when to add fish?
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
wetrelief
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when to add fish?


I started a walstad method 40g breeder tank this past friday. I used MCOP and black diamond for my cap. The main question I have is when do you add your fish? I know some add fish right away, but I was warned with MCOP I will have a ammonia swing as the soil decomposes. Should I wait until after the swing...and also is it better to do water changes during that period or to let the tank stable itself?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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You don't add fish until your tank has completed the initial cycle. When ammonia and nitrite are at zero.

You'll have to make sure you're providing an ammonia source for the bacteria to grow during that time.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
wetrelief
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Thank You. Is household ammonia a good source? Also what would be the dosage rate for a 40g tank?
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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You really want an Ammonia without any surfactants. Not sure on the dosage.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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thanks
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetrelief View Post
thanks
Check out the link below.

http://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Fishless-Cycle
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
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Your substrate should have enough ammonia to start the cycle. Even potting mix has ammonia in it. You have to make sure you have a bit of circulation in the tank so that the bacteria colonies have O2 to survive and multiply. I say keep an eye on your ammonia levels...
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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usually 4-6 weeks
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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As dougolas said, make sure the ammonia you have, has no surfactants or any other additives. It will likely be a 10% ammonia solution with water.

Test your water to see if your substrate has leached any ammonia - if so, and you have a reading of between 2 and 4 ppms, that should be good to get things started.

Test every couple of days, and should it test out at 1 ppm or less, then add some ammonia - try 2 or 3 teaspoons of the 10% ammonia solution which should be good for your 40 gal to test out @ around 3-4 ppms. Keep adding a couple of tspns of ammonia every time the test shows the ammonia level in the tank has dropped to 1 ppm.

It will very likely take from 4 to 6 weeks to go through the entire cycle, during which nitrites will have peaked and reduced, and your water has developed a reading for nitrates.
When your tank tests 0 for both ammonia & nitrites within 12 hours or so of adding the last batch of ammonia - you'll be good to go. Just do a good-sized water change at that point to reduce the nitrates level.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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I'd like to add another option. If you have a heavily or moderately planted tank, or can buy a lot of fast growers, that's all you have to do. The plants will take care of the ammonia. I did it after my fish food cycle stalled.
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