Will a tank "uncycle" - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Will a tank "uncycle"

Will water and filter media uncycle? I have a tank that's been running for a few months with no fish, since I gave away my tetras. I plan on replanting and scaping, would I need to cycle? I haven't tested water in months.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 09:29 PM
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Will a Tank "Uncycle"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokaah View Post
Will water and filter media uncycle? I have a tank that's been running for a few months with no fish, since I gave away my tetras. I plan on replanting and scaping, would I need to cycle? I haven't tested water in months.

Thanks.
Hello smok...

An established tank won't uncycle. In other words if you removed all the media and replaced it with new, you'd still have good bacteria living on all the inside surfaces of the tank. You could experience "new tank syndrom" if you removed most of the media from the filter and added several fish to the tank. Then, there wouldn't be enough good bacteria to use the added fish waste. Do you see what I mean?

Good bacteria in an established tank reproduces very quickly, so I don't think you could "uncycle" a tank.

B

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 10:29 PM
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If you add the new fish a few at a time, instead of all at once, you should be alright. I would wait until the plants are growing before adding the first fish, because growing plants use some of the ammonia from fish waste too.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello smok...

An established tank won't uncycle. In other words if you removed all the media and replaced it with new, you'd still have good bacteria living on all the inside surfaces of the tank. You could experience "new tank syndrom" if you removed most of the media from the filter and added several fish to the tank. Then, there wouldn't be enough good bacteria to use the added fish waste. Do you see what I mean?

Good bacteria in an established tank reproduces very quickly, so I don't think you could "uncycle" a tank.

B
Partially correct. The bacteria will still be present, but without a significant bio load to feed them their numbers will be reduced. Basic supply/demand.

Add your bio load gradually to allow the bacteria time to adjust and keep an eye on parameters to catch any mini-cycle that happens.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 10:36 PM
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+1 add the fish slowly and watch the water and the bio load capacity will build up very quickly.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 10:41 PM
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Probably some have survived, dead plant leaves, snails or other livestock do produce some ammonia, and dying microorganisms (all species) will produce ammonia. Not very much, though.

I always treat a tank like this as if most of the bacteria will die off. It grows and dies in response to food supply.

If you know the livestock will not be arriving for a while I would start the fishless cycle. Start feeding the bacteria ammonia.
The test results will show you how much bacteria have survived and what you should do.

If the new fish are arriving right away, then I would buy more bacteria so there is no chance that the fish will be exposed to the ammonia they produce.

I did just that, recently: Set up a tank using some used stuff (presumably with a small bacteria population) and some new stuff. I was amazed at how fast the ammonia started disappearing. Of course the plants are helping a lot, so I do not yet know how much ammonia removal is really due to the bacteria.
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