Jumpstart cycling from existing tank questions

Discussion on just about any fish related topic!
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:15 am

Jumpstart cycling from existing tank questions

Post by JoeClark » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:02 am

I have a well established 26 gallon tank with lots of fish, live plants, rocks and structure. I just set up a new 60 gallon tank. About 6 weeks ago I set up the new filter in the old tank and let it run and accumulate bacteria. I've added Prime to the new tank and will let it sit for 24 hours to let the temperature stabilize. Here are my questions.

I know I can transfer the filter, plants, rocks etc. to transfer bacteria, but I also know that I need a source of ammonia to keep the bacteria alive. I really don't want to transfer my fish until I know the cycle is complete and the ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are stable.

1. How long will the bacteria live without any fish or source of ammonia?
2. Should I add ammonia? If so how much? Any special ammonia?
3. Should I just go get some cheap hearty fish and add them?
4. Before transferring my fish should I match pH, Temp, then add them as described in the sticky above?
5. Should I add any bacteria starter products or do I need to?


I didn't find the right solution from the internet.
http://www.aquariumforum.com/f2/jumpsta ... 01153.html

Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:28 am
Location: Medina, Ohio

Re: Jumpstart cycling from existing tank questions

Post by deeda » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:49 am

In my experience, if you are just transferring fish from an existing smaller tank to a larger tank, all you need to be sure of is to have the new tank properly dechlorinated, up to temperature and using the existing mature filter media or filter. This procedure assumes you will not be adding any new fish for a couple weeks.

To answer your questions though:
1) Bacteria will go dormant without a food source for reasonable length of time, some say up to 6 weeks.
2) The ammonia product I use is Ace Ammonia Janitorial strength which has no sudsing agent or additives. I add enough to bring the ammonia level in the tank between 2 to 4 ppm. I only use ammonia when doing a fish-less cycle method.
3) I don't recommend using cheap or any fish to cycle a tank.
4) I recommend matching temperature within a few degrees of the existing tank. What is the difference in pH between your existing tank and the new tank? Do you add any type of product to alter the pH in your tank?
5) I don't find the need to add an bacteria starter product to a tank since I prefer the fish-less cycling method but if it makes you comfortable, just follow the product instructions.

I did not read the article you referenced before posting my comments.

OCA member thru 11/2017

Bas Pels
Posts: 2232
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:17 am
Location: Nijmegen - the Netherlands

Re: Jumpstart cycling from existing tank questions

Post by Bas Pels » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:18 pm

Once I took the canister filter from a cycled tank, hung it within 5 minutes to a brand new uncycled one (decorated and filled the same day), and started netting fish

Het fish were `Cichlasoma´ calobrensae, as far as I know one of the most sensitive central American species. As I expected, I did not have any fish looking a bit wrong.

This is not a direct answer to your questions, but it might answer the question behind them: Can I do without cycling, using a cycled tank? Yes you can.

Post Reply

Return to “General Fish Topics”