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Old 07-31-2012, 02:58 AM   #11 
mahi
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If you can't find ammonia, I (fishless) cycled my tank using fish food. I just added a tiny bit of flakes each day for 5 weeks. Voila! Cycled.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:01 AM   #12 
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I have a cycled tank whose media I could borrow. What kind of ratio are we talking about? take 1/4 or so? Is that too little? Thanks again.
Besides being a smelly mess, both shrimp and fishfood rot and grow mold (Saprolegnia) which is bad for the fish and hard to get rid of.

You have bacteria-seeded biomedia? That's the most important part and the hardest to get.

If filter media: put half seeded and half new in your filter.

If gravel: put some (1/8 cup) in and/or near your filter.

With seeded media, you can and should stock immediately.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:57 AM   #13 
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So I was prepared to wait well over a month to cycle this new 20gal but just to be clear I can transfer seeded media from my cycled 5 gallon (approximately 1/8 cup) and then start stocking?

Should I be worried about the amount of media (not gravel) that I am removing from my 5 gallon? Or not worried necessarily but should I expect a mini cycle?
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:12 AM   #14 
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Depends on what's in your established 5g. If heavily stocked, the bacteria will be strong and plentiful. If not, no big deal. You won't be removing enough media to cause a minicycle. Most are in the filter and in the top 1/4 in of gravel.

Just keep an eye on your parameters and handle it with water changes.

In either case, stock lightly (just Betta) to start.

Last edited by Hallyx; 07-31-2012 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:14 AM   #15 
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Depends on what's in your established 5g. If heavily stocked, the bacteria will be strong and plentiful. If not, no big deal. You won't be removing enough media to cause a minicycle. Just keep an eye on your parameters and handle it with water changes.

In either case, stock lightly (just Betta) to start.
Meaning stock lightly in the 20 gallon?

Thanks a lot for your help.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:10 AM   #16 
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Right. Once your cycle is fully established you can slowly increase stock.

You know what you're doing. It's a pleasure dealing with someone smart enough to handle new information..
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:16 AM   #17 
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Thanks for the compliment. Wish I knew more!!

Of course the last thing in the world I would want to do is kill a Betta (ammonia burn, etc).

In your educated opinion, is it OK to use the Betta I plan on keeping in the tank during the cycle?
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:49 AM   #18 
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When initially filling this 20g - do I use water conditioner and/or prime? How about AQ salt?

And I mean the first time around specifically here.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:51 AM   #19 
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Also, you all have been so helpful - THANKS!!!!
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:56 AM   #20 
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Whisper is one of the better filter brands in my opinion because it allows you SOME control over the water flow. AquaClear is definitely better though for water flow control.


When I first started to cycle the 10 gallon with NO fish. I slapped on.....
  • Whisper 10 (Currently active)
  • Whisper 20 (Currently active)
  • Top Fin 10 (Think the impeller was wrong so it never filled up with water)
  • Tetra ReptoFilter (was caked with algae on the sides, didn't like it.)
  • Red Sea Nano Filter (small very cute, still running)
This was the first time I used any of those filters.

So far I do like Whisper models, but I'm not crazy about the media cartridge setup.

I haven't decided which Whisper filter will remain in the tank though.


Which model Whisper do you have?
  • No, don't use salt.
  • Yes, condition the water ONLY.
  • Add a heater turn it up to high 80's, maybe 90's. I did 90's.
  • Leave lights off.
  • Don't change the water at ALL.
Don't fill the tank all the way. Leave 5 gallons of water OUT.

  • Slowly fill the tank with the dirty water from your other fish tanks over the next couple days.
Feel free to correct me.
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