Using filter media from established tank

MamaM

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Hi! I am setting up a second 10 gal tank. I placed a 2nd bio bag behind the first in the filter of my established tank to help seed it along. Today I removed 1/2 the water from the first tank and transferred it, the first filter (little over a week old), and some plants into my new 10 gal tank. Then I topped off the new tank with new dechlorinated water. I cleaned the gravel in my 1st tank and refilled with dechlorinated water before transferring the filter over (and I didn't rinse it either). Now both tanks are having ammonia spikes of .25. I changed 20% of the water in my 1st tank, because my 2 little fishies are still living there. (I realize that I have been overfeeding them, hence the ammonia spike when the gravel is seriously disturbed!! So now I've cut back on their feeding.)

My question is: do I need to change the water in the 2nd tank (no fish are in there)? Or just let it run its course? I added a few flakes of fish food as recommended in the main site. Both tanks read .25 ammonia, 0 nitrites & not quite 20 nitrates. I've never cycled fishless, much less with established filter media, so I was wondering what will come next? How often should I change the water (filter & heater are running at all times and I have live plants)? And does anyone have an estimate as to when it will be ready for occupation?

Thanks for all your help!
Sharon
 

Gunnie

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Don't change the water in the 2nd tank right now. Since you have no fish in it, it won't hurt anything. You probably had an ammonia reading and didn't even know it in your first tank when you transferred some of the water over. I have never done a fishless cycle, but I believe that you don't have to change out the water until the tank has cycled since you have no fish in it.
 
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MamaM

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Thank you Gunnie! That's what I was thinking (both on the changing of water & ammonia in the water). I'll just keep checking it and let it do what it needs to!
Sharon
 

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