Cycling myths with nanos (less that 3 gallons) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Cycling myths with nanos (less that 3 gallons)

Hiya PT,
I've read and heard from a bunch of sources that on ANY tank
under 3 gallons, it's not possible to cycle it.

One has to do 100% weekly water changes to keep water parameters in check.
(with fish livestock, even small ones)

Is this true, or not?
Obviously this is refering to a planted nano
w/ a filter.

With all the nanos I see here, and seeing
what some people are doing for water changes on them
(50-70%, or none at all)
I am really curious what kind of water parameters you see on those tanks,
(ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) and if there are recurring spikes in Nitrite and ammonia,
even after the tank is established.

I guess the main issue would be the size of the fish,
and it's waste production.

Lets say on a 1 gallon tank,
with a light fish load (is there a stocking rule for nanos,
like an inch of fish per gallon?)

I just was very curious about your experiences...
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 09:57 PM
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The smaller the tank the harder it is to keep the water chemistry "stable". This is why you need to do water changes often.

1: As for the statement that you cannot cycle a nano, that is untrue as far as I am concerned. If you can find a filter or pump small enough not to move to much water for your application, you can cycle a tank of water.

2: With nano's being you are adding ferts, ect. this might be tough, but you can still get a good bacteria farm going with water movement. see #1

3: I have had reef tanks as small as 5 gals successfully runnning for yrs. without a "cycled tank" this would be tough.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 01:28 PM
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I have a 2.5 and 6 gallon that don't "swing" as if un-cycled.
Both have filters, with enough media packed in them, plus the substrate, plus boat(tank)loads of plants.

On the 2.5 I run a "Palm" type filter, on the 6, I have a ZooMed 501.
I do about 40-50% water change once per week. However, I do think stocking levels have to very appropriate for these sized tanks, as you can quickly get over the edge.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2006, 08:59 PM
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I have used 1 gallon gatoraid bottles with the tops cut off as spare guppy breeding tanks before. Have already experimented on how long it takes to cycle and have found with weekly water changes of no more than 30% it will take 6 weeks to fully cycle with 3 adult guppies in it. Filtration was a smallworld filter changed once a month. No deaths, no disease ever. The water gets a little cloudy during the 2 or 3rd week but its levels (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates) are nothing the fish can't handle.
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