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How to quick start a tank


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I usually have an extra filter in a tank somewhere. Barring that I take media from the preexisting tank plants gravel decor. Anything the current tank can do without. Lots of testing water change when and how much needed. I never have issues

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I also take some filter media from an established tank and add it to the new filter. I personally haven’t seen any Ammonia or Nitrates using this method but I also add plants and stock lightly. If it’s an unplanted tank and you’re adding tons of fish you might have some initial troubles. 

Edited by Patrick_G
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As others have said, substrate, filter media and / or plants from an established tank will give you best bang for the effort.

i don’t agree with the water, though.  Nothing beneficial to be transferred there, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt any either.

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On 6/16/2021 at 8:01 PM, Angelfishlover said:

Could I take filter media from another tank and put It in the substrate since it’s a sponge filter tank

You sure can. I would put it behind the sponge to keep aerated water moving over it does not suffocate before it can seed the tank. If that’s not doable just drop it in and float it. Same principle as adding bottle bacteria except there actually is live bacteria on you your filter media 🙂

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On 6/16/2021 at 5:01 PM, Patrick_G said:

I also take some filter media from an established tank and add it to the new filter. I personally haven’t seen any Ammonia or Nitrates using this method but I also add plants and stock lightly. If it’s an unplanted tank and you’re adding tons of fish you might have some initial troubles. 

It’s and unplanted tank for 1 baby axolotl but I can’t add anything to the filter because it’s a sponge filter tank and I have no other sponge filters only hobs 

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On 6/16/2021 at 7:08 PM, RogueAquarium said:

What kind of sponge is it? It's really easy to colonize new sponge with established sponge, it's just a matter of logistically making it work and look good. Mind posting a pic of what you got?

Yeah I will post a pic in the morning 

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Here’s what we do...

(1) Use a biologically activated substrate like Eco Complete — or, transfer substrate from a cycled tank.

(2) Use Wood or Hardscape from inside a cycled tank. We buy wet wood from our LFS.

(3) Use a primed sponge filter already full of bio.

(4) Use tank water from a cycled tank.

(5) Buy tons of live plants. They bring in bio.

(6) Dump in Dr. Tim’s bio starter fluid.

Then wait a day. Test water. Wait until Nitrates are increasing. Add fish. 

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On 6/16/2021 at 11:26 PM, Angelfishlover said:

It’s and unplanted tank for 1 baby axolotl but I can’t add anything to the filter because it’s a sponge filter tank and I have no other sponge filters only hobs 

Maybe you could take some of the media out of your HOBs, and just let it sit in the tank. That's what I'm doing right now. I took chunks of sponge out of a HOB, and dropped them in a tank that only has a sponge filter. 

I'm not familiar with axolotls. If it needs protection from getting bonked in the head by the HOB media, you could put something like a small rock on the media to keep it sitting still on the substrate. 

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+1 like others have said, move as much as you can from existing tanks (even if it's just temporary) move over your HOB (if you can) if that's whats currently running and put your Sponge Filter in the established tank, gravel, plants, all help. I do also bring over a decent amount of established water.

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On 6/16/2021 at 7:33 PM, Angelfishlover said:

So I have a 40 breeder I need to get started ASAP for I can get fish out of a 10 so I can put my betta in there but I just got it today so is there any methods one how to get it safe fast 

Is the 10 only going to house the Betta?  I would like others are suggesting move most of the old stuff to the 40, keep an eye on both and (to quote Randy’s podcast) “power water change” through any issues.

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On 6/17/2021 at 6:57 AM, JakeH said:

Is the 10 only going to house the Betta?  I would like others are suggesting move most of the old stuff to the 40, keep an eye on both and (to quote Randy’s podcast) “power water change” through any issues.

Yeah the 10 is only for the betta for now maybe some shrimp in the future also could you please further explain power water change 

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On 6/17/2021 at 4:56 PM, Angelfishlover said:

Yeah the 10 is only for the betta for now maybe some shrimp in the future also could you please further explain power water change 

He made the comment in jest. Basically overcompensating with water changes to deal with water parameters when rushing a cycle.

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