Cycle new tank with old water?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by RiaanP, 18 Jun 2009.

  1. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    What do you guys think.
    Cycling a new tank with water that I removed out of my other tank when I do my weekly water changes. Extra bit syphoned out of the substrate to make sure that some live do go with it. Also getting some old water from a friend, so that I can fill it up quicker. At the moment I only have new clean play sand (2-3 cm) at the bottom but this weekend i will add two bigger pieces and 2 smaller pieces of live rock from my sump.

    I did test the tank after a week, only 1/3 full, and the NO3 parameters was 100% and PO4 slighty blue, anyway almost nothing.

    This should speed up the cycle process, and also be cheaper on the salt.
     
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  3. moz

    moz

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    The bit of substrate would have helped more than the water, can't see that water helping much with the cycling.
     
  4. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    The water may help by adding some ammonia, nitrites and nitrates to the water. This will then help in the process of growing all the bacteria at once. If I understand it correctly a different type of bacteria is responsible for changing each parameter to the next. So then if you add a bit of each parameter at once, wouldn't you grow each bacteria at once instead of it going in steps?
     
  5. paul bloem

    paul bloem

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    I fixed my tank " or setup" a few months ago. had a big algae issue. I cept my water for three weeks in an old tank without heater just flow and no water changes. When I got my tank back i filled it up with 70% old water and 30% new salt water. I never had any issues with my tank so far.

    Maybe just my luck. (beginners luck)
     
  6. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    Riaan,

    While using existing sand and rock will help to seed a new tank, waters effect will be negligable. Having said this, nothing wrong with saving some cash using old water to cycle.

    The perameters to watch though are not NO3 or PO4. Rather watch ammonia and Nitrite. Once these are gone properly, you are through your initial cycles.

    This cycling is only one of many cycles that your tank will go through before it reaches a steadier state.
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    I know that some substrate itself going over will be the best. But old take got rice crispies crushed coral, and new tank got playsand.

    Unless I put some rice crispies in a nylon stocking, put in on the bottom, and just remove it later... hmmm... let me check whats inside my wifes dressing table drawers...
     
  8. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i agree with rob, its best to seed the system with the rock or sand, you could virtually add 100% new water if the chemistry and temp was the same, but its the shock you are trying to eliminate as even bacteria will be effected if the change is too vst.
     
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    If I syphon the substrate in the old tank when doing the water change. And I move that water to the new tank, Will that not be almost like moving some substrate over?
    Currently there is no filtration on the new tank for this week, until tank is full, so all the stuff sucked from the substrate should settle down in the sand. Also circulating is done by 1 very small pump. Will upgrade al of this when the tank is full.

    I will move 4 rocks over Saturday, Just need to ensure water temp is the same.
     
  10. coral diver

    coral diver

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    I agree, The water is not much a help in the cycling process, what you need is the part where the bacteria lives and just a reminder water chemistry is the important part of this process it will kill or make the bacteria multifly.
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    OK 10 days going.
    New play sand as substrate, and 2 big pieces and 3 smaller live rock that came out of my sump. I got plenty of copepods and bristle worms running around on the rock. Tank is currently about 70% full of water that normally would have been thrown away. Hopefully after this weekend water changes will it be full.
    Did test NO2 and NH4 ammonia last night, and it shows ZERO.

    So far no spikes. No die-off. Actually have to remember to add some flakes to the empty tank as food for the copepods, worms and bacteria.

    This gives me another idea. My old tank sump DSB is also play sand. Maybe I should just add a cup full from the sump to the new tank. A lot better that moving the crushed coral substrate from old tank.
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    After 14 days with no ammoniak or NO2, I went ahead. Moved all the live rock and lifestock over.
    But the secret is that I have more than enough live rock. and also I'm using the same DSB. So in reality it is not a totally new tank. Only the substrate is new.
    But it really helps to use old water, that you would have thrown away anyway. And proper live rock.
     
  13. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Sounds good Riaan, but I don't believe you without pics :razz:
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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