Cycling Tank With Old Filter Cartridge ?

LDR123
  • #1
Hello,
So I have a 30 gallon tank I've been running at home for about 2 months now. From the readings I'm getting it seems to be cycled. I want to set up a 5 gallon tank at my work place for some small fishies. If I was to run the 5 gallon filter cartridge behind my 30 gallon one for a week or so would this build up enough bacteria to then place it in my freshly set up 5 gallon tank and have it cycle quickly ? If so how quickly ? Would pulling the filter out of water in the morning and taking it into work (an hour out of water) kill off all the beneficial bacteria it worked to build up? If anyone has ever tried this could you let me know if this worked for You? Any information from anyone would be great.
 
Fashooga
  • #2
I would recommend a month or longer. Since your tank is only 2 months old anything new addition you put in and pull out a week later could lead to a minor but not deadly reaction to the tank since it still so young. If the tank was six months old, might be a different story.
 
NavyChief20
  • #3
Hello,
So I have a 30 gallon tank I've been running at home for about 2 months now. From the readings I'm getting it seems to be cycled. I want to set up a 5 gallon tank at my work place for some small fishies. If I was to run the 5 gallon filter cartridge behind my 30 gallon one for a week or so would this build up enough bacteria to then place it in my freshly set up 5 gallon tank and have it cycle quickly ? If so how quickly ? Would pulling the filter out of water in the morning and taking it into work (an hour out of water) kill off all the beneficial bacteria it worked to build up? If anyone has ever tried this could you let me know if this worked for You? Any information from anyone would be great.
I've got something better for you. I'm assuming you are using HOBs for both? Put lava rock or ceramic media in a mesh bag and put it in your 30 gallon. Then transfer that media to your work HOB and don't use the cartridge. Then toss the home cartridge and put another bag of cycled lava rock in your home tank HOB. Much better capability and it is a one time cost. The cartridge is floss and useless carbon. Carbon doesn't filter for a cycle
 
LDR123
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I've got something better for you. I'm assuming you are using HOBs for both? Put lava rock or ceramic media in a mesh bag and put it in your 30 gallon. Then transfer that media to your work HOB and don't use the cartridge. Then toss the home cartridge and put another bag of cycled lava rock in your home tank HOB. Much better capability and it is a one time cost. The cartridge is floss and useless carbon. Carbon doesn't filter for a cycle
Yes I am using HOB for both. So are suggesting to never use standard cartridges and just use lava rock in the filter slot the standard cartridge would be placed? Would the mesh bag around the rock catch all the little debris like waste, extra food, etc? And I'm guessing the rock itself is what would hold the beneficial bacteria ?
 
mossman
  • #5
You could transport the media, lava rock, etc in a Tupperware container full of tank water.
 
NavyChief20
  • #6
Yes I am using HOB for both. So are suggesting to never use standard cartridges and just use lava rock in the filter slot the standard cartridge would be placed? Would the mesh bag around the rock catch all the little debris like waste, extra food, etc? And I'm guessing the rock itself is what would hold the beneficial bacteria ?
Yes exactly
 
LDR123
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
How long would it take my new tank to cycle using this method? Is lava rock specifically good for holding bacteria since it has so many pores or could any sort of rock be used ? I'm also guessing I'd have to stack the rock high enough in the filter so water doesn't just flow right over it.
 
NavyChief20
  • #8
How long would it take my new tank to cycle using this method? Is lava rock specifically good for holding bacteria since it has so many pores or could any sort of rock be used ? I'm also guessing I'd have to stack the rock high enough in the filter so water doesn't just flow right over it.
Lava rock or ceramic is especially good due to surface area. Just fill the tub you don't need to have it piled high.
 
LDR123
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I've got something better for you. I'm assuming you are using HOBs for both? Put lava rock or ceramic media in a mesh bag and put it in your 30 gallon. Then transfer that media to your work HOB and don't use the cartridge. Then toss the home cartridge and put another bag of cycled lava rock in your home tank HOB. Much better capability and it is a one time cost. The cartridge is floss and useless carbon. Carbon doesn't filter for a cycle
Hey, also another question. Is carbon good for anything? Does it help clear the water ?
 
wolfdog01
  • #10
It takes out meds from a tank and can sometimes clear the water. I've never used it.
 
imba
  • #11
I've never used carbon either, and my tanks are kept clear.

You're also supposed to swap carbon every 4 to 6 weeks or so. In a long run, its gonna cost more. I would swap out any carbon for other bio media as the others have mentioned
 
jdhef
  • #12
I prefer to use carbon. It will remove organics/impurities from the water and prevent the water form yellowing. It does get saturated after about 4 weeks and stops working, so it needs to be replaced monthly.
 
NavyChief20
  • #13
Carbon does the following:
Removes phenols (smell)
Removes tannins (driftwood yellow)
Removes medications
Removes organic compounds

It does NOT do anything for ammonia or nitrate or nitrite or really anything else. You might have a perceived clarity but it is a gimmick. It does not house beneficial bacteria.
 
leftswerve
  • #14
......... You might have a perceived clarity but it is a gimmick. It does not house beneficial bacteria.

What? you just said it "removes tannins...organic compound". That is not perceived clarity, that is clarity.
 
RSababady
  • #15
And here is another idea for you:

  1. Take a bowl of water out of your tank. (just enough for the filter cartridge to fit in and be covered by water).
  2. Rinse the old cartridge in the water. Put the old cartridge back into your tank.
  3. Now take the new cartridge and soak it in the bowl with the slight dirty water from the old cartridge.
  4. Put the new cartridge into the filter and into the existing tank for a week (running of course).
When you set up your 5 gallon tank in the office, take the filter (wet) and 5 g of water from your existing tank. Set it up using the old tank water and leave it running for a day or two. Test your water and......Bob's your Uncle.
 
NavyChief20
  • #16
What? you just said it "removes tannins...organic compound". That is not perceived clarity, that is clarity.
Organic compounds not TDS. Tannins as in the color not clarity. Tannins are a good thing the color is not favorable for some people. As far as floaties though no the carbon does not somehow mechanically bond or trap that. Filter floss or polyfil will polish the water and remove floaties.
 
PhillyKev
  • #17
I just attempted moving a sponge filter from a newly cycled tank to setup a quarantine tank for additional stocking. It was in the tank a month but tanks only been cycled 2 weeks. Wasn't long enough. Added ammonia to bring to 2ppm in the new tank with relocated filter, and next day it was only down to 1 and next day (today) 0.5. So instant cycle it's not, but hopefully a nice Jumpstart.
 
LDR123
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
And here is another idea for you:

  1. Take a bowl of water out of your tank. (just enough for the filter cartridge to fit in and be covered by water).
  2. Rinse the old cartridge in the water. Put the old cartridge back into your tank.
  3. Now take the new cartridge and soak it in the bowl with the slight dirty water from the old cartridge.
  4. Put the new cartridge into the filter and into the existing tank for a week (running of course).
When you set up your 5 gallon tank in the office, take the filter (wet) and 5 g of water from your existing tank. Set it up using the old tank water and leave it running for a day or two. Test your water and......Bob's your Uncle.
Genius! I love it, I didn't think about using old water in the new tank *facepalm*
 

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