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45 gallon fishless cycling

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by steelo, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I would not advise this. The white clouds and Zebra together, fine. Neon tetra are quieter. But earlier hard water was mentioned, and neons will have issues to some extent with that, which means more stress.

    "Aggressive" means different things to different people. Some think aggressive means a fish that takes chunks out of anything it comes across. But fish can be aggressive without ever using actual physical contact. What we are talking about here is the level of activity of a species. Zebra danios and white clouds like to charge around the space, neons do not unless they are in fear of something.

     
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  2. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Gotcha =) Well, that's a bit of a downer...I really enjoy neons. Would you have any suggestions on hardy fish that are accustomed to harder water?
     
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The first thing is to pin down the exact hardness. Check the website of your municipal water authority, it may be posted in the water data (if not, call them). The GH (general or total hardness) is what you/we especially need to ascertain, but if you can find the KH (carbonate hardness or Alkalinity) it is useful, and the pH. The latter is tied to the former so it is worth knowing the numbers. With the number, give us the unit of measurement they use, as they are different. It might be mg/l, ppm, degrees, etc.
     
  4. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    This is what I was able to dig up from our water utility company: Total Hardness 158 mg/L or 9 grains per gallon, so it looks like it is moderately hard. Thankfully, it appears I have many options having hard water as opposed to soft water.

    This was a sample taken this year within 5 miles of our house. Of course, I need to do my own testing...this just gives me an idea

    Alkalinity leaving the treatment plant 80.4 mg/L
    Calcium leaving the treatment plant 36.2 mg/L
    Chloride leaving the treatment plant 27.3 mg/L
    SMCL = 250 mg/L
    Copper [90th percentile result] in the distribution system 0.147 mg/L
    Type of disinfection NA Chloramines
    Disinfectant residual leaving the treatment plant 3.25 mg/L
    Disinfectant residual in the distribution system 2.3 mg/L MRDL = 4.0 mg/L
    Flouride .61
    Iron Not detected
    Lead Not detected
    Magnesium 9mg/L
    Manganese Not detected
    Nitrate .12-.88mg/L
    ph 7.3
    Sodium 15.4 mg/L
    Sulfate 37 mg/L
    Total dissolved solids 220.7 mg/L
     
    #19 steelo, Dec 4, 2018 at 1:26 PM
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018 at 2:12 PM
  5. Byron

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    Here we have another reason that some of us ask for specific numbers. The "very hard" mentioned earlier in this thread turns out to be moderately hard and that is very different to fish. And yes, you have more options. The Alkalinity is 80.4 mg/l, which is low but sufficient to buffer the pH somewhat.

    BTW, to explain the units. Mg/l is the same as ppm (parts per million) which is one of the two units commonly used in the hobby. The other is degrees GH or dH, and you can equate the two by multiplying or dividing with 17.9, so GH at 158 ppm divided by 17.9 equals 8.8 or 9 dGH rounded up. And KH is 80 ppm or 4 dKH.

    The GH/KH of the source water is unlikely to change in the aquarium unless you specifically target it (example, adding calcareous substrate/rock would raise it along with the pH). So I wouldn't bother with a test kit unless you want to anyway. A reliable store might test the source water, just get the number and their unit of measurement for comparison.

    That is a good report. Some of the other substances are useful for aquarists.
     
  6. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Thank you, that is good to hear...Would you have any suggestions for fish given the following water parameters? I've read that platys, swordtails and chiclids do well in this type of setting.
     
  7. Byron

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    One hardly knows where to begin, there are so many options. I tend to go with a theme because the fish will have similar if not identical requirements respecting water parameters, aquascaping, and be more likely to be suitable thinking of activity level and so on.

    You could do a riverscape if you want more active fish (like the barbs and danios mentioned earlier). Sand (or fine gravel), river rock, chunks of wood, plants or no plants except floating, dried leaves. Instead of Tiger Barbs (whose fin nipping does make them risky) the Black Ruby Barbs Colin mentioned earlier in a group of seven, with a group of 5-6 dwarf loaches; The Zebra danios or White Clouds also mentioned. Building around a theme creates a nice display because it is so harmonious, no fish is "fighting" conditions. This is a SE Asian or Indian subcontinent biotope, but it can be modified for a Central American stream if you prefer livebearers; pea gravel, less wood, maybe some rounded river rock; I mentioned this because you mention livebearers but frankly I would not because the hardness should be a bit higher for these. Cichlids like the Firemouth perhaps?

    A quiet lagoon for quieter fish like the neon tetras. Cories, other tetras, with a sand substrate, chunks of wood, plants or only floating, leaves. Sounds much like the above at first, but it is how you arrange the wood that sets the two ideas apart. And of course the fish.

    Flooded forest. Sand, plants, floating plants, wood, branches. Shoals of cruising fish.
     
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  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If the general hardness is 158ppm then you have relatively soft water that is not suitable for livebearers (swordtail, platies, guppies and mollies), but is suitable for most of the other fish you were interested in, including neons.
     
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  9. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Thanks Colin_T

    One more question to pick your brain, if you have time...My water suddenly became very cloudy (almost overnight) about a week and a half ago. This morning, I noticed that it seems to be clearing substantially. It's still a bit cloudy but the water looks much better than before. I did not have a chance to get any ammonia/nitrite readings this morning before work, but is this generally a good sign or does it really mean nothing? In the past week, I have yet to show any nitrites/nitrates with the API test kit...
     
    #24 steelo, Dec 6, 2018 at 9:25 AM
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 9:33 AM
  10. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If the water was milky cloudy and has cleared then it is a good sign.
     
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  11. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Here's to hoping I at least get a nitrite reading tonight! I'm being optimistic this means it's finally starting to cycle =)
     
    #26 steelo, Dec 6, 2018 at 9:34 AM
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 9:49 AM
  12. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Well, the water has really cleared up and I checked the nitrite/ammonia/nitrate levels last night...Ammonia still at 4 ppm, nitrites - 0, nitrates - 0 :oops: I'm at the 2 week mark.

    I think this weekend, I'm going to visit the LFS take them a water sample and see what they show. I'm also going to ask if they have any used filters/media I can maybe stick in my tank to see if it can jump start the cycle.
     
  13. essjay

    essjay Member

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    Last time I did a fishless cycle it took 3 weeks for nitrite to show up.
     
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  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You are better off buying liquid bacterial supplements rather than getting a filter from a pet shop. It will be cleaner and free of disease organisms that might be in the shop filters. The only exception to this is if the pet shop has a tank with filter sponges in that is fed ammonia and has no fish in it. Then you can get those sponges but I wouldn't take anything from a tank with fish in. And definitely don't take any gunk from filters if they offer you that.
     
  15. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    I keep second guessing myself that I've possibly done something wrong. I added Wal-Mart brand ammonia which only lists ammonia hydroxide as the ingredient, it also didn't fizz or foam when I shook it.
     

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