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Old 10-28-2010, 09:35 AM   #1 
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Gravel to speed up cycling

I just found a friend who is willing to give me some gravel to help speed up my cycling process. How much do I need? Also, this is a friend at work. Will it be okay if she brings it to me at work in a container with tank water or do I need to get it into my tank faster than the length of a work day?
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:54 AM   #2 
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Since bacteria requires aeration, and I'm not sure how long it could sit, I would wait until the end of the work day to get the gravel from her place. If you're seeding the tank with gravel, I would imagine enough gravel to cover the bottom of your tank. But again, I could be wrong. Perhaps someone else could give you more guidance who have seeded tanks before.

But you shouldn't let bacteria-seeded gravel sit unaerated for a whole work day.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:11 PM   #3 
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Unless your friend is running an underground filter system, there's really not going to be that much bacteria found in the gravel to help a cycle along. What you really need is a chunk of filter media from someone with a mature - and cycled - tank, which will hopefully contain enough bacteria to jump-start your own tank's cycle.

It's why people with small unfiltered tanks can't cycle them. Only a very tiny amount of bacteria is present in the gravel and water column. The type of bacteria you need to establish a cycled tank, grows where there's the most oxygen and flow, which is in the media of your filter.

So unless your tank is going to be filtered, I wouldn't bother even trying to cycle it
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #4 
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This is for my 5 gallon filtered tank. My colleague does have a mature tank (I think she's had it for over 8 years.)

I've read that people use gravel, so I wanted to know how much. If I ask for the filter media-pardon my newbie-ness, but isn't that the part of the filter that you are not supposed to get rid of? Or can I get the sponge part of the filter (I believe my own filter has a sponge & a separate filter media.)
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:26 PM   #5 
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In a cycled tank the bacteria grows all over the place, not just in the filter. It doesn't matter if you have an undergravel filter or not the gravel will still have beneficial bacteria in it.

Your gravel should be ok if left to sit for a work day. I left my tanks over night when I drove them back to school but the cycles held fine.

You want as much gravel as possible, the more you have the faster it will seed the tank, but any amount will do.
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