Question Established Tank

Jrobber

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When I first started keeping fish, my LFS workers kept telling me that certain fish needed a well established tank, or around six months. After I started learned more and more about keeping fish, I realized they were referring to the beneficial bacteria colony. However, many fish profiles I read don't say anything about the strength of the bacteria colony, so I am kind of confused now.

So, that's got me wondering about the bacteria colony strength of a new tank that is cycled with filter media and some gravel from an older tank. ??? Especially, if I don't add fish to the new tank for a week or so to make sure the tank is cycling. How strong could it be and how would I make it stronger in order to add more delicate fish?
 

Jaysee

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Transferring media is the best way to do it. A bateria colony that's been transfered from one filter to another is significantly stronger than bacteria that has just completed the cycle the long way. Even though you've only transfered a little bit, it can quickly multiply.
 
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Jrobber

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Without adding fish for a while, what is the best way to keep the colony strong and growing?
 

Jaysee

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adding ammonia every day. Doing so will allow you to build up the colonies, since more ammonia = bigger colony.
 
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Jrobber

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Would dropping a couple food flakes or wafers do the trick?
 

jetajockey

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you could keep building it with pure ammonia, but personally I would just slowly add fish, with a few weeks in between each to allow it to catch up. One method is to put in a few fish for a month or so, then put them in a different tank and put your permanent ones in, the filter should be built up already to handle a certain load so if you understock or equal the stock you had in it , it should theoretically be the same.
 

ryanr

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Sorry to throw my 2 cents in here, but I would not be adding ammonia to an established/stocked tank.

The ammonia is toxic to fish, and will stress (if not kill) them.

I agree with jetajockey, adding a few fish every few weeks is the best way to increase the colony size in a stocked tank.

That said, once established, your colony will either remain, or slowly reduce if there isn't enough food (ammonia, nitrites) being produced, but it should remain sufficient to deal with the bio-load it is getting.

HTH
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

Time is what it's going to take to have an established tank. I consider an established tank to be at least 6 months to 1 year old. (my opinion)

I would not recommend adding ammonia to a cycled/stocked tank. By doing so you're defeating the purpose of trying to create a cycle to begin with. Keep in mind the soul purpose of creating a cycle is to keep the ammonia at 0 in order to keep the fish safe. If your tank has an ammonia reading with fish in the tank then water changes and PRIME or Amquel + are going to be needed to reduce the ammonia levels. Once fish have been added to a cycled tank, then the process should be allowed to continue naturally.

I suggest adding a few fish to begin with, wait 2 weeks before adding more and then only 2 or 3 at time as in the beginning. It's a slow process and it's just going to take time to build the good bacteria colony.

Ken

Ryanr, you never have to apologize for adding your two cents:
 

Meenu

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Especially, if I don't add fish to the new tank for a week or so to make sure the tank is cycling.
I interpreted this to mean he wants to know how to strengthen the bacteria colony BEFORE adding any fish, in which case ammonia would work, as Jaysee suggested.

Once fish are added, I think everyone would agree that you don't add pure ammonia to the tank.
 

ryanr

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Ken, just felt I was intruding on a nice conversation between jaysee and OP lol
 

Aquarist

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Good point Meenu!

Well, stocked or not stocked his question should be answered now lol Another reason this open forum is so great. I read it one way and someone else reads it another way. Either way they get responses and all bases covered

Ken
 

Meenu

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Ken, just felt I was intruding on a nice conversation between jaysee and OP lol
Visitor messages and PMs were created so people can have private conversations. Anything on the forum is fair game.
 

ryanr

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3 cheers for fishlore! hip hip hooray, hip hip..... ooopppsss, way off topic.

+1 to all. I love that I can get all bases covered when I ask q's on here....

[edit]ninja'd :;nin by meenu.... but very true
 
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Jrobber

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Yeah, I was wondering if you could strengthen the colony before adding any fish to the tank. Oh well, I got two answers out of one question.

Thanks guys!
 
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