self-doubting my cycling knowledge

waifofwukong

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Location
United States
Hi all, this is my first time posting in any forum besides reddit and I always come to this site when searching for answers so why not finally sign up. Please be nice, I'm quite nervous haha. Currently I own a small cycled tank set up for my 3 year old amano shrimps from past tanks, I'm taking a break from owning "fish" right now and these guys have been pretty low maintenance.. So I do know the steps on how to cycle, but it has been a while since I've done it.

Recently(on another community), someone asked a question on whether or not they needed to continue dosing their tank everyday with food pellets as they are getting quite busy. I noted that because it seems there was presence of nitrite and nitrate in their params (their ammonia was at .25-.50ppm, cycling 2.5g), I told them they didn't need to dose everyday as long as there was ammonia in the tank. My reason for this is because as long as ammonia is not at 0, the beneficial bacteria would not "starve", plus they should be testing daily and would know when to add more. Is this wrong? I've read sites where it said to wait for ammonia to go down to 0 then dose back up to 4ppm, or if it falls below 3ppm then dose. But then there are others who say to dose .25ppm - 1ppm at a time when starting a tank as well.

Someone disagreed with me and said they should be dosing everyday because ammonia doesn't just stop and it needed to simulate a real-life functioning tank where there is continuous supply of ammonia like a fish would do, else the bacteria would starve. I didn't quite understand so I tried to explain my side where the ammonia is still being supplied, just not having to be dosed every day; This was the way I've always done my cycling. Is my method wrong?

They also disagreed with me saying doing a water change during a fishless cycle could crash the tank as the ammonia would be taken away and have to be re-supplied to make up for the loss. That the lack of ammonia would again starve the bacteria. Though I agree there could be a chance, from my understanding the bacteria lives in the filter and not that much in water, that the bacteria can survive a little while without ammonia though not ideal and would definitely not be starved right after doing a partial water change. The reason this was brought up was because the same person who asked the original question, was wondering if them doing a huge water change due to the mess of fish-food method.. they did not mention their parameters but I assume if ammonia is high they should be doing a water change to prevent the cycle from crashing.

Ever since that argument I am starting to self doubt myself on how cycling really works, especially since their friends showed up and "sided" with them haha. In the end we agreed that there are different methods to cycling, but they mentioned theirs was more efficient and did not want the original person to stop adding fish food everyday else they could crash their cycle.

Please, am I wrong on my knowledge of how cycling really works? I figured it would be fine as it worked for me and that I have cycled a 2.5g before in the past. Thank you for taking your time to read this, I just want to be able to clear this self-doubt of mines.
 

Ichthys

Mostly New Member
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
119
Reaction score
72
Location
GB
Hi. Your thoughts are totally correct. All you need for cycling is a presence of ammonia, at any amount that isn’t too much.
The bacteria do not need a constant supply. They can go a week or two without ammonia. Shops that receive large orders can routinely take this long to get enough tanks ready...
You can change water at any time , as much as you like, as long as you redose ammonia.
Fish food is a very slow way of doing a cycle, because you need to grow another set of bacteria (heterotrophic) to break it down into ammonia before the cycle can start.
 
Last edited:

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
13,034
Reaction score
8,607
Location
Teesside, UK
It used to be thought that the bacteria died if they didn't have food for 24 hours. We now know this isn't true. After a few weeks without food, they go dormant, and only start to die after a month or two.
 
OP
W

waifofwukong

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Location
United States
Hi. Your thoughts are totally correct. All you need for cycling is a presence of ammonia, at any amount that isn’t too much.
The bacteria do not need a constant supply. They can go a week or two without ammonia. Shops that receive large orders can take this long to get enough tanks ready...
You can change water at any time , as much as you like, as long as you redose ammonia.
Fish food is a very slow way of doing a cycle, because you need to grow another set of bacteria (heterotrophic) to break it down into ammonia before the cycle can start.
Thank you for your reply! I really thought I had grasped everything all wrong. And thank you for that last part, I did not know we needed an outside source for fish-food method, I've always done pure ammonia instead haha.
 
OP
W

waifofwukong

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Location
United States
It used to be thought that the bacteria died if they didn't have food for 24 hours. We now know this isn't true. After a few weeks without food, they go dormant, and only start to die after a month or two.
Thank you! I figured they could survive for some time but didn't know they go dormant after a few weeks. That person kept insisting they would die off without ammonia if not dosed daily.
 

Most reactions

Top