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Old 06-22-2010, 01:36 AM   #1 
RandomFish
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"Cycle a fish tank in 3 minutes"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E21dIdJLbs

What is your opinion on this cycling method?

It's basically taking the good bacteria out of the filter of a cycled tank and pouring it into a new tank.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:43 AM   #2 
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You mean this isn't how everyone does it? Lol.

Of course, this is how I start my cycle--I sure don't rely on JUST this initial introduction of bacteria. I set up the tank, put in ammonia, heat it up to about 85 degrees, add extra airstones. Then I take the mulm (the nasty "chocolate milk" he's talking about) from filter squeezings as well as gravel cleaning and dump it into the filter. Even after you add a lot of mulm, the bacteria you just put in can handle some ammonia, but not enough to be trustworthy. You should still go through with your fishless cycle in order to grow out the bacterial colony--it's just that instead of taking 3 weeks it takes about 5 days. :)
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:52 AM   #3 
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Nope, not I. I never used the bacteria from a cycled filter....just the old used gravel + ammonia routine.

It was the "3 minutes" part that caught my eye... he just took the bacterial colony and dumped it into the new tank without fiddling with the temperature or anything. He seems like a way more experienced fishkeeper than I am and his fish seem fine, so I'll take his word for it....
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:58 AM   #4 
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I use the method described but feel a couple of things need to be considered.
First ,it was noted on the video that there was also some rock taken from a cycled tank along with the sponge filter squeezings and it was also noted that placing the entire filter from the cycled tank into the new tank might also be beneficial and I would agree.
I have sponge filters running in three tanks and when setting up a new tank, I simply move the sponge from the cycled tank to the new one. Squeezings will work but in my view would be much better to squeeze the sponge filter into the filter compartment on the new tank as this area is where the bacteria can best develop.
Should also be noted that bacteria develops in direct proportion to the food available (fish waste). So if you take a sponge filter from a tank holding three or four fish, and squeeze the filter and bacteria therein into a tank holding many fish,,, there will possibly not be enough bacteria to process the waste of the many fish as the bacteria will only have developed in proportion to the numbers of fish in the tank it was taken from.
Always best to stock slowly for this reason. Too many fish or too large of fish added too quickly and bacteria will not be sufficient to prevent possible ammonia spike.
Would not use this method and expect to stock the tank to capacity overnight without expecting possible lethal levels of ammonia until the bacteria has had a chance to catch up with the load. Other than this, I feel it is a very good way to jump start the maturing process and it can decrease the time it takes for tank to mature or (cycle) considerably.
Might also note that bacteria develops a bit more quickly in water with pH above 7.0 and develops MUCH more slowly in soft acidic water .
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:21 PM   #5 
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I always keep an extra bag of ceramic rings in my Aquaclear filter on my 16 gallon and add those to any new filter and I never had a problem. I also use gravel from it. But then my 16 is more heavily stocked then any of my new tanks so I imagine the bacteria was up to the challenge of just one fish vs. five.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:00 PM   #6 
MoePaac
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Could lava rock be a good substitute for ceramic rings?
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:05 PM   #7 
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Well, a lava rock generally doesn't fit very well into your filter. It's ideal to keep porous media in the filter because the water circulates over them, keeping the rings aerated so aerobic bacteria can live there. Porous things in the tank itself are good too, the gravel and everything else gets colonized just like the filter. Lava rock is a bit sharp for betta fins though, so be very careful with that.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:21 PM   #8 
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Adastra is right, IMO. I have a number of tanks (10 total) ranging in size from a 75 gal. down to two 3 gal. Eclipses. I keep extra AquaClear sponges & ceramic rings in my 75 gal. filters to move into any new tanks I set up.

'Course I don't know when or if I will be setting any more up - depends on what the hubby says. :)
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