actual amount of bb in any (cycled and stable) tank is related to the bioload and amount of waste that is produced (from fish, and other sources) not necessarily the amount of media in the filter(s). Example, lets say 6 tetras are in a tank, and the filter has 1,000,000 bacteria (give or take a few dozen LOL). Adding a sponge, or more media, or another filter will not increase the number of bacteria, but they may spread out to new places. If you end up with 250,000 on a sponge, and 750,000 in the filter, and you take the sponge out to kick start another tank, you need to take into account that your source tank will be low on bb's. A small proportional change can be recovered from quickly (esp if you skip a feeding or two), but you may need to treat with an ammo/nitrite neutralizer while the bb compensate. Should be fine within a day or two.
I've never had any problems stealing media from any tanks. An established colony will regrow before any noticeable amounts of Ammonia or Nitrite are even detectable.

As far as using established media to "instant cycle". When you do this, you have 2 choices.

1) The media you seeded will have a healthy colony, but small. It will keep up with a small addition to a new tank. It will NOT support a fully stocked new tank. So you could add a small amount of fish, and keep a close eye on parameters. Then slowly add more stock as the colony establishes itself in the new tank.

2) Use the established media to kick start a full Fishless cycle. Drop the media in a new filter, dose to 2 ppm Ammonia, and do the normal Fishless cycle. It will only take a week or two, depends on the size difference of the tank, and other contributing factors
 
Sel
  • #7
So how do people successfully run a QT tank then? It’s only set up when you get new fish.
 
Rythmyc
  • #8
So how do people successfully run a QT tank then? It’s only set up when you get new fish.
QT don't get massive amounts of fish in them at once. Typically a QT is used for small additions.
 
mattgirl
  • #9
When I replace the filter cartridges I use in one of my HOB filters I cut the fiber off the old one and put it back in the HOB filter. I do this in a bucket of tank water to help keep the bacteria alive.

Just recently I set my 5.5 gallon tank back up. I used that fiber in my corner filter to jump start it. It doesn't take a great deal of filter media to jump start ones QT since they are usually much smaller tanks.

I also run 2 double sponge filters in my big tank so I am always prepared for jump starting a new tank. I know bacteria in a bottle can be purchased (I've personally never used it) but I don't think established filter media can be improved on.

Once one goes through one long drawn out cycling process and they protect it once finished they should never have to go through it again if they think ahead and have plenty of seeded media ready to use at a moments notice.
 
Punkin
  • #10
I keep lots of extra squares of filter floss in my Aquaclear basket. That way if I need a QT tank, I have plenty ready. You can stuff a decent amount of extra floss in an HOB, I was surprised.
 
xloe
  • #11
I keep lots of extra squares of filter floss in my Aquaclear basket. That way if I need a QT tank, I have plenty ready. You can stuff a decent amount of extra floss in an HOB, I was surprised.
I noticed I could fit quite a bit more floss in my aqueon filters also.
 
KimberlyG
  • #12
I buy bulk filter pad and cut it into small pieces then tuck it inside my filters. All 15 of my tanks have extra media. If you are trying to cycle a sponge filter, I cut the white filter material off of a cartridge and wrap it around the sponge filter securing it with a couple rubber bands. It's ugly for 3 or 4 weeks but I don't cycle. The last time I had to it was a nightmare and I won't do it again.
EDIT: Oh, about the QT filter. I don't take my QT down anymore. I heavily feed an empty tank. When I did take it down, I transferred the sponge filter to my overstocked Mbuna tank. I never had a problem doing that.
 
Cole142
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks everyone. So what would the best thing to use to put in my filter?
 
bgclarke
  • #14
Thanks everyone. So what would the best thing to use to put in my filter?
What filter do you have?
 
Cole142
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
bgclarke
  • #16
Top fin 10 hang on the back
Like this?


20170525_172700.jpeg

Filter floss is your best bet if you're using the cartridges designed for it.
 
Niki Rose
  • #17
Just to add onto this but what were those things joey was talking about that you fill with media that can hide in the back of your tank or behind decor.

I need something like this simply because I dislike having to spend so much money on extra filters or spending half an hour getting media from my canister's which takes a long time since I have to shut off all the pipes as well and since the filter itself is full of water it just creates one big mess.
 
Cole142
  • Thread Starter
  • #18

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bgclarke
  • #19
Just to add onto this but what were those things joey was talking about that you fill with media that can hide in the back of your tank or behind decor.
Not sure.

Was it mentioned in a particular video?

It's this filter
I've never looked inside that particular version, but suspect that floss would be the easier option.

If there is enough empty space inside, you might be able to add something like bio-max or Matrix.
 
xloe
  • #20
I've read that some people use polyfil or quilt batting in their filters instead of buying replacement floss.
 
Niki Rose
  • #21
Not sure.

Was it mentioned in a particular video?
He just mentioned it briefly in the how to start an aquarium video, was just wondering if anyone else had done this.
 
bgclarke
  • #22
He just mentioned it briefly in the how to start an aquarium video, was just wondering if anyone else had done this.
I'll have to check it out, curious what he's referring to.
I like keeping extra bio-media in my filters but I'm finding adding too much affects the flow or causes a bypass.
 
EbiAqua
  • #23
I overstock my main HOB with ceramic rings (Aquaclear 70) for just such an occasion. If I need to get a new tank cycled quickly, I just throw some already cycled biomedia into the new filter and give the new tank a double-shot of Stability. Works like a charm.
 
Cole142
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Would aquarium sponge in my filter work?
 
EbiAqua
  • #25
Would aquarium sponge in my filter work?

It should, yes. Just let it sit in the filter for a month or so.
 
Wraithen
  • #26
It would, especially if you could put it in the flow somewhere. You could run an extra sponge filter with the hob, and put filter floss in the outflow of the filter you currently have. With such a small filter you can't really overstock with much, however, if you combined a small amount of seeded media and safe start plus, you'd likely be fully cycled within a few days.
 
bgclarke
  • #27
He just mentioned it briefly in the how to start an aquarium video, was just wondering if anyone else had done this.
I just watched the video.
He mentioned putting ceramic rings in pantyhose or media bags and placing them in the aquarium.

I was under the impression that ceramic rings, bio-max, Matrix, etc needed water flowing over them in a filter in order for bacteria to grow well on them.
 
Niki Rose
  • #28
I just watched the video.
He mentioned putting ceramic rings in pantyhose or media bags and placing them in the aquarium.

I was under the impression that ceramic rings, bio-max, Matrix, etc needed water flowing over them in a filter in order for bacteria to grow well on them.
It may work if In tanks with lots of flow or circulation like his. Although I do thing it would at least have a bit of bacteria in low flow tanks, not sure if it would be enough to seed an entirely new tank.

Or as another idea maybe I could put pre-filter sponges on all the filters I have and use them to seed other tanks instead?
 
Wraithen
  • #29
Prefilter sponges would work as well
 

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