Help Need info, using media from a cycled tank to speed up new tank’s cycle

swimmingslowly

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So I made a rookie mistake. I’ve been seeing how using media from a cycled tank can help to speed up a new tank’s cycle. My friend has a 20 g tank so I took some gravel, put it in cheesecloth and placed it in my filter.

I was curious so right after that I tested the water that came with the gravel. Nitrates were 20, nitrites were 0 and then I tested the ammonia which was around 4 ppm. I’m new to fish keeping but I’d guess this means his tank is not cycled. However, I have a 5 gallon tank so is it possible the bb would be able to work for my small bio load? I have 1 Betta in my tank.

I took the gravel out immediately, should I just toss it?
 

Pfrozen

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Lol ah man. That won't do much for you I'm afraid. It looks like your friend has a colony of bacteria but not nearly enough. He could have overstocked his tank way too much maybe, who knows. Imo you're better off pouring Tetra SafeStart directly into your filter and then doing the same thing daily with SeaChem Stability. Either add a fish or chuck some food in there every now and then. It sucks but that's the likely answer
 
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swimmingslowly

swimmingslowly

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Thanks! I have imagitarium biological booster which I’ve been dosing periodically and just doing water changes. I think I’ll just stick to that
 
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swimmingslowly

swimmingslowly

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DoubleDutch said:
Aks your friend for.some.emdia from his filter. That will help.
It’ll still help even though his tank isn’t cycled? I just got nervous that it would harm my tank.

I still have the gravel in a container, how long does it take for the bb to die off?
 

DoubleDutch

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swimmingslowly said:
It’ll still help even though his tank isn’t cycled? I just got nervous that it would harm my tank.

I still have the gravel in a container, how long does it take for the bb to die off?
Think you can't conclude his tank isn't.cycled but fiktermedia contains a lot.more of bacteria than gravel from the tank itself.
 

mattgirl

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Do you know how long your friends tank has been up and running? If it has only been a short while it may not be cycled. Seeing 4ppm ammonia in the water the gravel was in leads me to believe the 20 gallon isn't cycled. If that is the case filter media from that tank isn't going to help yours. Hopefully your friend is working on getting that ammonia down if there are fish in that tank.

It is just going to take time and patience to get your tank cycled. Right now water changes to keep the ammonia level down to no more than .5 and using your Prime to detox it is the best thing you can do for this tank and the little guy in there.
 
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swimmingslowly

swimmingslowly

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mattgirl said:
Do you know how long your friends tank has been up and running? If it has only been a short while it may not be cycled. Seeing 4ppm ammonia in the water the gravel was in leads me to believe the 20 gallon isn't cycled. If that is the case filter media from that tank isn't going to help yours. Hopefully your friend is working on getting that ammonia down if there are fish in that tank.

It is just going to take time and patience to get your tank cycled. Right now water changes to keep the ammonia level down to no more than .5 and using your Prime to detox it is the best thing you can do for this tank and the little guy in there.
Hi again! It’s been running for a while, but he was unaware of the nitrogen cycle. I guess I made a silly assumption thinking since it had been running it most likely was cycled. There are two African clawed frogs in the tank but he is moving them to a 40 g soon. I have been sharing all of the info I’m learning here with him so we can get the new tank running smoothly.
 

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swimmingslowly said:
Hi again! It’s been running for a while, but he was unaware of the nitrogen cycle. I guess I made a silly assumption thinking since it had been running it most likely was cycled. There are two African clawed frogs in the tank but he is moving them to a 40 g soon. I have been sharing all of the info I’m learning here with him so we can get the new tank running smoothly.
It wasn't an out of line assumption but seeing 4ppm ammonia in the water from his tank leads me to believe it isn't cycled. Hopefully he has addressed that by changing out enough water to get it down.

I've never had frogs so don't know much about them but I am sure ammonia that high is just as detrimental to them as it would be to fish. Did you by any chance run your pH test on the water with the high ammonia level? If the pH was very low the ammonia won't be quite as dangerous and that may be why his frogs aren't showing signs of ammonia poisoning and why this tank doesn't appear to be cycled.
 

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