Let's talk about cycling a tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Let's talk about cycling a tank

I like to think I have my head wrapped around this idea pretty well. But I am starting up a small 6 gallon, which is my first tank in awhile.

Part of the discussion is where does this "good bacteria dwell?"
I ask because I got 3 gallons of water from an established tank. (The filter,sand,rocks in the new tank are all relatively fresh).
In my mind I basically just did a 50% water change.But I also understand that bacteria may also live in the filter media and sand.

Second question. If you used 100% all established water, would it crash the cycle if you are using a new filter and new sand?

I ask these questions because I am impatient but I also what to know more about the science behind creating this safe ecosystem.

I also ask these questions because I see shoes like "Tanked" where they fill the tank and add fish imediately. I assume they either treat their water with chemicals, or have large tanks of properly cycled water and use aged filter media.

Side note, how are snails impervious to ammonia but other inverts(shrimp) are so quickly affected?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by crimsonbull57 View Post
I like to think I have my head wrapped around this idea pretty well. But I am starting up a small 6 gallon, which is my first tank in awhile.

Part of the discussion is where does this "good bacteria dwell?"
I ask because I got 3 gallons of water from an established tank. (The filter,sand,rocks in the new tank are all relatively fresh).
In my mind I basically just did a 50% water change.But I also understand that bacteria may also live in the filter media and sand.

Second question. If you used 100% all established water, would it crash the cycle if you are using a new filter and new sand?

I ask these questions because I am impatient but I also what to know more about the science behind creating this safe ecosystem.

I also ask these questions because I see shoes like "Tanked" where they fill the tank and add fish imediately. I assume they either treat their water with chemicals, or have large tanks of properly cycled water and use aged filter media.

Side note, how are snails impervious to ammonia but other inverts(shrimp) are so quickly affected?
good bacteria lives on surfaces. filter media surface, sand, rocks, plants, even aquarium walls.

there is very little if any good bacteria in the water.

so the 3 gallons of water from the established tank are not going to help much, its good water because there is no chlorine in it, but you need to get stuff from the established tank if you want to speed up the cycle.

how are snails impervious to ammonia but other inverts(shrimp) are so quickly affected? - well they different animals, snails are tough, shrimps are wimpy.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 03:26 AM
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Filter media will have the highest concentration of bacteria, not because there's anything special about the media, but simply because it has the most surface area. Rocks and plants and sticks and stuff will help. Substrate will help, but will likely bring in a lot of decaying organic matter, adding to the ammonia, so it's a mixed bag. Water will help least of all, but is still better than nothing.

With the 100% cycled water, and nothing else, you're still probably going to have a fairly lengthy cycle.

Ignore Tanked.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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So if the majority of the good bacteria is held within the filter media, then what about filterless tanks, or tanks without substrate?

Also, why is it that swapping old media out for clean media doesn't cause your tank to crash?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by crimsonbull57 View Post
So if the majority of the good bacteria is held within the filter media, then what about filterless tanks, or tanks without substrate?

Also, why is it that swapping old media out for clean media doesn't cause your tank to crash?
you cant have filterless and barebottom tank at once. well you can, a goldfish bowl where you change the water every few days, but no fish are going to like those conditions, most arent even going to survive for very long. you would get constant spikes in your water parameters.

And your tank doesn't crash because you usually don't take out the filter media, the substrate and do a waterchange all at the same time. bacteria can even be find on the glass, so once established, its rather hard to do a major dent in bacteria, chlorine is one of the exceptions that can pull that off.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
Filter media will have the highest concentration of bacteria, ...

Ignore Tanked.
100% Agree with both.

You can add fish to a tank the same day without problems ( I have done this a dozen times) IF....

You use a ton of plants.
Low bio load (based on amount of water and turnover of filter)
At least some "seasoned" media and substrate.
You use Prime from the first drop of water
The tank temp stays above 72
the PH is steady and between 6.5 and 7.8

On tanked and other shows like it the use packaged "bio starter"
Ammo carb, carbon, and other media in the filter and hope nothing goes wrong until after filming stops.

Aren't we all just living in a giant fish bowl?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by crimsonbull57 View Post
So if the majority of the good bacteria is held within the filter media, then what about filterless tanks, or tanks without substrate?

Also, why is it that swapping old media out for clean media doesn't cause your tank to crash?
Concentration and majority are two different things. Per the volume of most filters they would have more bacteria, but in a typical canister filter/hob setup on a normal size tank the majority of the bacteria would be in the tank (mostly the substrate.). An exception might be if you have a large canister filter on a very small tank.
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