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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 concur with Colin that this is not advisable. Never use substrate or filter media from an aquarium other than your own. The likelihood of introducing pathogens and disease is high. And store tanks are certainly even more of a risk; various pathogens can be present that could later harm fish, or the biological system. The bacterial supplements are effective, especially Tetra's SafeStart and Seachem's Stability.
     
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  2. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you! I added top fin bacterial supplement when I first set up the tank (around 2 weeks ago) and again about 1 week ago. Would it be okay to add a different supplement, such as SafeStart or Stability on top of this?
     
  3. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    All the liquid bacterial supplements have the same or similar filter bacteria in them so you can mix n match and add stuff from different brands.

    The best way to use liquid bacterial supplements is to double dose every day for a week then put the remaining bacteria in the fridge for later use, or you can just pour the rest in the tank.

    Try to add the bacteria near the filter intake so it gets drawn into the filter.
     
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  4. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    Good info, Colin_T

    Okay, just so I have this straight...while the water is cycling, add double what the directions say EVERY DAY for a week? I'm wondering if I can just stick with the Top Fin supplement I already have if they are similar. What confuses me is that it states on the bottle that it limits ammonia and nitrites. Isn't that the opposite of what I want to do?

    This is what I'm using: https://www.petsmart.com/fish/food-...aquarium-cycling-water-conditioner-17717.html
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    This is not a problem, but just so you are aware...sometimes bacterial supplements can increase cloudiness in the tank water, due to the sudden influx of bacteria and organics. Other bacteria rapidly multiply to feed on the organics. It is not permanent and not dangerous to the cycling.

    Not that it really matters here, but the bacteria in these supplements is not all the same. There are only two that I know of which do contain the actual nitrifying bacteria species, and these are Dr. Tim's One and Only and Tetra's SafeStart. The Tetra formula was developed by Dr. Tim Hovanec (the same "Dr Tim" developer of the first product mentioned). I researched into this extensively some time back and the following excerpts may be of interest.

    Nitrification is the oxidation of ammonia/ammonium to nitrite and then the subsequent oxidation of nitrite to nitrate; this is performed by two groups of bacteria known collectively as nitrifying bacteria or nitrifiers. True nitrifying bacteria are autotrophs [see definition below]; they use chemosynthesis to manufacture their energy by using oxygen plus nitrogenous waste (ammonia or nitrite) and carbon (from CO2). There are several different bacterium species involved, all in the family Nitrobacteraceae, that carry out this function in soil, and it used to be thought that these, particularly Nitrosomonas europa and Nitrobacter, were the nitrification bacteria in freshwater. But Dr. Timothy Hovanec led the team of scientists that proved this to be a mistaken assumption. Ammonia is converted to nitrite by bacteria of the Nitrosonomas marina-like strain [2] and nitrite is converted to nitrate by bacteria closely related to Nitrospira moscoviensis and Nitrospira marina. [3] With several subsequent scientific studies by other scientists on wastewater nitrifying bacteria this data is now accepted scientific fact.

    Autotrophic bacteria synthesize their own food, and they require oxygen so they are termed aerobic. Some do this via photosynthesis using sunlight, oxygen and water. Others use chemosynthesis, a process whereby they manufacture carbohydrates from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water using chemical nutrients rather than sunlight as the energy source. Science now believes that chemosynthesis was what allowed life to begin on earth, a view supported by the fairly recent discovery of the remarkable ecosystems around the hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor that have absolutely no relationship with sunlight—conditions very similar to those that initially existed on the earth for hundreds of millions of years before any form of life appeared.

    The nitrogen cycle bacteria in aquaria are lithotrophic; the word comes from the Greek lithos [= rock] and troph [= consumer], so literally it means “rock eater.” Realistically, it means these bacteria colonize surfaces. The scientific processes that cause this may most simply be described as the bacteria being pulled from the water by several actions occurring on the surfaces. Bacteria are sticky; they exude protein coatings that allow them to build up into a slimy film that we term a biofilm. These also attract and bind fungi and algae. Snails, shrimp and fish seen grazing these mats are feeding on the countless microscopic creatures and algae that live there. But this is not their most important function; these biofilms are absolutely essential to a healthy aquarium because of the bacteria they contain.

    Dr. Hovanec examined some of the cycling products such as Nutrafin's Cycle and found that while they do not contain the actual nitrifying species of bacteria, they do somehow speed up the cycling process. We need not get into that, but suffice it to say that even products like Seachem's Stability will provide benefit. I would use Tetra's SafeStart if available, but I have used Stability and it seemed to be effective.

    References for the above:

    [2] Paul C. Burrell, Carol M. Phalen, and Timothy A. Hovanec, “Identification of Bacteria Responsible for Ammonia Oxidation in Freshwater Aquaria,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, December 2001, pp. 5791-5800.

    [3] Hovanec, T. A., L. T. Taylor, A. Blakis and E. F. DeLong, “Nitrospira- Like Bacteria Associated with Nitrite Oxidation in Freshwater Aquaria,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 258-264.
     
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  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Yes.

    If you still have some left then use it up.

    It limits or reduces ammonia and nitrites by adding bacteria that eat the ammonia and nitrite and convert it into nitrate.
     
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  7. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you!
     
  8. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    On Saturday, I went to the LFS and purchased a bottle of 'stability' which I've read is pretty good. I've read that safestart plus works faster, but I didn't want to pay $30 for it!

    It MAY just be my imagination,but the ammonia appears to be dropping ever so slightly, last week it was a darker green (around 4 ppm) and last night my wife double checked and said it was between 2 and 4 ppm. I added part of the recommended amount of stability directly into my power filter (1 cupful for every 10 gallons, I think). Even though the instructions say to use half the dosage after the first day, I will continue to use the full amount. The directions say to use it for 7 days...if I still do not have a reading after that time, should I continue using it?

    Here's hoping I get a reading by Friday! I will be thrilled just to see the nitrite test turn any color but light blue!
     
    #38 steelo, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  9. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    Week 5 - Finally showing nitrites! According to the api test kit its somewhere between 0.25 and .5ppm

    I havent tested ammonia levels yet but is it important not to let it get down to 0?
     
  10. essjay

    essjay Member

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  11. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    Thanks, I actually first read that last night and bookmarked it...

    The test didn't immediately turn purple, but took about 5 minutes. I'm just ecstatic that there are finally nitrites =)
     
  12. essjay

    essjay Member

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    If you are using the API tester, it should only be read 5 minutes after adding the drops, ignore the colour until then.


    Once my nitrite started to show up, things progressed well after that. You should find that the nitrite reading hits the top of the scale colour quite quickly - this does not mean it is actually that level, it could be anything above that level. It's because our test kits can't measure as high as the stall point level of nitrite that ammonia should only be added when the method tells you to.
     
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  13. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    Okay, so according to the guide I am not to add any ammonia until the nitrites are above 2ppm AND the ammonia is below .75 then I add the full dose to bring it back up to 3ppm. Am I correct?
     
    #43 steelo, Dec 28, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  14. essjay

    essjay Member

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    That's right. In theory you should only be testing every third day at this stage, but as you've been waiting so long that's going to be hard to do :) Maybe miss a day then test again, and follow this pattern till you've got ammonia under 0.75 and nitrite over 2.0. Patience is the name of the game now - if you add too much ammonia too soon, you risk pushing nitrite over the stall level.
     
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  15. steelo

    steelo Fish Fanatic

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    Gotcha, thanks.

    I probably won't be able to resist the urge to test every day...LOL. As sad as it sounds, I've waited 5 weeks to get to this point and it's exciting to finally see something happening.

    With that said, I absolutely will not add ammonia until both of those conditions are met. It looks like I probably have at least a few days as the nitrite was only between 0.25-0.5 ppm last night
     

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