View Full Version : Seeding a filter question.

06-01-2014, 10:07 AM

I am planning on starting a discus aquarium in the next 6 months or so. It will be a 55 gal with a Hamburg Mat filter.

My question is can I use my cichlid filter sponge to seed a discus tank? The cichlids are heathy and the aquarium has been running for 6 years. No new additions in over a year. I use tap water with prime and do not buffer. It does have an aragonite substrate and lace rock.


Second Hand Pat
06-01-2014, 10:29 AM
Hi Brian and welcome to Simply. I would suggest doing a lot of reading here on the site about basic discus care. You will find that starting with a sterilized tank and a fishless cycle is generally recommended here. The problem starting with your cichlid filter sponge is it is a source of contamination with a new group of discus. While aragonite substrate and lace rock are ok for African cichlids we recommend a bare bottom or a lite layer of PFS for discus. As a begineer I would suggest starting bare bottom until you are comfortable with discus.

I would encourage thinking about a water change strategy as discus require lots of clean water.


06-01-2014, 04:48 PM
Thanks for the response. Sorry the stats on the cichlid aquarium were just for reference on the seeding.

I am a researchaholic so that will be no problem. Yes I will be doing bare bottom with every other day water changes. Planning on 4-5 inch or larger discus. I live about 30 mins from Central Ohio Discus so that is where I will be getting my fish.


06-09-2014, 11:31 PM
For what it's worth, I did fishless cycling with Dr Tim's one and Only nitrifying Bacteria and had great results

06-10-2014, 07:59 PM
I will look into that. Fishless cycle is the way I will be going. Just saving my pennies and setting up my plan.


06-11-2014, 04:09 AM
Seeding my tank i used 4 stockings of gravel from my old tank and used one of its corner filters aswell in the new tank and seems to be doing the job faster than a fishless cycle, fishless will take u 6-8weeks if im not mistaken and seeding your tank will take a week or 2 depending on howmuch media u move to the new tank... it worked for me so if u got any gravel and stockings use it to seed the tank aswell and just remove it in a month same with the filter media, but then again contamination and bacteria that discus cant handle so its a risk u can take or just start a fresh tank from scratch. Btw if u add filter media and gravel or sand make sure u add couple fish in with it to keep ammonia in the tank for the media to feed on to start your shorter cycle... add a neon tetra or 6 in there for the semi cycle and lots of 50% water changes. But for discus cycle the tank first im struggling now with my new tank semi cycled tank with my discus in it already with media from a nother tank thats helping out loads in dropping my nitrites and fish are happy except the ones getting bullied by the bigger discus, goodluck.

06-17-2014, 10:22 AM
Ammonia and nitrites still at 0 nitrates at 5ppm in a 2week old tank... not bad moving things over from my old 2foot to the 3foot tank.

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06-20-2014, 01:55 AM
I did the same thing, I used media from a fully cycled tank, not too worried about introducing anything bad for the discus since the tank I took the media from are all very healthy.

06-20-2014, 07:09 AM
I was able to get a couple gallons of water for the breeder in advance of buying the fish. Added it to my water aging tank and went for there. All the best.

06-20-2014, 07:59 AM
A fish less cycle is just what it says, it's fish less. Adding media or gravel from another source greatly increases the risk of contamination. Adding a few tetras will do little to build up a bacteria base large enough to handle a full load of Discus but bringing your ammonia up to 3 or 4 ppm and keeping it there will. When done properly you can go right to a full load of Discus and never see any ammonia and have zero risk of contamination. Without buying any seed bacteria my cycle took 6 weeks and worked great. There are some excellent right ups on this subject one of which is on this site. Study them and stick to what they say.