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Old 12-19-2012, 01:37 PM   #21 
DragonFish
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Sorry about the Hijack Juicebox...xD;

Alright, so first of all you can't cycle your tank with water from another tank....what very tiny amount of BB living in the water itself is just too small to seed another tank. your best bet if you're looking to seed, if you have tanks with an established cycle, is to use filter media from those tanks.
If you're moving the girls out completely from the 5 and it has a cycled filter, you can just take out the media from that and stick it in your filter for the 20 and then surround it with filter sponge/foam(I'm not a huge fan of filter carriages, the carbon in them is unnecessary unless you're removing medication and the floss they're made out of breaks down way to easily and quickly.....sponge and foam is the way to go). This will give you a nice jump start on you're cycle, and you can start slowly adding fish right away. Just keep an eye on your levels of course.

Now, as for suggestions of what you CAN have in your 20 gallon....well, you have quite a few options.
Personally, if it were me, I would plant the tank into a miniature thick tropical jungle and go with a nice large Sorority of 8-10 girls with maybe a Nerite snail or a couple shrimps.

If you want a Sorority and other fish species, you could go with about 5-6 girls and have room for some nice small peaceful schooling species like Tetras or Rasboras or Corys and have a nice group of 5-6 as well.

If you wanted to separate the girls and have just one in the 20 gallon(or put your male in there and put the other girl in your 2.5), then you could probably go with either a larger school/shoal of the previously mentioned species(what i would recommend)or a group of about 5 corys and a group of about 5 tetras/rasboras along with your betta.

If you wanted to do something like dividing the 20 gallon for both girls rather then go with a Sorority, you could stock each side a bit more like separate 10 gallons(or smaller, depending on the footprint of your tank)with your betta and a smallish(5)school of something on each side, or some shrimps or snails.

Hmm...thats all the options that come to me right now. If I think of more i'll let you know. ;)
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #22 
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You can with water from another tank it contains nutrients for the BB.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:38 PM   #23 
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You can with water from another tank it contains nutrients for the BB.
Not really. Based on everything I've researched and read, its really not an efficient way to go about starting and establishing a cycle.....the transfer of water does basically nothing, the concentration of ammonia would just end up getting watered down I'd think. You may be able to do it eventually, but it would likely take months and months.
To efficiently cycle a tank you need a concentrated ammonia source like pure ammonia or an actual fish or two, and to seed a tank you need to add in something like filer media which contains a lot of BB and continue feeding that BB with some kind of ammonia source.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:43 PM   #24 
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regarding my tank mates for my 5 gallon,i have taken out my mystery snail from my bigger tank and put him in the 5 gallon with my betta,i think ill leave it at that for now and maybe add 2 cheery shrimp sometime down the road
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:55 PM   #25 
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regarding my tank mates for my 5 gallon,i have taken out my mystery snail from my bigger tank and put him in the 5 gallon with my betta,i think ill leave it at that for now and maybe add 2 cheery shrimp sometime down the road
That sounds great. :) Again, I'm really sorry for the Hijack...
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:49 PM   #26 
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Not really. Based on everything I've researched and read, its really not an efficient way to go about starting and establishing a cycle.....the transfer of water does basically nothing, the concentration of ammonia would just end up getting watered down I'd think. You may be able to do it eventually, but it would likely take months and months.
To efficiently cycle a tank you need a concentrated ammonia source like pure ammonia or an actual fish or two, and to seed a tank you need to add in something like filer media which contains a lot of BB and continue feeding that BB with some kind of ammonia source.
You are corrrect. Water does not carry enough bacteria to cycle a tank, nor keep it from cycling. Mature filter media is the best natural way to do it. Once its been added to the tank, after a couple of days you can add fish, this will be your ammonia source.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #27 
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I can't open the PM part!
I read all of your links- thank you! I imagine I will use the "kick start" method. I also will have lots of plants in the new aquarium.
In the "kick start" instructions, they don't mention using the weekly water from the tank changes? Wouldn't that be the easiest way? I will transfer rocks & plants, too. Also, why does the filter from the old tank be put into the filter of the new tank (the new one has a larger filter), why not just toss the used filters in the tank for a day?
I visited my favorite fish store and I looked at fish- the corys in a large shoal are a riot! They zoom around the tanks like fish nascar. I want at at least 5! They've also convinced me to go with a dark substrate to show off their antics.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #28 
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If you've already got some media from an established tank, then thats generally the best way to go about starting your cycle in a new tank. It'll cut down on the cycling time some for sure, however its not an instant or perfect fix, especially when you're going from a much smaller tank to a larger one, so you will need to still watch your levels closely and be ready to preform water changes accordingly for the first few weeks/couple of months until things stay stable for at least a week or so. Then you can start going down to regular weekly changes. ;)

Like I mentioned above, using old tank water doesn't do anything. There isn't enough BB in there to properly seed a new tank, and whatever ammonia is in that water will just be watered down. You need some kind of concentrated source of ammonia.

Transferring substrate/decor/live plants and all that will certainly help a little, but the majority of your BB colonize in your filter media so adding in that is what is going to get you the best, most efficient, and quickest results when we're talking about seeding. And its going to take a lot longer then a day for the BB to grow and colonize on the new and larger surface of your new filter/tank, so you'll probably want to keep it in there until your tanks cycle has stabilized for at least a couple of weeks.

Now, what I would do is instead of using the filter cartridge with the carbon in it(which is actually useless unless you're removing medication from your tank, and I've read can actually remove some beneficial minerals from your water during the short period its actually active) in your new filer is pick up some filter foam/sponge. Take a piece(or two, depending on how large they are) and wrap it around the filter media that you will be using to seed, then put it in your filter. If there is any extra space, stuff it with more sponge/foam. This will give you some more surface area for your BBs to cling to and colonize, and unlike the cartridges where the floss breaks down eventually and you have to replace them(which essentially just throws away most of your BB anyway and could easily crash your cycle)you shouldn't ever need to replace the sponge/foam(or at least it would be a VERY long time before you might need to), which saves your cycle AND saves you some cash in the long run. Just take it out every water change/every other regular water change(AFTER your cycle has been established), swish it around in some old tank water, then stick it back in the filter. :)

Haha, Corys are definitely little characters, especially when kept in their little shoals! So cute. I would suggest a sand/very fine gravel substrate for them as they like to dig and root around and sand is a little softer on their barbs. ;)
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:25 PM   #29 
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How about Triops water for concentrated ammonia? (I have test strips- I'll check the level of ammonia) I had a spare 2.5 gal. I heard about Triops, and thought I'd give 'em a try. What a riot! I had to pull up a chair to the tank to take the whole thing in (better than TV!). Their egg seller said that they are "filthy little critters"- filthy w/BB?
Funny, the Petco person who was in the local shop today said that gravel was better than sand for cats. I used sand for the Triops, but gravel with everything else. If you use sand, how do you clean it without it sucking up into the vaccum?
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:42 PM   #30 
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I wouldn't. You'll run into the same exact problem with any water from any tank, water is just not an efficient way to go about it. Its not a concentrated source of ammonia, for that you need some kind of critter like fish or snails or some PURE ammonia.
Beneficial Bacteria is different then ammonia. Ammonia is the harmful chemical your fish produces through waste and constantly through their gills. What BBs do is grow and colonize in a high oxygen environment, like your filter, and break down the Ammonia first into Nitrites, and then into a less harmful form of Nitrates, which you keep from getting up into dangerous levels through regular water changes.
Unless your Triops tank is filtered and cycled, there is no BB, and even if there is, like I said, there isn't enough in the water to help the cycle of your tank.

Always take the advice from pet stores and their employees with a grain of salt. They are rarely properly educated and most of the time have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Sand is definitely better for Corys then gravel as gravel will wear on their barbs.
Sand isn't at all tricky to clean once you get the hang of it. I use Petcos brand of sand(which is really just very VERY fine gravel, which I like because its a little easier to rinse out initially and doesn't float and cloud as much as a finer sand might)in all of my tanks, and while i do usually end up sucking a little sand up now and again, all I do is skim the top of the substrate with a my vacuum and get up all the chunks, then poke at it a little and stir it about to release any possible trapped gasses, and thats about it. I personally adore the stuff, even though I don't currently have any corys. I've found it so much easier to deal with in comparison to gravel.
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