Best Way to Cycle in Aquasoil Amazonia
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:06 PM   #1
Desensitizer
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Best Way to Cycle in Aquasoil Amazonia


I have a current 10gallon going with a Eheim 2213 that has been running in a long existing tank for a few days (and an older filter that provided too much flow but has been used for ages and I will be using) and tank gravel. I bought a second 10 gallon as I knew there would be the cycle in time that was unavoidable with all aquasoils and this seemed the easiest, just transfer everything over once the ammonia was done leaching.

My plan was to do a 30-50% water change from my existing 10 gallon with a gravel vac and have the water go into the aquasoil amazonia 10 gallon in order to get as much preexisting bacteria as possible then fill the rest of the tank with regular tap water. I would then run the filter 24/7 for the next 4 weeks, doing water changes/adding plants/etc. Any suggestions as to how to get the initial source water for the quickest cycle?

Last edited by Desensitizer; 02-06-2013 at 11:21 PM.. Reason: clarifying
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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use a sponge or other media to seed or bacter 100 or other starter products and green bacter.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #3
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Go to your local aquarium and ask them to squeeze one of their filter media into your bucket, bottle, bag etc. Pour that into the new tank.

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Originally Posted by Desensitizer View Post
I have a current 10gallon going with a Eheim 2213 (and an older filter that provided too much flow but has been used for ages and I will be using) and tank gravel. I bought a second 10 gallon as I knew there would be the cycle in time that was unavoidable with all aquasoils and this seemed the easiest, just transfer everything over once the ammonia was done leaching.

My plan was to do a 30-50% water change from my existing 10 gallon with a gravel vac and have the water go into the aquasoil amazonia 10 gallon in order to get as much preexisting bacteria as possible then fill the rest of the tank with regular tap water. I would then run the filter 24/7 for the next 4 weeks, doing water changes/adding plants/etc. Any suggestions as to how to get the initial source water for the quickest cycle?
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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I have an eheim 2213 thats been running for a few days in a long existed tank. What about the long existing tank's water/detritus in gravel? Would either of those make any difference at all as I wait to collect the new media? It might be a couple days before that can happen

Last edited by Desensitizer; 02-06-2013 at 11:34 PM.. Reason: clarifying
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:22 AM   #5
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The Dry start method is the easiest method to cycle.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:59 AM   #6
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Nitrifying bacteria grows on surfaces in a bio film.
This takes time to develop. You cannot expect a filter that has only been running a few days to have any major amount of bacteria on the media yet.

The more bacteria you take from a cycled tank the greater chance of that older tank going through a mini cycle. You want to avoid this.

While there is almost no bacteria in the water, here is what you might do to get the most (it won't be much, but will jump-start a new tank)
Do a very deep gravel vac on the old tank. Work really hard to get all possible mulm out of the old tank. Skim the substrate, close to the surface, and deeper.
You will not get so much bacteria that you are going to cause any problems in the new tank. That is OK, though, you really do not need that much.

Aquasoil will keep on producing ammonia.
It does not matter how much or how little bacteria is in the tank. It is the soil doing this.
It takes several weeks to a month for the soil to slow down its production of ammonia.
It does not matter what happens to the ammonia after the soil has released it. The soil keeps on producing more.
The soil is a good source of ammonia for the fishless cycle.

Since the soil will be producing ammonia for several weeks....
And the nitrifying bacteria take several weeks to grow to a good population even if you start with no bacteria....
... then it may help a bit to start with just a little, but there is no benefit to adding more and more bacteria, and risking the livestock in the established tank. It won't make the soil stop producing ammonia any faster.

Play any sort of games you want with the filters, but do not remove more than 25% of the established media from the cycled, mature tank. If you want to swap filters around, go for it. Just make sure that your current livestock population keeps as much of the bacteria as you can, and the bacteria is mostly on the filter media. So keep the media with the fish and shrimp.

A well established aquarium system will have bacteria in the filter, and on all the surfaces in the tank. Since there is a lot more surface area in all the sponges, bio media and other things in the filter, there will be more bacteria in the filter media. Since the next largest surface area is the substrate you would think that would be rich with bacteria, too. But the conditions in the substrate are not so good for the bacteria. So there is a pretty good population there, but nothing like the amount found in the filter.
All the other surfaces put together have nowhere near the amount of bacteria in the filter or substrate.
Some, but not much.
If I had to put numbers on it, I would say
50% of the bacteria live in the filter (including sponge pre-filters).
25% of the bacteria live on the underside of the upper layer of substrate (away from light, but in the best oxygen location, maximum water flow area)
25% of the bacteria live on all the other surfaces put together. Rocks, plant leaves, surface of equipment like tubing, heater surface, ceramic merpeople...
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
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Diana brings up a good point: since the Aquasoil will have to stop leaching out ammonia before you can add fish, it doesn't make much sense to try to speed up the cycling so it takes less than a month to complete - even if you do you still haven't gained much. I'm cycling my tank with Aquasoil in it now, so I plan to just wait out the ammonia leaching and assume the tank will be cycled by then too. Meanwhile I will be testing for ammonia and nitrites just to be sure. I'm using a Hamburger mattenfilter, so it's a little different.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Nitrifying bacteria grows on surfaces in a bio film.
This takes time to develop. You cannot expect a filter that has only been running a few days to have any major amount of bacteria on the media yet.

The more bacteria you take from a cycled tank the greater chance of that older tank going through a mini cycle. You want to avoid this.

While there is almost no bacteria in the water, here is what you might do to get the most (it won't be much, but will jump-start a new tank)
Do a very deep gravel vac on the old tank. Work really hard to get all possible mulm out of the old tank. Skim the substrate, close to the surface, and deeper.
You will not get so much bacteria that you are going to cause any problems in the new tank. That is OK, though, you really do not need that much.

Aquasoil will keep on producing ammonia.
It does not matter how much or how little bacteria is in the tank. It is the soil doing this.
It takes several weeks to a month for the soil to slow down its production of ammonia.
It does not matter what happens to the ammonia after the soil has released it. The soil keeps on producing more.
The soil is a good source of ammonia for the fishless cycle.

Since the soil will be producing ammonia for several weeks....
And the nitrifying bacteria take several weeks to grow to a good population even if you start with no bacteria....
... then it may help a bit to start with just a little, but there is no benefit to adding more and more bacteria, and risking the livestock in the established tank. It won't make the soil stop producing ammonia any faster.

Play any sort of games you want with the filters, but do not remove more than 25% of the established media from the cycled, mature tank. If you want to swap filters around, go for it. Just make sure that your current livestock population keeps as much of the bacteria as you can, and the bacteria is mostly on the filter media. So keep the media with the fish and shrimp.

A well established aquarium system will have bacteria in the filter, and on all the surfaces in the tank. Since there is a lot more surface area in all the sponges, bio media and other things in the filter, there will be more bacteria in the filter media. Since the next largest surface area is the substrate you would think that would be rich with bacteria, too. But the conditions in the substrate are not so good for the bacteria. So there is a pretty good population there, but nothing like the amount found in the filter.
All the other surfaces put together have nowhere near the amount of bacteria in the filter or substrate.
Some, but not much.
If I had to put numbers on it, I would say
50% of the bacteria live in the filter (including sponge pre-filters).
25% of the bacteria live on the underside of the upper layer of substrate (away from light, but in the best oxygen location, maximum water flow area)
25% of the bacteria live on all the other surfaces put together. Rocks, plant leaves, surface of equipment like tubing, heater surface, ceramic merpeople...
Best answer ever. Thank you
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