Already seeded tank, when can I add fish to help? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Already seeded tank, when can I add fish to help?

So Ive got a well seeded Biowheel 350 from a planted cycled tank on my 75g that I set up fully Thurs or Fri. I also have several pounds of gravel from this seeded tank in my new tank. All the plants from my seeded 29g were also moved over as well as some trimmings from my 46g. I also added 20 Ramshorn snails on Friday that are doing fine. I also added a new XP3 on Friday as well.
Readings are
Fri
Ammonia was 1ppm
Nitrite was at .5ppm
Did not test for Nitrate

Today I did a partial water change to help with tannins.
Ammonia was .75ppm
Nitrite was .25ppm
Nitrate was 10ppm

I have 7 beautiful Pinoy Angel Juveniles in the 46g that are starting to get a little confrontational. I want to move my 5 favorites to the 75g. When is it safe? They will also help cycle the tank. I haven't decided on the other occupants yet, but they won't be cheap and I don't want to just throw some fish in there and risk tearing up my scape to get them out later.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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I've got a bunch more plants coming this week. I also added my C02 system today. I have literally not a moment to myself until this Sat, so rather than risk losing one of my Angels I will wait until then and test the water again and hopefully add my Angels.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 06:36 PM
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Putting a lot of seeded material in the tank is good. Where is the ammonia coming from?

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Putting a lot of seeded material in the tank is good. Where is the ammonia coming from?
My only guess is the potting soil under the Eco Complete and snails
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 08:11 PM
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I've got a bunch more plants coming this week. I also added my C02 system today. I have literally not a moment to myself until this Sat, so rather than risk losing one of my Angels I will wait until then and test the water again and hopefully add my Angels.
One of the reasons for leaving the organics intact rather than mineralization of the soil before putting it in the tank is CO2 given off by the bacteria as part of the submerged decay of the organic material. According to D. Walstad's book for about the first 11 months this should be providing for all the CO2 the plants need.

From reading your posts I would recommend not putting a time table on adding livestock until you stabilize this tank,,, takes what it takes to cycle and settle. Know that it can be 5-6 weeks.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 08:16 PM
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Just keep watching the ammonia. Plants will help, and more plants will help more. When the ammonia drops to zero, add some manually to see if it's being processed at a decent rate, or if whatever is giving off ammonia just stopped doing so. After that, in an already seeded tank, nitrites should drop off very quickly.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 08:35 PM
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P.S. with no fish, stop with the water changes - they won't do anything for you. In fact, they'll remove a tiny amount of beneficial bacteria, which will only serve to prolong the process. Not much, but every little bit counts when you're waiting to introduce fish.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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I wish I would've known that about the C02 system! I guess I'll take it off for now.
I appreciate the responses. I sure hope it doesn't take 5 or 6 weeks!!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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The C02 system is running, but turned weigh down. I got my Catalina light so for the last 2 days I've been running 3*54w of T5HO for about 12 hours. Plants seem to be happy.
Ammonia is under .25ppm, very close to zero.
Nitrites were at .50ppm
Didn't test for Nitrates wasn't done.
Still not ready...........
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 01:59 PM
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Did you journal this tank yet? Set up is a great time to capture what goes on starting a tank NPT ugly pictures and all. The dirt and plants used completely change the rules regarding the cycle of a new system. Some are a blessing and you wonder how it was so easy while others are a complete PITA.
Chemical release from the dirt and uptake by the plants can be a game changer overnight. I've had a tank not test any ammonia, nitrite positive in two months then show slight NO3 maybe 3-5 on a test. Others have tested results low like you posted after about a week then over night have nitrite levels spike WAY over 2ppm followed by the reading bottoming out the next day without touching anything in the tank testing ammonia, nitrite @ zero and 10ppm nitrate.

Bacteria will grow and set up a nitrification colony even if your tests don't show it with enough fast growing plants in the tank. That said packing a box full of plants you can still see a nitrite spike/hiccup.

IDK but HTH

Protect your fish with patience. (I kno how hard that is) My modified soil NPT in the SS rack never showed a cycle. While the Eco-Complete sub w/o any dirt went through it all. Add clean ammonia or not the plants are going to compete for the food with the bacteria either way.

Wait for the nitrite readings to test ZERO before adding your prize fish or drama may follow.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 02:49 PM
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Adding Seachem's Stability will be helpful in cycling the tank quicker. I just instantly cycled two tanks a month ago by putting seeded filters I had been running for weeks on other tanks, putting a pinch of flake food in daily, and by adding Stability for 7 days, added fish on day 5.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 03:15 PM
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It helps to distract yourself with other projects but jumping the gun can be a lot of work and costly, so relax and injoy.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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It helps to distract yourself with other projects but jumping the gun can be a lot of work and costly, so relax and injoy.
Trust me, I'm distracted!! I'm 5 weeks out from one of the largest National Qualifying bodybuilding shows in the country, just got married 2 weeks ago, and my wife is redoing the Condo. Also work involves a Glock on my hip, ballistic vest and more and more frequently an AR15. I just really want this tank setup. I think it's going to be gorgeous. Check it out
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