Nitrifiers In Water Column

LauraFrog

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I've just moved house, and the water supply to my new fishroom is coming out of an agricultural dam (stocked with fish and plants.)
I brought down a 20 gallon tank which sat empty for about two weeks until I got around to scrubbing all the algae out of it. Then it got thoroughly rinsed with hot water and set up with new substrate and new decor. The filter had been running in brackish, so I took out all the media and rinsed the whole thing thoroughly, several times, to remove all the salt. Then I set up the filter with totally new media. I didn't have any spare media to seed it. There were already some fish destined for that tank, and I figured that a fish-in cycle was better for them than a couple weeks in a bucket, so I put them in.

Day 1: 2 water changes to keep ammonia below 0.25
Day 2: 1 water change
Day 3: no water change (only a trace of ammonia showing)
Day 4: 1 water change
Day 5: no water change (trace of ammonia)
Day 6: today. ammonia zero (kind of odd, given no water changes for two days on a cycling tank.) Checked nitrites for the first time (I hadn't been bothering as I thought it was too early to be seeing nitrites.) Dead zero. I've been feeding very lightly. The fish are all acting normal, and there is no zeolite or carbon in filter. Test kit is API Freshwater master, properly maintained.

The only conclusion I can come to is that there are enough nitrifying bacteria in the water column to cycle a tank in six days... now how cool is that??
 

Drum4JC

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I've just moved house, and the water supply to my new fishroom is coming out of an agricultural dam (stocked with fish and plants.)
I brought down a 20 gallon tank which sat empty for about two weeks until I got around to scrubbing all the algae out of it. Then it got thoroughly rinsed with hot water and set up with new substrate and new decor. The filter had been running in brackish, so I took out all the media and rinsed the whole thing thoroughly, several times, to remove all the salt. Then I set up the filter with totally new media. I didn't have any spare media to seed it. There were already some fish destined for that tank, and I figured that a fish-in cycle was better for them than a couple weeks in a bucket, so I put them in.

Day 1: 2 water changes to keep ammonia below 0.25
Day 2: 1 water change
Day 3: no water change (only a trace of ammonia showing)
Day 4: 1 water change
Day 5: no water change (trace of ammonia)
Day 6: today. ammonia zero (kind of odd, given no water changes for two days on a cycling tank.) Checked nitrites for the first time (I hadn't been bothering as I thought it was too early to be seeing nitrites.) Dead zero. I've been feeding very lightly. The fish are all acting normal, and there is no zeolite or carbon in filter. Test kit is API Freshwater master, properly maintained.

The only conclusion I can come to is that there are enough nitrifying bacteria in the water column to cycle a tank in six days... now how cool is that??
I'd say it hasn't even started yet.
 

backtotropical

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Hi Laura,

I don't think your water supply has enough nitrifiers in the water column to cycle the tank so quickly.

Water supplies invariably contain trace amounts of nitrifiers (this is what gives our filters their original seeding of bacteria, it doesn't appear from nowhere), but by their nature they don't thrive there.

I think given that you've done water changes 3 days out of 6, chances are the tank is stocked lightly enough to not cause any real ammonia issues.

How many fish are in there? Have you tested for nitrite / nitrate?

BTT
 
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