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Ah, therein lies a value to *fishless* cycling. Take that filter pad, and to
keep those critters alive (in the FISHLESS tank) via the straight ammonia
route, till moving day, check the past few issues of APD or look at
<< If you place the extra filter pad in the new tank with too long a time lag
before you introduce the fish (ammonia source), you run the risk of the
bacterial population on the pad dropping and being unable to handle the load
Your new tank will still take a while to settle down, so watch the ammonia
and nitrite levels closely for the first month, but I've moved many tanks
using this exact procedure with no problems.
Regardless of bacteria's reported abilities to adjust their metabolism to
meet available nutrient levesl, they are just as likely to die off if
starved for a protracted period of time.