Cycling with Fish....120 Gallon...2 weeks in.... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Cycling with Fish....120 Gallon...2 weeks in....

Hi! I've posted on here before but I won't go into the particulars of how I got my tank and all that. I'm too long-winded Ha! It's a 120 G with BD blasting grit as a substrate, driftwood, some plants, etc. It's been running since the fall and at one point had fish cycling it but then I decided to redo it and removed the fish and added a rock that messed with my levels. Rock is out, fish are in. Levels aren't ideal as far as PH and GH are concerned but 4 Gallon water changes daily are slowly bringing levels down so while I am starting to address another tank as suggested on here (if I have to move fish), the fish are currently still in this tank. Levels are as follows: PH ~7.5, Ammonia...barely 0.25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate, 0, GH 10 (But will probably be down to 9 soon with the daily addition of RO water...thinking driftwood is leaching what it absorbed while Texas Holey Rock was in tank). I have 10 fish in there at the moment...1 acara, 2 syno cats, 2 dwarf gourami, and 5 emperor tetras. There were 2 additional tetras but they didn't do well from the start and I lost them the first couple of days. The rest appear to be doing fine. My question is, do I have enough fish/ammonia being produced to get this tank cycled any time soon? I'm barely getting any ammonia readings at all. I think I'm wishing that yellow to look green LOL And without ammonia, I can't feed bacteria. And the tank looks so empty. I read somewhere that for a 120, stock with 12 fish to cycle. Would getting 2 more acara or a few more emperors help? Hurt? I already took media from my established 10 gallon and placed it inside the filter but all that did was remove any hint of green from my ammonia test haha I suppose that's a good thing...but with so little ammonia, will the bacteria die off? New to this whole tank, fish-in cycling. Would love some recommendations that don't involve adding ammonia to my tank even with the fish present as I saw suggested online
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 12:48 AM
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For the same number/size of fish, bio load is the same with same feeding, regardless of tank size or amount of water. You get the same amount of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. Good thing with larger tank is that PPM is lower. In your 120g ammonia is barely registered, probably not much harm to the fish, how much I don't know. Yet it's the same amount, to support the same size bacteria population. Your tank will eventually be cycled, with ease. You can then add more fish, slowly.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max88 View Post
For the same number/size of fish, bio load is the same with same feeding, regardless of tank size or amount of water. You get the same amount of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. Good thing with larger tank is that PPM is lower. In your 120g ammonia is barely registered, probably not much harm to the fish, how much I don't know. Yet it's the same amount, to support the same size bacteria population. Your tank will eventually be cycled, with ease. You can then add more fish, slowly.
Well, I've had this tank up and running since September....what's another month? LOL Thanks! At least I'm on track!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 06:15 PM
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I agree with the above response. you will be fine to start adding fish slowly, you are doing exactly what you should do when cycling a tank IMO. just keep performing water changes and making sure ammonia/nitrites do not spike (i do not think this will happen given the large tank / relatively low bioload thus far)

on another tangent i don't like the idea that the hobby defines 'cycled' as the tank ready to handle max possible bioload. I feel that this is generally what is accepted as the definition... for instance you say 'will the tank be cycled anytime soon?'... what does this mean? you have likely already grown enough beneficial bacteria to handle the current bioload in the tank... the bacteria colony is not going to infinitely keep growing until you will be able to one day just add 5x the amount of fish overnight and be fine... i think this is what most assume happens when cycling tanks...

instead your beneficial bacteria colony grows continually as demand rises / ammonia is provided. by adding more fish it will continue to grow... you just have to make sure that the colony keeps up with ammonia/nitrite levels over time so that your fish are not harmed during the process... this is why it is best to slowly add fish. if you do not then you will be greatly increasing ammonia supply your BB might not be able to 'handle' all of it and you will see spikes in toxics / your fish will suffer.

also try hitting the return key every once in a while lol :p

good luck!


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