Originally Posted by AlgarveblueVT
well I am still confused over this-
some say to use the cycled tank water in a bucket and wash the old media in it and also leave the sponge in the bucket with dirty tank water for a day,
to leave the sponge filter in the cycled tank next to the other filter for 2 weeks,
i do not know what is best??
If you run the sponge filter in another tank that is already fully cycled for two weeks, the filter should have picked up and grown enough bacteria that when you move it, you'll only see a brief spike in nitrites in your bowl, and everything should be settled down in a week or even less. You may never see nitrites at all.
If you put the sponge in a bucket with dirty tank water for a day, along with old media, you'll have seeded the sponge. Then you can put it in your bowl, and the cycle should begin. But it will still take probably a couple full weeks before it's fully cycled, and you'll need to watch the water parameters in your bowl like a hawk until the bacteria is fully established.
It all depends on what you want to do. Neither way is better, both take about the same amount of time.
If you don't add bacteria at all, the cycle will likely take around 6 weeks, because you are literally waiting for bacteria to fall from the sky into your bowl, stick to the filter, and grow.