ada soil cycling
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
inthepacific
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ada soil cycling


how do you guys go about cycling this. i've had my tank set up for about a week im just wondering if you guys did water changes to bring the levels down since the soil leaches ammonia and nitrites. also how long did it take you to cycle your tank with the ada soil in it
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:06 PM   #2
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do you have plants in there???
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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50% daily water changes for the first week, every 2nd day during the 2nd week, every third day during the third week and once a week after that (more if needed, obviously...I do 2x weekly personally) is the recommended schedule from ADA themselves. Barr recommends daily for the first month or so. Cycle time varies depending on media seeded, plant mass, oxygen levels, circulation, temperature, etc.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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here is what i would do if you don't want to waste water and haven't added any plants yet.

do not change the water daily, do 50% water change every week, just let the tank run for one full month without adding anything in it, avoid strong lights while doing this. you will be fine afterward and ammonia and nitrate should be 0, this is how i cycled mine. add plants and start with ferts,co2 etc.

good luck
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:45 PM   #5
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when i do these water changes, do i have to use a dechlorinator? i find it kind of wasteful to have to do so many water changes using so much dechlor
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:18 AM   #6
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when i do these water changes, do i have to use a dechlorinator? i find it kind of wasteful to have to do so many water changes using so much dechlor
If you have any chlorine in your water at all, yes. Otherwise you're killing your bacteria and tank inhabitants, effectively nullifying any cycling you have accomplished or plan to accomplish.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:31 AM   #7
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yes because the chlorine/chloramine will kill your bb in your filter and won't let you cycle.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:35 AM   #8
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ok i guess ill just have to buy myself one of those huge bottles of prime then. also why happi advised to avoid strong lights durring this process. why is that? i currently have a few sprigs of dwarf sag and a hangfull of glosso. should i just use a weak light for this then?
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by inthepacific View Post
ok i guess ill just have to buy myself one of those huge bottles of prime then. also why happi advised to avoid strong lights durring this process. why is that? i currently have a few sprigs of dwarf sag and a hangfull of glosso. should i just use a weak light for this then?
You should be using an adequate light for growing plants if you've already planted...but you'll need to be doing water changes and preventative maintenance and removal for algae prevention. It can very easily take over in the early stages. If you wanted to do an actual fishless/plantless cycle, then you wouldn't even need a light honestly....none of the bacteria that establish in the soil and in the filter are dependent on light, only oxygen and a food source (ammonia, nitrite, organic matter, etc.).
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:29 AM   #10
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i plan on filling my tank (see link in my signature) next week, the substrate is aquasoil. i have hc and dhg starting to carpet it.

my plan is:
50% daily first week
50% every other day second and third week
50% once a week from then on (hopefully)
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:37 AM   #11
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I have a question, when adding alot of plants to a tank already planted with some plants should the water be drained 100% to prevent disturbing the substrate when planting the new plants? also what if the soil needs to be cleaned up and made level in the front etc?
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #12
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When you are adding new plants you sure can drain the tank pretty much all the way. If it is drained too long, though, the leaves that grew under water do not like it. Keep misting.
When you refill the tank put a plastic bag or a plate over the substrate and fill slowly, allowing the water to seep in over the edges. This will minimize the cloudy water and not disturb the substrate.

The ammonia production from the ADA products can get pretty high, and the nitrifying bacteria do not like that, and many plants do not like that high ammonia. I would follow Amano's suggestion about plenty of water changes. If you do not want to follow that schedule exactly then here is an alternate idea:
First few days: Do enough water changes (frequency and volume) to keep the ammonia at no higher than 5 ppm.
After the first few days: Do enough water changes to keep the ammonia closer to 3 ppm, and the nitrite no higher than 5 ppm.
If you start with no source of nitrifying bacteria then the fishless cycle takes about 3 weeks. The soil keeps producing ammonia for at least this long (I have heard about a month) so you may not have to add more ammonia.
If you are running the tank without fish or shrimp and the soil is no longer producing ammonia, then add ammonia to 3 ppm once a day until you are ready to add livestock.

Prime is one of the cheapest dechlor there is!

If you are working with a really large tank so that the cost of Prime is an issue why not just fill it about 25% or so, then you will probably have to do water changes every day, but a lot less water than if the tank was full.

I use Chloramine Buster, dosed at about the same rate as Prime, and use an eye dropper to measure it out, even for my largest tanks. It is cheap!
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