Tank Cycling With Already Cycled Media?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Stevo803, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Stevo803New MemberMember

    My 36 gallon tank just cycled completely and I purchased a 5 gallon tank yesterday for my betta and have never used already cycled media. I was wondering how that works. I currently have a tidal 55 filter with 2 big bags of matrix in it. If I take one bag out and put it in the 5 gallon tank will that hurt anything by taking it out of my main tank and how long do I leave it in the new 5 gallon tank before adding it back to my main tank? sorry like I said ive never done this before so looking for advice or tips.

  2. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    How long has the 36 been cycled?

  3. Stevo803New MemberMember

    about 2 days now

  4. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    I’d take some Matrix, but not a whole bag, and place it in the new filter.
  5. GoldiemomWell Known MemberMember

    It’s too new. I would leave it alone for a good month. You can run the 5 gallon filter in alongside the 36G filter and pick up some B.B. that way. It may cycle in a week or so.
  6. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    I have to disagree. If the tank is cycled, it means there’s enough bacteria to keep up with the waste being produced. While the bacteria will spread out in the presence of a new filter in the tank, there will be no more significant growth of bacteria because of a lack of more food.
  7. GoldiemomWell Known MemberMember

    Did you cycle with fish in? If not, once you add fish the bacteria will have to catch up with amount of waste. If you remove some cycled media before that happens, you risk going back into a mini cycle. If you add fish to tank, both filters will have enough food.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  8. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    if the OP cycled with pure ammonia up to a high level in a fishless cycle, then it's possible the bb colony is robust enough. I would say the answer to the OPs question highly depends on the level of food source/ammonia load that they cycled their tank with :)

    never a black and white answer with this hobby... always a flowchart lolz ;)
  9. Stevo803New MemberMember

    Yea I cycled with fish in on my 36 gallon
  10. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    here's the low down: your bacteria colony only grows to support the amount of food it has available. so your colony has grown to support the number of fish currently in your 36g & the amount of food you feed them (= how much waste they produce)

    removing any media is likely to cause some mini spikes or blips. the more you move, the bigger/ longer the blip.

    it's probably manageable with bottled BB and/or water changes, though.

    I wouldn't move more than 15-20% though
  11. Stevo803New MemberMember

    Im guessing i wouldnt have to take much from my 36 since the new small tank is only 5 gallons
  12. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    My last 3 tanks were cycled immediately by putting the fish in there and adding media from another tank. As long as you don’t go overboard and take like half your colony, it’ll rebound almost immediately. I’ve never made my tank mini cycle by doing it. Bacterial colonies can double in 24 hours. 3 days ago I threw away the bottom sponge in my Fluval 206 that had been in the tank for almost 2 years. Just for reassurance to you, I just tested my water. 0, 0, 15-20.
  13. Stevo803New MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice! I have 2 big bottles of stability in the cabinet to boost it just in case
  14. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    That’s another thing, I don’t believe in bacterial additives. I work at a LFS, and I never even tell people to buy it because it’s expensive. I’ve also tested many brands before at work, and there was no correlation between using it and not. I cycled some without bacterial additives in 2 weeks, with additives in 5 weeks, without in 4 weeks, with in 3 weeks, etc. This was when we added several new tanks and of course we had to cycle them. I know customers who have established tanks who buy “bio-boost” and use it during every water change, which is flat out a waste of money.

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