View Full Version : semi-cycling question

15th Aug 2007, 02:58 AM
I have a situation where I need to move several dozen shrimp, 2 tetras and a little white frog into a new tank. The fish and frog will be temporary, but the shrimp will be permanent. I also have an established tank, but my DP's snack on the shrimp, so thats not a good plan.

Now for the relocation of the fish into the new tank, I intend on moving the current filter and media, plus at least 2 gallons of the water (more if can) to the new tank. I'm not moving the substrate because it is clown puke. Will I be able to avoid ammonia death to the shrimp with this plan along with doing water changes daily? I'm kinda stuck with my options and everything needs to move like yesterday.

I also have a piece of hobby mesh that has been sitting in a bucket of old tank water that held jmoss I could throw in there that should have some bacteria on it, and some sand that has been pulled out from my last water change on my good tank.


I think I'm going to scratch adding the tetras and frog, and along with it the filter, since I read shrimp are snacks for tetra. I guess I'm going to have to go with the old sand, jmoss, plastic mesh, daily water changes and hope there is enough bacteria left to start eating ammonia. I hate when situations like this happen, with no time to prepare.

15th Aug 2007, 11:59 PM
The old filter is the important thing here. As long as the old filter have been running in your old tank for at least a week or two. It will contain all the beneficial bacteria you need for the new tank. It's not that much of a difference as a 100% water change.
What you need to know is that it's not a good idea to allow your old media to dry up. It's not a good idea to turn it off for more than 4 hours as the bacteria will start to die and that can potentially set off a mini-cycle.
Plant is a very good choice to move over. It contains many other micros that will eat off the dead bacteria so will keep your cycle healthy.
Water you might want to bring over to the new tank. But more so to keep your water parameter the same so that your shrimp won't go in to pH shock or some thing. But if you are possitive that the water parameter on both tank is the same, the you don't even have to bring the water over.
The reason why the filter is more imporatant than old water is because old water only contains 1/100th of the amount of bacteria that is in your old filter or tank wall.

16th Aug 2007, 12:11 AM
I've done a couple of tank transfers and found that the substrate is very important--there's a lot of beneficial bacteria in it. The trick I've used fairly successfully is to buy a pair of cheap pantyhose, cut off the leggings, fill each with the old substrate, and tie off the ends.

You can then keep a good portion of the substrate in the new tank for a couple of weeks until your tests verify that the levels are proper. That, in conjunction, as Zebrapl3co points out, with your old filter should help quite a bit.

However, if you're adding new substrate, especially ADA's, then there will be an ammonia spike whatever you do (though if the ph is low, the type of ammonia you have will be less toxic). Hope this helps.

The Shrimpster
16th Aug 2007, 01:17 AM
Another thing you could do that would help with the move is to put a few fast growing plants (such as hornwort or basically any fast growing stem plant) and a good amount of light.

If you have enough plants and move some of the gravel over in a bag (or pantyhose) you should not have a spike. The shrimp are ad a very low bio load. So you shouldn't have a problem... Just make sure not to over feed!