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Old 10-17-2013, 02:06 PM   #1 
superpow
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Would changing the substrate affect the nitrogen cycle?

Hello,

I have two 10g tanks. One is fully cycled with two ghost shrimp, one peppered cory, (getting more next weekend) and one female betta I just bought this morning. In the other 10g I have a male betta. This is a tank I got off of Craigslist that came with gravel, plastic plants, etc (I don't use the plants but one since they were too pointy). I HATE the gravel; it's blue and white, and I am planning on changing it out to flourite in a week or two so that whatever plants I put in will grow better. This tank is still cycling and is past the ammonia stage and into the nitrite phase. Here is a pic of the male betta tank:






Okay, so here's the question: would changing out the gravel disrupt the cycle since there are BB already established in the current gravel? Also, I am using water from the cycled tank to try to help the newer tank quickly establish BB. Has anyone else done this?

Thanks!

ETA: sorry for the HUGE pic lol

Last edited by superpow; 10-17-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:02 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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There are BB in the gravel but if you have filter's then that's where the majority of your BB is living so no, taking the gravel out to replace it won't kill your cycle. You may experience a Mini-Cycle but I honestly doubt it will really make much of a difference

As for your new tank, BB does not reside in the water column, at least the BB we want to use. The only ways you could kickstart the tank would be to get some filter media over from the established one, into the new one. Or you could take your old blue and white gravel, put it in a pantyhose toe, tie it up for easy removal and throw that into the new tank. That would be the best thing since you want to get rid of the gravel anyway
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:44 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
There are BB in the gravel but if you have filter's then that's where the majority of your BB is living so no, taking the gravel out to replace it won't kill your cycle. You may experience a Mini-Cycle but I honestly doubt it will really make much of a difference

As for your new tank, BB does not reside in the water column, at least the BB we want to use. The only ways you could kickstart the tank would be to get some filter media over from the established one, into the new one. Or you could take your old blue and white gravel, put it in a pantyhose toe, tie it up for easy removal and throw that into the new tank. That would be the best thing since you want to get rid of the gravel anyway
That gravel in pantyhose idea is something I would have never thought of. Thank you! :)

As far as the BB in the water column: I was thinking using water from the old tank was establishing BB since it took only a week to get to the nitrite phase, but then I remember that I had too many fish in the origional tank which probably held the cycle up. No fatalities or illness, but I certainly had no idea of what I was doing then... :)
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #4 
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Yup, you're welcome ^_^

Yeah, adding water to the new tank from the old tank won't do anything since the BB doesn't live there. It can help when you're moving a new fish over to a new tank since that fish doesn't have to get used to all new water, if that makes sense. but otherwise, the water from an established tank is basically useless.
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