Cycling New filter in one tank to be moved to another
Pretty much exactly what the title says.
I have a new Tetra whisper pf10 that I had laying around. I have one guppy fry that will eventually need a tank to be in with other guppies. So, since he is only 3-4 weeks old I decided I would start cycling a tank now because by the time its done, he might be big enough to move. The only problem is, I don't actually have another tank. So I am using an 8 gallon rubbermaid tub. I used gravel from my other cycled tanks, I put some caves and pillars in there. Some river rocks. I removed the carbon fron the filter bag that the filter came with and took media from my other cycled filters to fill it instead. (All of my other filters have sponge) I then filled the tank with tank water from my other tanks while I was cleaning them and have been adding fish food to the tank every day or every other day. I've had it going a week. No water changes. Anyway, long store short, when I get a proper 10 gallon tank, will moving the filter the gravel and the decor over transfer the cycle?
I hear (but have no experience with) that over 4 ppm of ammonia will stall your cycle. Disagreement abounds over whether the bacteria die, or whether other bacteria take over and the BB are just dormant.
Not sure on nitrite and nitrate levels. Maybe the sticky has that info?
I will make sure to keep it below 4. right now its at 1ppm. I am monitoring levels. I will check out the sticky. I read it a few times and don't recall seeing any info on levels buuut I wasn't looking for that at that point
Alright I re read the stickies and it said (clear as day lol) 5 ppm for ammonia you want to keep it under. It said for the fish food method, 2-5 ppm is optimal to keep the level of ammonia at. Nitrites will eventually climb and skyrocket and then nitrates will come. So now I just keep watch on the ammonia until the nitrites come and do a water change if it goes over 5 ppm. Thank you for reminding me to read!
Yes, when you cycle a tank, you are really cycling the filter, not the "tank". The gravel and decorations house some BB, but the filter houses the majority of it. Once you have the cycle established in a container (rubbermaid, a bucket, a tank, whatever) and you keep the water oxygenated and feed the BB's with some source of ammonia, that filter will continue to cycle theoretically forever. Which also means that when you switch over that filter to your new tank, as long as the BB's needs are met, IE oxygen and food, you are set to go. I'd let the new tank get a little bit of ammonia built up before moving the filter over so that the BB's have something to eat immediately. :)