Can I cycle bio media balls with live rock?

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no1uno090

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Hello I’ve been reefing for several months now and have completed two successful fishless cycles. One being on my 13 gallon the other being my 37 gallon.

I recently purchased a new 60 gallon tank and plan to move the contents of my 40 into the 60 (live rock, livestock, etc…). Obviously, I need to add more live rocks to the new 60 when I set it up for the first time. It will be arriving in a month.

While I wait for the new tank I’m currently cycling my new live rocks in a sterilite plastic bin. I just began the cycle (Dr. Tims one and only and microbacter quikcycle for the ammonia) a few hours ago. My question is can I add bio media balls in the bin as well to cycle along with the rocks? Moreover, can I add any other type of filtration media or bio media to the bin to cycle as well?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

GoVols

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I would not cycle a tank with anything that I’m going to pull out, once the cycle is complete.

FWIW:
Those plastic bio-balls are good for a fish only tank, but they can’t gas off nitrates like live rock and other porous bio media does.
 

muzikalmatt

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Assuming you're going to keep the bioballs (or other biomedia) in your new tank (either in the sump or rear chamber if it's an AIO) you can certainly do that. It's all just more surface area for the nitrifying bacteria to populate which will give you a head start on your biofiltration.

Another better option if you have the room is to put the bioballs/biomedia in your existing 40 gallon tank. That way it will populate with the beneficial bacteria from that tank which has been running longer and likely has more biodiversity.
 
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