Cycling Time - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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When cycling a tank, does each stage of the nitrogen cycle take equal amount of time? Just wondering, so I can get an estimate of when my tank will be done! I have been waiting forever!
The tank was started June 31. I went to a LFS and got my water tested on August 12- ammonia zero, high nitrites and they did not test nitrates. Everything looks clear with the lights off and very hazy with the lights on. I am guessing it will be a week and a half if the cycling stages are fairly equal.

Can anyone enlighten me on my initial question? Also, can there be enough nitrates to cause cloudiness?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 09:59 PM
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It depends on a lot of factors. In a plantless tank with traditional cycling methods, it can easily take a total of 6 to 8 weeks. There are many ways to speed it up, including the use of plants. If the tank is planted heavy enough, and the plants are growing fast enough, there could be no cycle at all because the plants are taking up the ammonia as fast as the fish produce it. Tell us more about your tank.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 10:44 PM
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My 20 gallon fishless cycled in 19 days.

Since you have no ammonia and high nitrites, all you have to wait for is the nitrites to come down to zero.

I can't really remember if that part was the fastest or the slowest. The days crept by painstakingly slow for me because I was very eager to get fishies.

75 gallon Rena XP3, 3WPG, 100% Flourite, Pressurized CO2, South American Biotope
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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I have been getting impatient with the tank! I am literally checking every hour to see if it is better or worse. There are 9 fishies waiting in a 10gallon quarantine just waiting for a new home.

The tank is 65 gallons with clay substrate covered with sand. The clay has not gone into the water column and the sand is washed. It is lightly planted with about 160 watts overhead. So far with the cloudiness, the light is not getting through all the way so algae is getting a hold. I do not know the ph, kh, or gh for my tank- just too lazy to buy a test kit for this.

For my 20 gallon tank, I have never even notice it cycle. I had 4 guppies, 2 dwarf gouramis, and a 3 fiddler crabs. It never did get cloudy during the first 2 months even though I overfed(it is REALLY hard to get food to crabs when the guppies eat it all!).

-Mark Mendoza
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 11:28 PM
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You have another tank that is cycled?

Have you brought over some gravel in a stocking to the tank or filter, or a wad of filter material, to transport the bacteria from the old tank to this new tank?

That will speed up the cycle!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Woops, forgot to add that detail as well!, thanks for the reminder Anona! Last Monday, I placed my powerfilter from my 20g to the cycling 65g. I was hoping that it would speed everything up but so far I see no difference.

-Mark Mendoza
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-15-2003, 12:01 AM
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Slaigar,

Not sure if you are intending on doing a Silent Cycle but do a search for that and it will give you some hints if you want to add fish and plants at the same time.

I added plants and fish the same day and have had no problems...changed my fish count though....exchanged my black neons for more OTTOS!!!!!!!!

Currently 20 ottos and 20 neons, 40+ glass/ghost shrimp.

Heavily planted, dosed co2, pH 6.8.....nitrates at between 10 and 20 ppm no ammonia, nitrites...etc....

Did it all from day one!!!!

Mike

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10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-15-2003, 12:08 AM
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lol. Checking every hour? That reminds me of my cycle. I checked at least twice a day. I even tried to persuade the nitrite test tube to not turn purple. "You really want to stay at zero! You really do!" :lol:

I am planning on a silent cycle this time, but I also have a foam pad in my other, established, tank being seeded so I'll have at least a small colony of bateria to start out with.

You could have avoided the whole thing by getting some BioSpira, though. I hadn't heard of it when I cycled my first tank.

I don't think I'll ever wait through a fishless cycle again- it's too agonizing. 8)

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-15-2003, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Sadly, none of my stores carry BioSpira. I do not think my town will catch up to the ways of the future. Most of them do not even know much about plants or fish for that matter!

-Mark Mendoza
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2003, 09:28 PM
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Off the same topic, is nitrite level of 2-5 ppm very high? Ammonia is 0. I just added more fish to my new 18 gal (6 weeks old) and noticed 2 days ago it's at that level. It had been at 0 for several weeks as well as ammonia when I had just 10 tetras. No plants. Eclipse 1 filter.

I added 2 juvenille balas and 1 small clown pleco over a span of 3 weeks. I thought everything was cool until the nitrite level going up.

Does this mean my biological filter is only selectively established? yes for ammonia and no for nitrite? what should I do in the mean time? more frequent water change until the nitrite bacteria estalish? I did one after 4 weeks of establishing the tank. Did I syphon too much and destroyed the bateria? I read I only need to do it every 4 weeks or so. Advice?? :?
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2003, 09:45 PM
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A nitrite level of 2-5 ppm is toxic to fish.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2003, 10:01 PM
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Lkv,

The bacteria reside in your media and substrate primarily. There are some in the water but doing a water change should not effect your bacteria in place.

Mike

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100 Gal Planted, two Filstar XP3, Milwaukee SMS 122 pH controller, Milwaukee reg/bubble, compressed CO2, reactor 1000, 7 WCMM, 12 Ottos, 14 neons, 1 SAE, 3 German blue rams, 2 Florida Flag Fish

10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-18-2003, 05:17 AM
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The fishies seems fine. Maybe I read the chart wrong. The color on the chart and in the test tube is so hard to tell. We'll see. Maybe I will do just a 20% water change.

I was syphoning the gravel several weeks back, thoroughly to get rid of wastes. Could that have affected the bacteria colonies?
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-18-2003, 08:37 PM
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The ammonia to nitrite phase is by far the quickest... The nitrite spike to zero nitrite is in my experience.... the longest...up to 4 weeks or longer based on the size of tank and how much ammonia originally introduced...patience is required.... just wait it out...all good things come to those who wait. Also, instead of going to the LFS for water testing you need to acquire your own test kit. It makes monitoring easier and more accurate for cycling a new tank.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-19-2003, 04:05 AM
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Funny how I just said patience to someone else just today!!

What is LFS? Saw it several times in this forum.

Thanks for the advice.
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