My first fishless/media cycle! Have questions for all you experts. :)

Katie Dawn

Member
I currently have a 5 gallon with a Mignon 60 HOB. This HOB is only rated for a 4-5 gallon tank.
It has SeaChem Matrix (biofilter rocks) inside the HOB in addition to the two sponges.
It has been running for more than a year.
The bioload is small, with just 1 betta and 1 nerite snail. Has gravel.
Azoo Mignon 60.jpg

I'd like to cycle a new 10 gallon. Also gravel. I'm going give sponge filters a try on this one.
Sponge Filter.JPG
I bought these sponges in a 4-pack if that's helpful.

Products I have available:
Products.jpg

I have been going about this assuming I would put the sponge filter into the 10 gallon and doing a totally "from scratch" cycle using the Amonium Chloride and the Stability/Activate/bottled bacteria. But as I read through all the stickies in this forum I realized I might be able to temporarily put the Mignon on the new tank and use it to help cycle the 10 gallon? Do you think the 5 gallon would do well having only the bb on other surfaces and not have the HOB for awhile? I would put a sponge filter in the new one and in the 5g too so the bb can start growing there.

What are your thoughts? What steps would I take?

The instructions on the Ammonium Chloride really aren't clear at all. I'm not sure how much AMMO to dose or how often. I know that at some point the amount would vary depending on how the cycle is going but I'm not even sure how to do it the first few days.

Any advice and instructions would be fantastic! Thanks everyone.
 

AquaticQueen

Member
I would leave the HOB on the 5 gallon. If you take away the BB your cycle will crash.
Your only option (that I can think of) is to just cycle from scratch.
I would dose the tank with about 2ppm of ammonia. Bettas and most snails don't have big bio loads (if that's what you are intending on putting in the 10 gallon).
 

Pfrozen

Member
Don't ever use ammolock. It locks ammonia into a form that can't be eaten by beneficial bacteria. There's a thread here every week with someone wondering why their ammonia is 8ppm in their "cycled" tank that they used ammolock in :(
 
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Katie Dawn

Member
Pfrozen said:
Don't ever use ammolock. It locks ammonia into a form that can't be eaten by beneficial bacteria. There's a thread here every week with someone wondering why their ammonia is 8ppm in their "cycled" tank that they used ammolock in :(
Wait, are you sure we aren't talking about two different types of product? This stuff isn't called Ammolock. It's just called Ammo, and it's Ammonium Chloride. The sole purpose of this product is to cycle an aquarium. One line says "Aqualife AMMO eliminates the need to add aquatic life to establish a biological filter by providing an ammonia source for nitrifying bacteria."

It's in the pic above showing all the products I have available.
 

Pfrozen

Member
Katie Dawn said:
Wait, are you sure we aren't talking about two different types of product? This stuff isn't called Ammolock. It's just called Ammo, and it's Ammonium Chloride. The sole purpose of this product is to cycle an aquarium. One line says "Aqualife AMMO eliminates the need to add aquatic life to establish a biological filter by providing an ammonia source for nitrifying bacteria."

It's in the pic above showing all the products I have available.
Lololol I misread that bottle. My apologies. Nevermind :D
 
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Katie Dawn

Member
AquaticQueen said:
I would leave the HOB on the 5 gallon. If you take away the BB your cycle will crash.
Your only option (that I can think of) is to just cycle from scratch.
I would dose the tank with about 2ppm of ammonia. Bettas and most snails don't have big bio loads (if that's what you are intending on putting in the 10 gallon).
Well darn. I guess this is gonna take awhile huh. Oh well, I'm still looking forward do cycling a tank like this for the first time.
Thank you!
 

mattgirl

Member
You may not want to take a chance but personally I would have no problem putting the seeded HOB on the 10 gallon and run the sponge filter in the 5 gallon. Should you choose to do this just keep a close eye on the parameters in the 5 gallon.

There will be a bigger colony of bacteria on the filter media because that is where the most food will be but it also grows on all the surfaces in the tank. The bacteria in the tank should seed the sponge filter. I recommend running the sponge filter in the 5 gallon instead of running both filters in the 10 gallon because you really need a filter in the 5 gallon. This may be what you were going to do and maybe I misunderstood what you were planning.

You can of course use your bottled bacteria but since you have a lightly seeded filter it may not be needed. As far as how much ammonia to add. Start low. Test the level. Add more if needed. Try to get it up to no more than 1ppm to begin with. There may be enough bacteria on the filter media to process this amount of ammonia fairly quick. Once it will process the 1ppm ammonia down to zero you can increase the amount of ammonia up to 2ppm. By gradually increasing the amount of ammonia you will be giving the bacteria you moved over to this tank a chance to catch up. HTH :)
 
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Katie Dawn

Member
mattgirl said:
You may not want to take a chance but personally I would have no problem putting the seeded HOB on the 10 gallon and run the sponge filter in the 5 gallon. Should you choose to do this just keep a close eye on the parameters in the 5 gallon.

There will be a bigger colony of bacteria on the filter media because that is where the most food will be but it also grows on all the surfaces in the tank. The bacteria in the tank should seed the sponge filter. I recommend running the sponge filter in the 5 gallon instead of running both filters in the 10 gallon because you really need a filter in the 5 gallon. This may be what you were going to do and maybe I misunderstood what you were planning.

You can of course use your bottled bacteria but since you have a lightly seeded filter it may not be needed. As far as how much ammonia to add. Start low. Test the level. Add more if needed. Try to get it up to no more than 1ppm to begin with. There may be enough bacteria on the filter media to process this amount of ammonia fairly quick. Once it will process the 1ppm ammonia down to zero you can increase the amount of ammonia up to 2ppm. By gradually increasing the amount of ammonia you will be giving the bacteria you moved over to this tank a chance to catch up. HTH :)
I will definitely consider this. It's true I could put the HOB back at the first sign of trouble with the 5 gallon. How would I know if the 5g is struggling at all? Just an increase in Ammonia? I guess an increase in anything would be a warning sign. Even if the HOB was in the new tank for a short time, if it was able to deposit some of the "seasoned" BB into the new tank that would be helpful!

When I was talking about the sponge filters what I meant is I would put one in the 10 gallon to run simultaneously with the HOB so the sponge can become seeded. And I would temporarily put a sponge filter in the 5 gallon since the HOB would be missing, just to act as a filter.

Thank you for your input!
 

mattgirl

Member
Katie Dawn said:
I will definitely consider this. It's true I could put the HOB back at the first sign of trouble with the 5 gallon. How would I know if the 5g is struggling at all? Just an increase in Ammonia? I guess an increase in anything would be a warning sign. Even if the HOB was in the new tank for a short time, if it was able to deposit some of the "seasoned" BB into the new tank that would be helpful!

When I was talking about the sponge filters what I meant is I would put one in the 10 gallon to run simultaneously with the HOB so the sponge can become seeded. And I would temporarily put a sponge filter in the 5 gallon since the HOB would be missing, just to act as a filter.

Thank you for your input!
Yes, If you start getting an ammonia reading in the 5 gallon you will know there wasn't enough bacteria in the tank itself to handle the bio-load of that tank. You could either do water changes to keep it down until the bacteria catches back up or move the HOB filter back to it.

It is possible just leaving the HOB on the 10 gallon for a short time might help but I fear it wouldn't help much. It takes time for the bacteria to transfer from seeded media to other items in the tank.

Having a sponge filter in each tank is perfect. I actually run sponge filter in all my tanks along with the main HOB's.
 
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