Should I fishless cycle - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Should I fishless cycle

I just set up a 5.5g tank with the 18w Coralife fixture and a Red Sea Nano Filter and a Perfecto glass top. I replaced the regular Nano Filter media with an Aqua Clear sponge cut to fit. Right now I have 5-6 lava rocks with attached java moss (moss was grown emersed). A small anubias and 2 small java fern plants have been placed in the tank. Pool filter sand substrate & no CO2 (maybe Excel later on). I was going to do a regular fishless cycle with ammonia, however, I was reading about the "silent" cycle by having a lot of plants. While this seems attractive as it would allow me to find a home for some my endlers (or some endler fry) most of what I have read about cycling with plants involves the use of fast growing plants wih high light and high CO2.

So, right now I am looking at the following options:

1. Regular fishless cycle with plants in.
2. Lightly stock tank with a trio of adult endlers, monitor water conditions and hope for the best.
3. Stock with endler fry (5-10), monitor water conditions and hope for the best.

Given my situation what would you recommend?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 03:54 AM
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I say go with number three. The few endler fry won't be too much bioload. Get yourself whatever fast growers the LFS has and pack it full. The LFS here doesn't have much in the way of fast growers, usually anacharis and hornwort. That should take care of any problems you would have. Keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite and do some large water changes if necessary.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 01:58 PM
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Got to second Yoink.
Even if it's only until your tank is stable, get yourself some Hornwort, and put some of that in your tank. Not only will it absorb lots of nutrients, but it'll give your fry lots of places to hide.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I will try option three. Do you think a big clump of floating java moss would help? I may not be able to head to the LFS for a while.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Well, it looks like I already started a not-so-well-thought-out cycle. I guess because I used a dechlorimining agent that did not convert the ammonia to ammonium the tank is going through some chemical changes. Ammonia is now 0ppm but nitrites are at 0.50ppm. Interesting. I don't think I'll be adding any fry right away. At least not until I get some good nutrient sucking plants in the tank.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 05:30 AM
 
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Go non. use a product called Cycle it puts live bacteria that you get from the long cycling of the tank. It will only take a day and you will have a well establish tank so no fish will die or at least allot less. It works get it!!!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 12:15 PM
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Sorry Tuvok, Java Moss isn't quite the fast growing nutrient sponge you want on a cycle.

Don't add the fry, see if you can get some mulm from an established tank (if you have another, or a friend, or a LFS you trust).

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 03:30 PM
 
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How long has that stuff been sitting on the shelf ????

Go to your local shop and ask them for some mulm.

Bye a couple mollies, fast growing plants

relax!
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
...however, I was reading about the "silent" cycle by having a lot of plants...
Tuvok, the operative part of that equation, at least as I understand it, is stemmed plants - not just any ol' waterplant. Check out Rex Grigg's page on cycling here, specifically where it says:

"...Then it was discovered that by setting up a tank and filling it full of fast growing stem plants that one could add a medium to large fish load all at once and never see the traditional ammonia or nitrite spikes. The reason for this is simple. The plants love ammonia. So it never gets a chance to kill the fish. Also the plants come covered in beneficial bacteria that will start the traditional cycle. One advantage of this is that you are going to have a lot of stem plant trimmings to trade at the local fish store or send to your friends.

It is suggested that one use two bunches (4-6 stems each) of plants for each five gallons of water. Plants to use include Foxtail, Hygro (any color), Creeping Charlie, Red Ludwigia, Moneywort, Wisteria, Egeria, Shinnersia rivularis, (Mexican Oakleaf) or Water Sprite. Then after a couple of months one can start removing the stem plants and adding the other plants that you want.
"
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 08:01 PM
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I always run a new filter on an old tank first. If I can't do that, I'll grab some rocks, mulm or filter media from an old tank. Use water from an old tank.

Basically, you want to set-up a new tank with some bacteria seeds from an old tank. That's the idea behind the "cycle" products - but it's a lot cheaper just to pull some live bacteria from a currently running tank.

While the plants aren't ideal that you have, they'll still suck up some Ammonia. Toss in a few fish (2-3) a little while after a water change (using old tank water if possible, especially from the previous fish abode) and you'll be fine.

I'm not as particular as others, but Endlers live through ANYTHING. I had a friend who shipped 10 in a couple of bags, USPS (1-2 day delivery distance). They got sent to the wrong address and were shipped back. They sat in the mail room of her business for another couple of days. Total time was basically a full week. You know what happened to them? They spawned, in the package, in the box, in the mail room (or on the way). That's it. No deaths.

I've completely torn down, moved and re-set tanks doing this with no problems. The bacteria is on everything in the tank - plants, gravel, wood, filter media, glass, etc.

The cycle products are un-needed IMHO.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 08:06 PM
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Fast growing stem plants will have tons of bacterial on the leaves and will suck up nitrates - both will efficiently cycle your tank. That said, I would never get crazy with the initial stocking. One person on the board did an initial stocking of 100 tetras - needly to say, that much livestock at one time would mess up any tank - established or not.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 08:17 PM
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If you are going to cycle, try and use hardy fish. Tetras, as a general rule, aren't. At least my rasboras and neons aren't.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 11:01 PM
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Endlers, absolutely. White Cloud Mtn. Minnows too, if your tank temp doesn't get higher than 70*F.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 05:31 AM
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Well, if the NO2 really is .5ppm, simply do water changes, you should be doing those anyway.

The NO2 is likely from the plants as they lose leaves and adapt top new conditions and transport.

Just provide good conditions for the plants.
They will do the rest.

Mulm is live bacteria and a little organic matter they are feeding on.
Just need a little to start things off.


I've never suggested that you must have stem plants to do a new tank, I've done tanks with Crypts and ferns without issue.

I add algae eaters first(1-4 days), then the main fish after about 2-3 weeks.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 06:47 AM
 
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get the Cycle stuff, the bacteria dont become active until they are in your tank so it doesn't matter about shelf life. This will also cycle the tank faster than Mulm then you wont have to get all the fish you really want. SAVE A FISHES LIFE USE CYCLE
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