Top up of bio-filter bacteria for new tank? 15 Gallon Tank 

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lea

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HI all

After much research (), I made the decision to upgrade my 9 gal tank to a 15 gal (more space for my panda cories, and now I can get them some friends to they will feel more relaxed, i'm thinking I'll have 4 total).

I set it up today using ~30% old water from my tank and all the old substrate (river stones), decorations (incl. live plants and 2 small to medium sizes of drift wood), heater and filter.

As I did not want to go into a minicycle, I did not wash anything including the filter sponge to bring across all the nitrifying bacteria I could.

I will keep an eye on the water chem, but does anyone think I should buy some of the available biofilter bacteria from the LFS to give the new tank a bio 'boost'?

The water in the old tank also got a bit cold (as it was mostly empty) before I moved the fish across the the new tank which was at my set temp of 24C/75F, so i'm a bit worried about stress, though all seem ok for now. The fish were only subject to the shallow cold water for maybe 45min before going back to their cosy usual temp. Any suggestions on a stress reducer/TLC for the next few days while everyone settles in? My water conditioner (Safe guard 5) claims to be formulated to reduce stress from transportation, but any other sage advice would be welcome. I've arranged the tank the same as my old one so territories look the same, but that's the best I can think of.

Many thanks!
 

claudicles

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That is a pretty small change in volume. Are you taking the old filter with you? And if not can you take most or all of the filter media? If you do that you should be fine. If you have a new filter can you run both for 4 weeks preferrably?

What bacterial supplement do you have availalbe? The Australian market is not flush with good ones.
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

Here is some information on Seeding that you may find helpful:

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/please-remember-cycling-with-established-filter-media.66727/

As you've stated keep an eye on your readings in case of a minI cycle. If you've transferred everything over then there is a good possibility of an instant cycle. If not instant it will surely cut down the time it takes the new tank to cycle.

I just transferred everything over from my 26g to a new 33 gallon tank. I transferred everything but the water (as the good bacteria isn't free swimming but attached to surface areas within the tank and filter). I also added some extra bio media from my 265g and I got an instant cycle. I made a point to add some detritus from the 26g too (debris under the substrate, not a lot but some). I realize that sometimes transferring some of the water is necessary as I've had to do it myself in the past. pH issues here.

I really can't recommend any bacterial additives because I don't know what is available in your area. What is most recommended is Tetra Safe Start (TSS) and I think I've read that it is not available in Australia. (correct me if I'm wrong).

Best of luck and please keep us posted.

Ken
 
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lea

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Thanks all - I do feel it is a bit bigger (and extra 20 L is not a bad step up I think!) and yes, I took the whole filter, media and all, with me.

The filter media is simply a large single sponge (came with the filter) which I clean by squeezing out several times in the old tank water from each partial water change before I throw the water away. That way I figure I do not loose any beneficial bacteria growing on it and still remove all the larger gunk. Used to rinse in tap water, but I hear that can kill the bacteria due to the chlorine/choramines. So there should be lots of nice bacteria on the filter as well as the river rocks and all over the drift wood. Fingers crossed for an instant cycle...

The old tank water I added was mostly clean also, I gravel vacuumed the tank floor and tossed the dirty stuff.

You're right aquarist, no TSS here, but there is seachem 'Stability', which I hear is good, and also another I can't recall the name of, but my specialty LFS uses it for all their fresh and salt tanks as a safe start and bio boost, and also recommend it.
 

bubblynutter

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HI Lea, welcome to Fishlore!

Ken definitely has you on the right track (of course, he's a well-respected mod!). TSS isn't available here, but there have been some good tests done with Seachem Stability (including by myself and other fishkeepers I know personally).

Do you have a liquid test kit? The API Freshwater Master kit is by far the best kit on the market. You can purchase it from Age of Aquariums (an Australian site for aquatic products), they are the cheapest I have been able to find. They usually have it for $42 plus a flat rate of shipping, so feel free to browse their site!

Always good to see new Aussies on the site. Hope this helps!
 
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lea

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Thanks for the input on Stability, will go with it if I see my chem start to misbehave!

Will definitely check out the API master kit - have heard of it but currently using Pond care individual ammonia & nitrite test kits (the first ones I bought as a newbie). They seem to work (no fish hassles) but I would prefer a more reputable brand for sure. Good to know what I can find in Australia!

FYI, day 2 and all the fish seem very happy and behaving as usual, but will keep watch...
 
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