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Old 01-30-2013, 02:50 AM   #16
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Yep, testing for ammonia and nitrite = important.

Though, in this hobby, it's not just about making oneself happy. It's about responsible stewardship of the animals in your care.

It's important (OP) for you to comprehend the nitrogen cycle and to understand that what you are doing is likely harming your livestock beyond what you can imagine. Setting up another tank like this is more than irresponsible. Primarily because people have used ADA substrates for years. Which means there are literally years of experiences - from thousands of people - making it super-clear that it's unsafe to toss livestock in a tank with your substrate prior to the nitrogen "cycle" completing. There are hundreds and hundreds of posts on this very forum documenting the process.

I encourage you to either do some serious testing or stop adding livestock to tanks that are not ready to support life. Do the responsible thing.

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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 01-30-2013, 03:00 AM   #17
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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.
I realize that it can be converted, but it is still in your water. It doesn't magically change the instant it comes out of the soil. Many people have had problems with shrimp dying because the ammonia is still coming from the soil. Levels are higher near the soil.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:04 AM   #18
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Default ADA Substrate Fast Cycling Experiment

With out testing there is no experiment here just gut feeling and suffering fish


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Old 01-30-2013, 04:55 AM   #19
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im having 3ft planted tank with ADA NEW AMAZONIA ( normal ) as substrates and the filter is matured 1 year filter.
then on day 4 , i added in discus and cardinals and cories. till now its been like 2months (finally stop leeching ammonia ) and its perfectly fine.
no dying of any fishes. the substrates do lower ph below 7 , which converts ammonia to ammonium which is doesnt really do any harm to the fish
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:18 AM   #20
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To any of the posters on here... have any of you smelled a bottle of ammonia? Now just imagine if you fill your bathtub with that stuff and lock yourself in the bathroom with it for 3 weeks. Youll likely come out alive but youll be left with serious respiratory problems.

This is what you put your fish through when introducing them to a tank that isnt properly cycled. Its cruel and ultimately shameful. Would you subject a dog, cat, hamster, etc... to that type of thing? No... why would fish be different?

Sorry for the rant... just makes me sick when people do that stuff, and worse when they suggest it to others.

Also sorry for any spelling errors. Using my cell for this and im not a fan of the touch screen lol

Last edited by scbrooks87; 01-30-2013 at 05:19 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:22 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
To any of the posters on here... have any of you smelled a bottle of ammonia? Now just imagine if you fill your bathtub with that stuff and lock yourself in the bathroom with it for 3 weeks. Youll likely come out alive but youll be left with serious respiratory problems.

This is what you put your fish through when introducing them to a tank that isnt properly cycled. Its cruel and ultimately shameful. Would you subject a dog, cat, hamster, etc... to that type of thing? No... why would fish be different?

Sorry for the rant... just makes me sick when people do that stuff, and worse when they suggest it to others.

Also sorry for any spelling errors. Using my cell for this and im not a fan of the touch screen lol
I would just pull the plug out and run the water... ammonia isnt as bad as your making it seem, gas would have been better.

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Old 01-30-2013, 05:30 AM   #22
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I would just pull the plug out and run the water... ammonia isnt as bad as your making it seem, gas would have been better.

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You are completely missing the issue! You can pull a plug and run some water... your fish cannot. And the very fact that youd need to pull the plug should be proof enough that putting fish in an uncycled tank is irresponsible.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:56 AM   #23
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Default Re: ADA Substrate Fast Cycling Experiment

We have brains and know to pull the plug... a fishes brain is smaller than the lead point on a pencil. It knows that the large thing it sees brings it food, it must reproduce in order to exist, and eat. Thats all, nothing more. Perhaps if it showed emotion?!?! Lol I wouldn't do it, but its a fish not your little brother. I know where your coming from but I'm just being realistic.

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Old 01-30-2013, 06:03 AM   #24
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Honestly you shouldnt own fish then. Sorry if it's harsh but you clearly dont see fish as the living and breathing creatures they are. Its not a matter of giving them a condition they like, its a matter of giving them a condition that is healthy for them. When you buy fish youre responsible for them.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:45 PM   #25
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The buying part it's the culprit here. If anyone would give birth to the fish they keep I'm certain things would be different (better). Since there is plenty of fish in the sea why bother with getting knowledge about what's going on in their tank?

I think this thread is drifting apart from the original idea. But there's more to learn from it. First is the nitrifying bacteria has a reproduction cycle of 24-32 hours.

Second, when you put an established filter like one mentioned previously (+1 year of running) there's bound to kill the bacteria that will starve as there not enough ammonia or nitrite to feed them all. One of them in the cycle will surely die off. This WILL cause a spike in either ammonia or nitrite. If there's enough ammonia, those that feed on nitrite will die off as there will be a large gap in their energy source, nitrite.

The cycle is an equilibrium between bacteria and their energy source, until the equilibrium is established swings will occur. How large, depends on the availability of the energy source, environment conditions and bacterial count.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:59 AM   #26
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People use the word "cycle" with Aquasoil and it really grinds my gears. lol. The soil leeches ammonia. Period. No amount of filter media in the world is going to make that happen much fast. You may have enough bacteria to eat the ammonia as it's made, and you may have enough bacteria to eat the nitrites made, but you're going to get high high nitrates. The soil leeches ammonia, there is nothing to "cycle", it's simply riding out the time that ammonia stops.

Using undergravel filters will speed it up as it's pulling the water through the soil, causing it to leech a bit faster, but in the process, raising the ammonia even higher and wearing out the buffering faster of the soil.

There is no "cycle" with soil, there is only waiting for the ammonia to leech out.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:02 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeToChKn View Post
People use the word "cycle" with Aquasoil and it really grinds my gears. lol. The soil leeches ammonia. Period. No amount of filter media in the world is going to make that happen much fast. You may have enough bacteria to eat the ammonia as it's made, and you may have enough bacteria to eat the nitrites made, but you're going to get high high nitrates. The soil leeches ammonia, there is nothing to "cycle", it's simply riding out the time that ammonia stops.

Using undergravel filters will speed it up as it's pulling the water through the soil, causing it to leech a bit faster, but in the process, raising the ammonia even higher and wearing out the buffering faster of the soil.

There is no "cycle" with soil, there is only waiting for the ammonia to leech out.

Really good point. My tank is "cycled" because nitrites spiked and are now at 0, and nitrates are high, but the ammonia is still leeching faster than the bacteria can devour it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #28
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Mine had ammonia for 3 weeks, the was with some seeded media, and nite out II to speed up the process, plus lots of plants loaded with bacteria. It was kept at a much lower level than my first setup with it, but it was still detecable around 1.0 -2.0 ppm for 3 weeks.
Im also using a wet/dry filter which definitely speeds up the process. Lots of oxygen, lots of surface area for bacteria to colonize
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:25 AM   #29
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There are 2 cycles going on here.

1) Substrate that leaches ammonia. It will keep on leaching ammonia for roughly a month no matter what you do. I think the fastest way to remove the ammonia is to keep up with the water changes. Chemicals will enter the water easiest if the water is not already overloaded with that chemical. Keep on removing the ammonia from the water and more will enter it from the soil.

2) Growing nitrifying bacteria to the level needed to remove ammonia from the water, and to remove the resulting nitrite. Obviously if you start with a great source of nitrifying bacteria (a well cycled filter) then this part of the cycle is half done on day one. The other part of this is getting those bacteria to colonize all the surfaces in the tank. This is not critical to ammonia control, but provides a back up for when you clean the filter media and disturb the bacteria colonies.

You cannot see ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in the water.
The only way you can tell the progress of these 2 cycles is to test the water for each of these materials.
A "fish-test" is not a valid test. Fish can suffer from ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels and not show any obvious damage. Immune response reduction, damaged kidneys, stress, burned gills, reduced life span and other things are impossible to tell after just a few days.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:08 AM   #30
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I am now setting up a 65 gallon tank with ADA Aquasoil as the substrate. I started with a mix of almost new Africana and Amazonia, then added a large bag of Aquasoil on top. I filled the tank with water and planted a few plants. I measured the ammonia and nitrite in the water for almost 4 weeks. My ammonia peaked at about 3 ppm 6 days after I filled the tank. I started doing 40% water changes about every 3 days. By the 10th day the ammonia level was about .25 ppm, and in 14 days it was virtually zero. At no time did I find my nitrite level above zero. On the 12th day I added many more plants, to what I consider heavily planted - a plant about every 2 inches both left and right and front to back. After the 10th day I did only one 40% water change, on the 19th day, and at no time was the ammonia level as high as .25, probably zero. And, no nitrite ever showed up.

The tank has a Hamburger Mattenfilter, with a lot of biofilter area. I had cleaned it fairly well, by far from very clean, and soaked it in some Excel/water, to make sure no living BBA was on it. I'm guessing that the bacteria still lived in the filter sponge so I had effectively seeded the tank with bacteria, plus the huge amount of plants, primarily about 60 Sag. subulata, was itself a big bacteria source.

Since I can't measure any ammonia in the water, and haven't for the past 10 days, I added 6 otos to the tank today.

I'm not convinced that Aquasoil will always require 6 weeks to stop leaching excessive ammonia. My water is very soft, too, so the pH is certain to be low, making any ammonia present be in the form of ammonium. Otos tend to be very sensitive to water conditions when first added to the tank, so I will soon know how well they are handling the water.
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