ADA Substrate Fast Cycling Experiment
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
MiniFishRoom
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ADA Substrate Fast Cycling Experiment


ADA Amazonia Soil Cycling Experiment

A lot of the information that I have read online about ADA soil is that it leeches ammonia and needs to be cycled for a few weeks before any fish can be put in. From my experience with ADA Amazonia soil I would disagree. A few years back with the old Amazonia soil I let it cycled only for about a week and I tossed a pair of Wild Betta Macrostomas in and they were fine. Since I just ordered more ADA Amazonia I decided to experiment again to see if I can add my fish to the set up but this time in 4 days of cycling. Here is what I did with success again

1. Add in new ADA Amazonia substrate.
2. Add a little water to the substrate and plant the plants as needed.
3. Fill about 50%-75% of the tank with water from another established aquarium.
4. Take a USED sponge filter or box filter from one of the established tanks and placed it in the new setup.
5. Let it cycle for 4 days and you can toss in fish

I believe the trick to this is the established tank water and the sponge filter or box filter.
It’s been about two weeks now since I done this and my fishes (T.Candidi (Pair)) are still doing great.

I’m just letting everyone know about my experiences so try at your own risk.
I will be doing this again in the next 2 weeks or so once I get my 27 cube stand built.
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Last edited by MiniFishRoom; 01-29-2013 at 06:55 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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How about some test results? Just because your fish are living, doesn't mean they are fine. You could have caused damage that you don't know about yet.

I've done exactly what you have with the "established" water and a seeded filter plus daily 80%+ water changes and the ammonia is still present for 3-4 weeks.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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I don't do all that spiffy chemical tests. Just straight trial and error.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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Then you are not proving anything. If you say it doesn't leach ammonia past two weeks and then not test it, we learn nothing.

People say it leaches 4 weeks because they tested for ammonia, myself included.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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There is no such thing as 4 days cycling. Simply because nitrifying bacteria takes time to develop and grow. Mostly time to colonize the substrate which does not happen in 4 days regardless if you put an established filter or not. There will be spikes in Ammonia/Nitrite.

2 weeks, maybe. With an over sized established filter that ran 2 months on an established aquarium.

These posts are funny. In the same league as the miracle bacteria cocktails that are supposed to cycle a tank in days.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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It works for me so I thought I'd just share my experience
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:56 PM   #7
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Everybody keeps repeating to check Ammonia with tests. If you don't test it you'll never know.

But if it makes you happy I think that's all that matters
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Default ADA Substrate Fast Cycling Experiment

I started with a tank, half old used substrate, half new substrate new Amazonian, seeded filter media from colonized filter, aquarium water from established tank. My ammonia levels were off the charts for at least 2 weeks, nitrite spiked heavy around the 3rd week and fully cycled around the 4th week. Just my experience.


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Old 01-29-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Did you get your idea here: Just cycled a tank with new aquasoil in 4 days!!

Using used substrate, filter media, sponges and such can really speed up a cycle. I cycled mine with aqua soil relatively quick once I added used media, plants, and a sponge. Cranking the heat up helps a lot too. It was able to consume all of the ammonia and nitrite to zero within a week of me seeding the media and sponge.

However, even if your tank can consume all of the ammonia, that doesn't mean aqua soil doesn't still leach it. Due to the amount of ammonia that aqua soil leaches out, my nitrates were very high for 6 weeks and only recently came down into the normal range. I recommend a lot of water changes to keep nitrates down.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherHobby View Post
Did you get your idea here: Just cycled a tank with new aquasoil in 4 days!!

Using used substrate, filter media, sponges and such can really speed up a cycle. I cycled mine with aqua soil relatively quick once I added used media, plants, and a sponge. Cranking the heat up helps a lot too. It was able to consume all of the ammonia and nitrite to zero within a week of me seeding the media and sponge.

However, even if your tank can consume all of the ammonia, that doesn't mean aqua soil doesn't still leach it. Due to the amount of ammonia that aqua soil leaches out, my nitrates were very high for 6 weeks and only recently came down into the normal range. I recommend a lot of water changes to keep nitrates down.
Nope. I just pretty much tried it myself and it worked out fine.
I didn't crank up heat or anything.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:53 PM   #11
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Regardless, you are still having ammonia leaching through 4 weeks. It may "work" for you, but there still is ammonia even though your fish lived.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielt View Post
Everybody keeps repeating to check Ammonia with tests. If you don't test it you'll never know.

But if it makes you happy I think that's all that matters
Yep, couldn't agree more.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:11 PM   #13
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Right up there with folks saying their water parameters are "perfect" because the water looks clear and there aren't any fish carcasses floating along the substrate.

Fish can, amazingly, survive pretty horrific conditions against all reason. Anyone who's had experience rescuing tanks knows that and it's a tough haul getting them to successfully adapt to decent conditions. Just as a rescue'd fish dumped into good water can die from the shock of sudden water chemstry changes, the fish currently in your setup may be managing with the conditions--but further rises in ammonia levels OR a new fish introduced to the same conditions may well result in fish deaths.

Glad it worked for you--at least so far, and hopefully you'll see that success continue--but it's bad advice to be giving if you can't support your claims with more than anectodal evidence.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Couesfanatic View Post
Regardless, you are still having ammonia leaching through 4 weeks. It may "work" for you, but there still is ammonia even though your fish lived.
Yes, it will absolutely continue to leach ammonia (no fast cycle will stop that). Biological filtration can grow quickly to cover for it though, so it doesn't mean the tank has lots of ammonia in it. There will be a lot of nitrate though as it get's processed to nitrate and then nitrate, and the excess can only be removed by water changes.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:25 AM   #15
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Im on week three of cycling a 10 gallon with ada.I used established tank water and a seeded sponge filter and my amonia level is still at .25 ppm...
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