General Aquarium Life Expectancy...and Could Someone Please Tell Me Why This Keeps Happening to our Tanks?

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Kaskade10729

AC Members
Jun 16, 2013
361
10
18
If the current 29g is cycled (is it?)
All I did was move the water directly from the 60, before draining it, to the 29 and then put the fish in. The water in the 60 was already cycled.

you can just move the filter(s).
There's only ONE filter on the 29 -- an Aqueon QuietFlow 20 (which is the only one that fits on the back of the Aqueon kit we bought the 29 in, due to the shape of the hood). In this filter, I used ONE already-seeded floss cartridge from the QuietFlow 75 that was on the 60. It was all gunked up with what I assume is BB. I did this to keep the cycle and BB alive in the 29 when I transferred the fish. I must have done SOMETHING right because thus far, the fish have been absolutely fine with no signs of stress, and the water in this 29 gallon is remaining crystal clear.

What I want to know is what to do once I get the new tank (we're back considering the Marineland 75 now, BTW; my wife just likes it better) -- do I just run the two previous HOBs I had on the 60 (the Aqueon 75 and AquaClear 110) with their old media, even though the bacteria in them is probably dried up and dead now, or do I start completely from scratch?

I will not discuss Stability again.
That's fine; I bring it up because we had success with it, two tanks in a row. At any rate, I'm planning on switching to Tetra's SafeStart for the new tank because I've read good things about it.

You can use the water from the 29 if you want, it won't hurt or help anything much.
But I don't understand how it COULDN'T help -- do you mean because the next tank, assuming it's the 75, is so large so the "dilution" of the water won't make a difference?

I just want to know how to kick off the new tank when we get it -- do I fill the whole thing up with tap water, start the filters and then introduce the fish IMMEDIATELY into it? Doesn't the water need some bacteria buildup time (which is why I wanted to use a liquid bacteria product in the first place)? Will we go through a bloom again?

You can just clean the filters & media in tap water.
Are you talking about the OLD media from the Aqueon QuietFlow 75 and AquaClear 110?

When you use dechlorinator in the new tank it will work on those too. If you're worried you can add a drop to the filter boxes.
You mean when I use Prime in the new tank? And this will work on what? I only use Prime when doing water changes...

I'm cheap & a bit "eco-concious" so I'd reuse media unless it's really gunked up.
I understand this; but are you referring to reusing the media from the old filters, as stated above? Just rinse those in tap water and not worry about the fact that their bacteria supply has been killed off from being dry all this time?
 

dudley

Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
1,698
334
92
Medina, Ohio
Real Name
Dee
Usually when the filter media has been left to completely dry out for that length of time, you need to start the cycle process all over again. It's possible some of the nitrifying bacteria may be dormant but you won't have the same number you would if you kept the filter media wet in the 29G tank.

Aquarium water from a tank that is cycled has little nitrifying bacteria because the bacteria grows on surfaces such as filter media, plants, or other structures that have good water flow.

I would:
1) set the new tank and stand up in its forever location, verify it's plumb and level,
2) add rinsed substrate, fill with tap water to the temperature you normally keep your tank at & add the correct dose of Prime,
3) add the Aqueon Quietflow 75 AND the AC 110 and get them running and the heater if you use one,
4) use whichever bottled bacteria product you want and follow the instructions exactly.

You may or may not get a bacteria bloom, every tank is different. You should still monitor your aquarium water parameters for the next couple weeks using a quality test kit, especially ammonia and nitrite levels and be prepared to perform a water change to keep those numbers below 1 ppm IF you add fish to the aquarium.

If you also decide to add the fish from the 29G tank at this time, also move the Aqueon Quietflow 20 over at the same time in addition to the other filters.

P.S. I have only used 3 methods to get a new tank ready for fish: using ammonia (4-6 weeks), by moving over a fully cycled filter (immediately) or by using StartSmart Complete (follow instructions).
 

dougall

...
Mar 29, 2005
3,263
830
120
Excellent advice above.

The only thing I would add to that would be to test your water frequently.

I am personally a cynic when it comes to any sort of 'bottled bacteria' products; but I openly admit to having no need nor experience with them so there is every chance they will do what they say even if there is the possibility that they do not. Testing your water will remove any questions based on your ammonia cycle.
 

Kaskade10729

AC Members
Jun 16, 2013
361
10
18
Thank you very much, both Doug and Dee.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dudley

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
11,360
1,779
200
SF Bay area, CA
You said you put "some" old filter media in the new filter, so not just old tank water. Have you tested the 29g yet for ammonia & nitrite? IF the 29g shows 0 for those 2 tests I'd consider the 29g cycled. When you are ready to move the fish move the filter(s) from the 29 to the new tank. I did suggest running both the new filter & the smaller "old" Aqueon 75 filter on the 29 now so you have more area for BB to grow before you get & set up the new tank, it will help some...I disagree with Dee a bit, I think 1ppm of either ammonia or nitrite is too high with fish in the tank. You can use Prime to protect them from the worst effects, it supposedly "neutralizes" them_ Dose every 24-48 hours & test!!

As we've all said, there is very little BB in the old tank water but you can use it. & you need to test every other day to know what's going on. The Prime will still allow the "safer" form & harmful form of ammonia to show up on an API ammonia test & it is supposed to keep both from harming your fish. The damage to fish from either can be permanent...& shorten fish lifespans.

IF the 29 is NOT cycled, I would montor it by testing (not fish looking "ok"). Change water, dose "whatever" , changing water will be easier in the small tank. Once the 29 is cycled with 1 (or 2) filters, again, move the cycled filter(s) when you move the fish. You can temporarily hang 1 filter on the tank front if you need to. Not pretty but not for too long either, a couple weeks? Test!

Yes, just clean the old filters' media & you can reuse it. Like Dee said, the BB likely died but the media is still usable.

At the early stages of all this emergency getting a new tank stuff, I wouldn't worry too much about nitrate...but you need to test for that too before long. 20ppm is the most I would consider ok in the long view, some would say 40ppm. 80ppm & your in the danger zone with fish in the tank. In the first couple weeks I would feed lightly to reduce that along with water changes...
 
  • Like
Reactions: dudley

dudley

Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
1,698
334
92
Medina, Ohio
Real Name
Dee
Thanks for the catch F fishorama , I meant to post 0.5 ppm for at least the nitrite portion, usually the ammonia can be dealt with dosing Prime appropriately but I like to see zero for both ammonia and nitrite when fish are present.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
11,360
1,779
200
SF Bay area, CA
I'm sorry Dee, I wasn't really calling you out in any way. We both agree 0 for both is best. Supposedly Prime can deal with nitrite too...for a little while, 24-48 hours is what I believe. It's been a long time since I went there :). I vastly prefer using cycled filters/media from my healthy tanks, I think you do too. We old timers have a lot in common for our tried & true methods.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dudley

dudley

Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
1,698
334
92
Medina, Ohio
Real Name
Dee
No problem, I didn't think you were. ;)
 

Kaskade10729

AC Members
Jun 16, 2013
361
10
18
You said you put "some" old filter media in the new filter, so not just old tank water. Have you tested the 29g yet for ammonia & nitrite? IF the 29g shows 0 for those 2 tests I'd consider the 29g cycled. When you are ready to move the fish move the filter(s) from the 29 to the new tank. I did suggest running both the new filter & the smaller "old" Aqueon 75 filter on the 29 now so you have more area for BB to grow before you get & set up the new tank, it will help some...I disagree with Dee a bit, I think 1ppm of either ammonia or nitrite is too high with fish in the tank. You can use Prime to protect them from the worst effects, it supposedly "neutralizes" them_ Dose every 24-48 hours & test!!

As we've all said, there is very little BB in the old tank water but you can use it. & you need to test every other day to know what's going on. The Prime will still allow the "safer" form & harmful form of ammonia to show up on an API ammonia test & it is supposed to keep both from harming your fish. The damage to fish from either can be permanent...& shorten fish lifespans.

IF the 29 is NOT cycled, I would montor it by testing (not fish looking "ok"). Change water, dose "whatever" , changing water will be easier in the small tank. Once the 29 is cycled with 1 (or 2) filters, again, move the cycled filter(s) when you move the fish. You can temporarily hang 1 filter on the tank front if you need to. Not pretty but not for too long either, a couple weeks? Test!

Yes, just clean the old filters' media & you can reuse it. Like Dee said, the BB likely died but the media is still usable.

At the early stages of all this emergency getting a new tank stuff, I wouldn't worry too much about nitrate...but you need to test for that too before long. 20ppm is the most I would consider ok in the long view, some would say 40ppm. 80ppm & your in the danger zone with fish in the tank. In the first couple weeks I would feed lightly to reduce that along with water changes...
The 29 gallon is cycled.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store