Cycling a tank with sponge filters

connorjs1004

If I put two cycled sponge filters that were in an established tank for several months into a tank that is just set up, does that mean the tank is cycled?
 

jdhef

Maybe...it will depend on the size of the new tank (i.e. are the "seeded" sponge filters sized for the size of your tank) and it will also depend on the bioload of the new tank. It the new tank has a higher bioload, there may not be large enough bacteria colonies on the sponge filters to process all ammonia and nitrite
 

mattgirl

As jdhef pointed out the amount of bacteria on the sponge filters depends on the bio-load in the tank the filters were running in. As long as the bio-load is lower in the new tank there should be enough bacteria. It will still take time for the new tank to get established but there should be enough bacteria. Just in case you've not started with enough bacteria be sure you keep an eye on the parameters and be prepared to do water changes as needed.

Quite often I have moved a seeded sponge filter from my heavily stocked main tank to another smaller tank. I add the fish I am setting the tank up for as soon as I get the new tank set up. I never get and ammonia or nitrite reading and start seeing nitrates within a week or so. I run extra sponge filters in my main tank specifically for new tank start ups.
 

connorjs1004

Each sponge filter is meant for 40 gallons and up and I have 2 of them. They were in a pretty well stocked tank, but not overstocked and they will be going into a tank of the same size and similar stocking.
 

mattgirl

Each sponge filter is meant for 40 gallons and up and I have 2 of them. They were in a pretty well stocked tank, but not overstocked and they will be going into a tank of the same size and similar stocking.
You may experience low levels of ammonia and possibly even nitrites but the bacteria should level out fairly fast. Keep in mind. An established tank will have bacteria growing on every surface in the tank. The new tank won't have that yet so may struggle at first. You shouldn't experience drastic spikes though. You may not experience spikes but better to keep an eye on things just in case. Water changes as needed will protect the fish while the bacteria colonizes on all the surfaces in the tank.
 

BigManAquatics

This is the kind of situation where i feel is the best use of bottled bacteria. Initial stocking light and add a dose of the bacteria to help prevent possible spikes. Granted, i only do this with already seeded media, as i don't trust the bottled bacteria for the full cycle, but i do like using it as a stopgap preventive with existing bacteria.
 

connorjs1004

Would the use of prime after water changes counteract the dosing of bacteria?
 

BigManAquatics

Would the use of prime after water changes counteract the dosing of bacteria?
I would read directions on any bacteria if you use it, but shouldn't.
 

connorjs1004

Ok
Also, can I clean off some of the detritus with dechlorinated water or would that still kill the bacteria. I really don't want to put "dirty" filters into the tank
 

BigManAquatics

Dechlorinated water shouldn't be a problem.
 

Fish99

Ok
Also, can I clean off some of the detritus with dechlorinated water or would that still kill the bacteria. I really don't want to put "dirty" filters into the tank
all that brown gunk has bateria. The more you clean the less bateria you have left. In this case dirty is good. But ya, you kind of have too clean it somewhat. Just squeeze a little in tank water in a bucket and rinse a bit and don't over do it.
Each sponge filter is meant for 40 gallons and up and I have 2 of them. They were in a pretty well stocked tank, but not overstocked and they will be going into a tank of the same size and similar stocking.
It's the stock in the tank that matters, not how much water. Don't forget everything in the tank will help with good bacteria too, like the gravel, so I would go easy on the stock for a few weeks.
Would the use of prime after water changes counteract the dosing of bacteria?
Prime is a dechlore, it won't hurt bacteria.
 

connorjs1004

Ok I wouldn't be like scrubbing it off, I just meant a quick rinse so that it visually looks a little better
 

mattgirl

I wouldn't do anything to them. The more bacteria you have on them the better it is. If they are covered in scum rinsing it off shouldn't be a problem and should help them work more efficiently. If that isn't the case there is no need to clean them before moving them.
 

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