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Ask Questions About Cycling

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by Chad, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. maurizio

    maurizio Member

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    Hello all,
    I'm planning a low-tech (no CO2, 2x3824 lm LED tubes) riparium with aquarium and pond plants. The aerial part is pretty much done, and mosses are slowly growing onto it, and now I'm moving my attention to the underwater part (about 100 lt).

    Time ago I read somewhere (this forum?) something like 'Why we don't fishless-cycle with plants', essentially saying to use the plants to do the job. Fine, I can definitely go that way. The procedure, though, remains unclear to me.

    I plant the tank, let the greens settle, and in 10-15 days start dosing ammonia, and do the usual checks until it's gone into NO2 and NO3 (a few days?). At that point, one might expect that that specific amount of plants is able to process that amount of ammonia. Perhaps keep this going for a while, then start adding some fish, and follow things. If everything looks OK, add more fish, and follow things. Fine, although it sounds a bit weak to me.

    Also, when should I eventually start the filter (whose bacteria will clearly compete with the plants)?? I surely don't expect the plants to do the whole job...

    Thanks!

     
    #391 maurizio, Mar 30, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  2. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    I'll soon be cycling a new 220L tank, and have been asking lots of questions on here and in less of different fish shops and pet shops I've been to. There are so many different things to be aware of, and so many conflicting ideas about what is right or wrong or best in regards to each thing.

    I want to ask about one thing that someone in a fish shop said to me the other day. She said that doing a fishless cycle (e.g. using bottled ammonia) doesn't really cycle the tank as well as a cycle with fish, because the ammonia in fish poo is different to the synthetic/chemical ammonia in a bottle. She said that fishless cycling won't produce the right bacteria to deal with actual fish poo, and that once you put fish in the tank after a fishless cycle, it will have to cycle all over again for the different ammonia from actual fish poo.

    On face value, without any experience or fishy knowledge myself, that sounded reasonable. But I'm not interested in givinga fish a horribly unhealthy time to cycle a tank. I know there are some extremely knowledgeable people on here, and I'm wondering what your response to her theory might be?

    Thank you.

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  3. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    *lots of different fish shops

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
     
  4. essjay

    essjay Member

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    That sounds like another shop worker who knows nothing about fishless cycling.

    Ammonia is ammonia, NH3; a gas which dissolves in water to form dissolved NH3 and ammonium hydroxide, which dissociates into NH4+ (ammonium) and OH- (hydroxyl) ions (the proportions of NH3 and NH4+ depending on the pH and temperature).
    It is exactly the same ammonia whether it is excreted by the fish or out of a bottle.

    The 'wrong' bacteria are more likely to grow if you use a bottled bacteria product. Some, such as Dr Tims One & Only and Tetra Safe Start, do contain the right bacteria but a lot of the others don't.

    And I have done fishless cycles and the tanks did not cycle again after I got fish.



    The one thing a fishless cycle does not do is grow the myriad other micro-organisms that live in mature tanks.
     
  5. Gruntle

    Gruntle Member

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    My response to her theory is she wants you to buy fish from her right now, rather than in 4-6 weeks.

    Fish also produce ammonia through their gills, not just in their poo. So that's another strike against "expert" advice from a LFS who just want you to buy stuff right now (rather than later, when you may have found a different place to spend your money).

    Don't get me wrong, some fish store employees are knowledgeable, but the majority that I have found are interested in immediate sales rather than overall fish health.
     
  6. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    Thanks essjay and gruntle. I'm now 9 days in to a fishless cycle. I do have a question about the Dr Tims you mentioned, essjay:

    When I started to cycle this tank, I used a bacteria powder that the LFS sold me called ViviD. I'm up to Day 9 & just hit 0 ammonia and 2.0+ nitrites (and 10+ nitrates), so I've put in the second dose of ammonia. I have an unopened bottle of Dr Tim's One and Only in my fridge. Is there any benefit at all to using that, even though the tank has started to cycle?


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  7. jason26

    jason26 Member

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    I am now 6 weeks into my fish in cycle I have 3 serpae tetras, could you please advise me with results 3 days ago I had amonia and nitrite today I still have amonia but no nirite, is this normal there is some nitrate too.[​IMG]
     
  8. Jordan_Deus

    Jordan_Deus Fish Fanatic

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    Is Ammonium Sulfate safe to use in fish-less cycling? Obviously the Ammonia is bad for the fish, what I want to know is if the Sulfate will negatively affect any fish I add into the water after the process is done. I am planning on cycling with plants.
     
  9. Yarkii

    Yarkii Fish Fanatic

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    My cycle seems to be going faster than the example in the fishless cycling guide on here. Could this be because I used some bacteria powder with the first ammonia dose, or because there are plants in there, or because the filter pump is ridiculously fast (or a combination of all three)?

    Are my plants likely to die going through the cycle? I just didn't think clearly about what was about to happen in there, and how the ammonia might kill them.

    The plants all have some leaves / growths that are doing badly. During the cycle, should I leave that rotting plant debris in there, as the bacteria will be part of the cycle, or should I be removing it?

    Is algae bad or good: for the plants, for the cycle, for the ecosystem, for the eventual fish? People talk about how to remove algae, but is that merely for humans' sense of aesthetics, or is it actually bad?

    Thanks everyone!

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  10. JennJenn

    JennJenn New Member

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    I was pretty sure my tank had finished cycling.
    Where do I go from here? I thought the cycle was finished. Cycled for approx 8 weeks. Started adding fish every week for the last 3 weeks. Too many fish to fast and it's all out of whack. After reading some comments here made to others and speaking with a friend. I decided to return all of my fish this morning, I can't have any of them die on me. I invested in my own water testing kit rather than relying on LFS as they were only using strips.The LFS said I could keep the fish and that they would walk me through but it didn't feel right. I have read a lot here and elsewhere but I'm just not sure where to go from here.

    Here's where I am at right now 20 gallon, planted (no fish for now)
    Ammonia - 0.25ppm
    Nitrite - 5.0ppm (could be more as it is the last square listed in my API master test kit, but the colours match)
    Nitrate - between 10-20ppm

    I did a water change late Wednesday night 9:00pm between 50-75%
    Removed all fish this AM & returned them
    It is now early evening 5:00pm
    The readings above I just took, where do I go from here.

    Oh and I should mention tons of bio matter added to filter on Monday from a great specialty fish store trying to help. Definitely will be getting my fish there in the future. I added the recommended liquid bio stuff when adding fish. Other than what I just listed nothing but PRIME water conditioner used during water changes.

    Any advice I'd appreciate
     
  11. Planted tanks

    Planted tanks New Member

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    I'm sure it's been answered and I read close to a third of the posts already, but... I'm consistently getting 0-.25 reading on a liquid test kit for ammonia (one day 0 the next .25 or less) and my nitrite are either at 5 or higher (test only reads to 5). Im pretty sure i remember back when I was first starting with tanks reading somewhere that nitrites above 5ppm are bad for ammonia oxidizing bacteria so ive been doing 50-75% water changes to get nitrites down to around 2ppm daily when I get home from work.ive reduced the amount of food I've been putting in daily (yes I know... phosphates but I have plenty of plants already going and no algae bloom yet) and still come home to 5+ nitrites daily. Should I stop with the food all together and let the nitrites convert with what bacteria is in there or just stay the course and WC daily as I have been. Nitrates have slowly started to climb the past few days from 5 to 10 to 20 today so it's cycling, just seems slow as I've always seen a sudden drop in nitrites once nitrates show up. It has been a while since I've cycled a tank so I may have forgotten the time frame or may just be impatient because I'm ready to get my tank up and going and get some action in the water. Tank is 55G and has been running fishless cycle for around 18 days now.

    Edited for fat finger syndrome...
     
  12. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    You would be at 'snack' doses of ammonia at this point. But since you are dosing food, it likely means that no food needs to be added for a while to offer a source of ammonia for the bacs. I'd suggest not dosing for 5 days ( your ammonia bacs will be fine) and see where the nitrites are after that time. On the 5th day, add a little... then wait 4 more days before adding more, unless the values both hit zero.
     
  13. JennJenn

    JennJenn New Member

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    Hi Planted Tank. I consider myself still a beginner. I don't want to mess anything up for you. This is an old post where I was asking questions. I don't think anyone will see your post here but me. Just cut & paste it into a new thread in the nitrogen cycle ask questions here heading. I think it's like one of the first headings. Sorry I can't help
     
  14. Gruntle

    Gruntle Member

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    I'm always looking at this thread, so feel free to post. I don't consider myself an expert but I have a bit of experience...
     

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